Tag Archive for 'Come With Joy'

Lent 4 April 3, 2011

This was one of our periodic “Come with Joy” Sundays, in which the children are with the rest of the congregation for the entire service and we incorporate elements like the following drama into the worship.  This is a dramatization of the story of the healing of the man born blind in John 9:1-41.


 The Narrator takes her place on a chair before the Altar, her market basket (concealing the script) on her lap. She is clad in a shawl that covers her hair.

Narrator  Well, I’m here to tell you! I don’t know what to think. I’m still trying to sort it out. What I do know is that, for myself, well . . . I’ll never be the same again. You see, I was there in the marketplace, just minding my own business. And there was this man – I’d heard of him – the one called Jesus, who’s been causing all this talk and commotion around. He’d he was standing in front of the blind man who always sits there begging. His disciples were with him, and they’d asked him, “Teacher, is this man blind because he sinned himself or is he blind because his parents sinned?” Well, a crowd was gathering. We all wanted to know what this famous Teacher would answer. Who’s to blame for all that’s wrong in the world? It’s an important question.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man seated on the floor, his eyes shut; Jesus in white robe standing next to him; Crowd on either side, peering curiously at the two of them.

Jesus I tell you, neither this man nor his parents sinned. You are all quite blind yourselves — always trying to blame someone or something for what’s wrong in life. But there’s another way. This man was born blind so that God’s mighty works might be revealed in him. You and I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Narrator  (while Jesus pantomimes action she describes) After Jesus said this, he did something amazing. He spat on the ground and made mud with his saliva and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes.

Jesus Go, wash in the pool called Sent Forth!

Gong is struck and tableau players return to their seats.

Narrator  Well, I tell you I didn’t know what to think. I mean, spitting: we all know saliva is unclean. But here Jesus was using it to make healing mud for the man’s eyes. And using the dust of the earth to do so: well, it made me think of the Lord God creating Humankind from the dust of the earth. And it wasn’t just me. Everyone was quite awestruck. But while they were still talking and wondering about it all, the blind man returned from washing and now he could see.

Blind Man stands in center, his eyes wide open and his arms stretched up to heaven. As singing begins, he returns to his seat.

 Verse One of “Amazing Grace”

Narrator  Well, as you can imagine this wasn’t the end of things. Oh, no! It was more like the beginning. There was a grand commotion, I’m here to tell you.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man standing, his eyes wide open; Crowd around him, gesticulating with excitement and disagreement.

Narrator There were some who were saying this wasn’t the man who had been blind, just someone who looked like him. After all, who ever heard of a blind person being healed – especially the way Jesus had done. But the man himself kept saying, “I am the man. The one called Jesus healed my sight. He made mud, put it on my eyes, I went and washed in the pool called Sent Forth, and suddenly I received my sight.”

 Verse Two of “Amazing Grace”

 As singing begins, tableau players return to their seats.

Gong is struck and Blind Man and Pharisees take their places: Blind Man standing as before; Pharisees pointing accusingly at him.

Narrator  So they did what they always do in these situations. They called in the experts, the holy authorities: the Pharisees. And the man explained all over again what Jesus had done with the mud and how he’d been healed. But the Pharisees scowled and shook their heads. “This is impossible,” they decreed. “This man Jesus could not have healed you because he is a sinner himself. He does not observe the Sabbath. A sinner could not have performed such signs.” They confronted the man with this: “So what do you have to say about this Jesus now?” But the man responded, “He is a prophet.”

Narrator  Well, that about did it! The Pharisees flew into a rage. They called the man’s parents, but the parents were frightened and wouldn’t take sides. All they’d say is that the man was their son and, yes, he had been born blind. Yet the man who’d been healed was insistent: Jesus had healed him and now he could see. So the Pharisees began attacking the man himself, saying that he must be a sinner too. And it all ended with the Pharisees driving the man out of town.

Pharisees pantomime driving the Blind Man out of town.

Gong is struck and all return to their seats.

Narrator Well, that was enough for me. I headed for home, like everyone else. You don’t want to be around when those religious people get riled up like that. You could be the next one they attack when they’re in that self-righteous mood of theirs. But as I was nearing home, there on the road ahead of me was the man who’d been healed. Jesus had found him and was speaking to him.

Gong is struck and the Blind Man and Jesus take their places.

Jesus Do you believe in the Son of Man?

Blind Man And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.

Jesus You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.

Blind Man Lord, I believe.

 Verse Three of “Amazing Grace”

 Blind Man returns to his seat. Narrator exits. Jesus remains, standing in the center.

Jesus I came into the world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind. (He too retires as the singing begins.)

 Verses Four and Five of “Amazing Grace”

 At conclusion of the verses, the cast stands and acknowledges applause.

Builders of Holy Lives drama

We had a lot of fun with the little dramatic presentation on Sunday, February 20, of the readings for the day: God’s commandment that his people should be “holy” and Jesus’s teaching that we should be “perfect [complete] as God is perfect.” How do ordinary people struggle to fulfill these goals? What is holiness? The cast did a great job of suggesting the answers to these questions: God played by David Holmes, the teacher by Pat Karpen, the politician by Todd Charette, the parent by Tina Compagna and her daughter by Tammi Compagna, the businessman by John Heckman, Recession by David Roy, Time and Chance by Derek Larkin and Bobbi-Jo Plamondon, and the Vicar by himself. Here’s an album of photos:

Fr. John poses with the Lord God.

Fr. John poses with the Lord God.

The politician knocks down the "building" the teacher has been laboring over.

The politician knocks down the "building" the teacher has been laboring over.

The rebellious child knocks over her mother's patient building.

The rebellious child knocks over her mother's patient building.

"Recession" arrogantly attacks the businessman's block tower.

"Recession" arrogantly attacks the businessman's block tower.

Chance (left with scythe) and Time (with clock) cut short the Vicar's life labor.

Chance (left with scythe) and Time (with clock) cut short the Vicar's life labor.

But all’s well that ends well — as you can find out by reading the script!

Epiphany 7 February 20, 2011

This was one of our periodic “Come with Joy” Sundays. The readings were incorporated into a little skit, which follows. The skit served in lieu of a homily, with the congregation responding with comments afterwards.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

Matthew 5:38-48

Builders of Holy Lives


The Lord God enters, dressed in white, and proclaims the reading from Leviticus:

Hear this, my people: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not gather everything for yourself, but you shall leave something there in the fields for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God. You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another: I am the LORD.

You shall not cheat your neighbor and you shall not hold back fair wages for those who work for you. You shall not make fun of the handicapped or make life difficult for those who struggle; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Hear, my people: I give you these blocks that you may follow my commandments and build yourselves lives that are holy, a just and peaceful world for all my people.

The Lord God departs, leaving a box of building blocks. Continue reading ‘Epiphany 7 February 20, 2011’

Photo Album for October 24 Drama


Fr. John McCausland leads congregational discussion of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector and the dramatic response to it written by parishioner Pat Karpen. In the parable (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus shows how we are often so full of ourselves and so intent on holding ourselves up in comparison to other people that we make no space to listen to our conscience, where God can get through to us.


Sarah (Sonia Schuler), feeling defeated by her math class and fighting with her mother about it, turns to her boyfriend Colin (Ben Harrington) for what could be the wrong kind of comfort.


Sarah’s guardian angel Esmeralda (Pat Karpen, right) rushes down from heaven to prick Sarah’s conscience. This is Esmeralda’s first assignment as an angel, and her supervising angel Cummings (Marge Burke on ladder in rear) occasionally has to interrupt with promptings.


Sarah’s boyfriend Colin (Ben Harrington), encouraged by Esmeralda, brings Sarah the right kind of help, in the form of some math books, bringing the story to a happy end.


Ben and Sonia lead prayers of Confession and Intercession composed for the occasion:

First Reader: O Lord, you know the thoughts of our hearts. Nothing is hidden from you. You know that each of us is both a Pharisee and a tax collector. We confess to you the sins of pride and self-protectiveness that close us from your love and cause us to look down on other people.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Second Reader: Lord, we know that you come to us when we are honest with ourselves and reach out to you for guidance and help. We ask you now to forgive us our sins and lead us into the ways of truth and light which you show us in your Son Jesus Christ.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

First Reader: Lord, in our arrogance we turn away from the needs of others: the poor, the sick, those who are bullied or shunned; the lost, the lonely, the unattractive and unpopular. We pray for them now, asking that you open our hearts to them, for we too in our deepest souls know what it is to be as they are.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Second Reader: Lord, we thank you for the blessings of this life, especially those things we take for granted. Help us to share our blessings with those less fortunate.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

History and Basics of Anglican Worship

During May, we at Holy Cross will be engaged in a review of our liturgy, the way we worship. (The word liturgy comes from Greek meaning “work of the people.”) As an introduction to this project, I offer a very brief summary of the history and basics of worship in our Episcopal/Anglican tradition. Continue reading ‘History and Basics of Anglican Worship’

Come With Joy Sundays

One of our Holy Cross teens joins guitarist Jim Sims to provide Sunday music.

One of our Holy Cross teens joins guitarist Jim Sims to provide Sunday music.

For the past couple of years, Holy Cross has been experimenting with periodic “Come With Joy” Sundays. These are inspired by a ministry of Caroline Fairless and Jim Sims called Children at Worship ~ Congregations in Bloom. Caroline, an Episcopal priest, and her husband Jim, a musician and composer, have a mission to make Episcopal worship more attractive to children, teens and young adults. They bring a rich array of music, drama, visual arts and other exciting ideas to Sunday morning Eucharists. Continue reading ‘Come With Joy Sundays’