Holy Week is a special time of year that fills the dramatic pause between the seasons of Lent and Easter. Introduce a fresh retelling of "the passion story" for your community this year through resources from Dr. Marcia McFee and the Worship Design Studio!
About the Resources
These resources have been gathered together with the intention of offering a set of liturgies that follow the full events of the passion story. Our call to worship and prayer of confession for Palm Sunday begins with Jesus’ entrance into the city of Jerusalem — a joyful occasion with crowds of people celebrating their ascendant Messiah! Based on readings from Luke and Psalm 118, "Holy, Holy, Holy" captures the excitement and complexity of this moment in time.
The "Poured Out" drama begins at the end of the Palm Sunday service and presents a tableau, which introduces 3 women and 3 men from different Gospels who were with Jesus in his last days or at the cross.
The Holy Week service (which would work for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday) weaves dramatic participatory liturgy with moving monologues by the same six Biblical characters. For example, Mary of Bethany’s story of anointing Jesus leads to a ritual action in which worshippers anoint one another with oil, and Simon Peter’s story of Jesus washing his feet leads to a ritual of hand-washing. The service is designed for participants to gather in a fellowship hall around tables for ritual action, with a central table in the middle for the dramatists, but a congregation could adapt the service to do the ritual actions in their seats in the sanctuary. All the monologues can be either read or memorized.
The Easter Vigil or Sunrise service celebrates Jesus’ resurrection with a monologue by Salome, one of the dramatists, and short jubilant choral readings by all 6 dramatists who were in the Holy Week services. The service is designed to begin outdoors in the dark with an Easter Fire and procession, but the monologue and choral readings would also be excellent for Easter morning worship within a church.
Dr. Marcia McFee, ritual artist, author, and worship consultant, created this intergenerational opening that embodies the joy of the Palm Liturgy, with reader’s theatre, movement, choir, and processions. This is an example of a worship drama that enhances the meaning of the festival and its particular location in the liturgy. It is written to include 6 readers, a storyteller, a liturgist, a gong player, 10 youth who spread cloths on the ground and altar, children to process with palms, a choir, and the congregation; but smaller congregations could easily adapt this. It could be prepared in 1 or 2 rehearsals, but readers need strong voices and/or portable microphones to be heard. If readers tell the Passion Narrative later in the service, the same readers, storyteller, and liturgist could be involved.
Here's what people say about Worship Design Studio resources:
"I’m so grateful for your creative and dedicated work for worship. We have used your work in Advent and Lent for the last few years and have started to use it at other times too. I love that you offer so much to use and the chance to adapt it to our setting and style. Grateful for your gift and precious ministry, it has blessed our church in important and meaningful ways."
"I serve three small membership churches and all of them have found the work of Marcia McFee to be meaningful and provide great worship. Thank you!"
"I cannot stress how much this program helped me this year. The congregation will benefit immensely."
Opening Liturgy for Palm Passion Sunday
Holy Week service (can be done Maundy Thursday or Good Friday)
Easter Sunrise service
You are completely free to adapt as needed to suit your context.
When you purchase the Holy Week bundle,
you will IMMEDIATELY get an e-mail with the materials.
(If you don't, please check your
junk or spam folders).
If you find that this series and materials just
will not fit your congregation, even with your own adaptations,
you can contact us for a refund!
Looking to get more resources for worship all year long?
Become a member of the Worship Design Studio and get all these materials and 12 years more INCLUDED!
Go to www.worshipdesignstudio.com/wds to sign up.