Passion Sunday Resources

Written by Joel on April 12th, 2011

This Sunday our church will read the passion narrative in place of a sermon. We use the New International Version translation and there doesn’t seem to be many liturgical resources that use NIV, so we often have to create or arrange our own.

Scroll down for the passion narrative for Year A (Matthew 26:14-27:66) using NIV 1984 for three readers: 1) narrator, 2) Jesus, 3) other voices, plus a congregational part.

I made a few revisions to the text. I removed most of the “he said” notes to help the dialog flow better. These narration notes are included when it clarifies who the speaker is. I also added a second “even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you” to allow another opportunity for congregational participation. Once or twice I change the order of the “he said” notes to prevent the other-voices speaker from speaking back to back as a different person.

A note on the congregation part. Traditionally in passion readings the congregation has been given the unfortunate role of the crowd which shouts “Give us Barabbas.” and “Crucify him! Crucify him!” and “His blood is on us and our children.” I believe that we are all culpable for the death of Christ because of our sin, however forcing this role upon the faithful strikes me as a pastorally¬†insensitive. Normally the pastor fills the role of Jesus in order to emphasize his or her role in persona christi. So, what image is conveyed when the congregation plays the role of the crowd? – Those who are antagonistic toward Christ and his disciples; which, I believe, is hardly the case among the faithful. The script I composed experiments with giving the congregation the role of the disciples, which we strive to be (and yet the text is clear – the disciples still fall short).

Please let me know if you find this resource useful.

Passion Reading Year A (no highlighting) [pdf] [doc]

Narrator highlighted [pdf] [doc]

Jesus highlighted [pdf] [doc]

Other Voices highlighted [pdf] [doc]

Congregation handout [pdf] [doc]


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