An Easter Drama

Themes: Christian Year, Easter, Scholar

Below is an ancient play, Quem quaeritis? (Whom do you seek?), that was traditionally performed on Easter Sunday. It can be used in this form or altered to suit the talents or needs of your congregation.

The three women, with bowed heads and gestures of mourning, weave their way down the aisle to the altar, saying to one another, “Who will roll the stone for us?” “Who will roll away the stone?”

At the altar, the angel suddenly appears. The women cry out and fall back, covering their faces. The angel says, “Don’t be afraid. Whom are you looking for?”

The women rise and call, “Where is Jesus, the man who was crucified?”

The angel indicates the empty tomb: “He isn’t here!” Raising arms slowly and majestically, the angel continues: “As he said, he has risen!” The angel gestures toward the assembly: “Now go and tell everybody!”

The women turn and call, “Peter! Andrew! James! John! Everyone! Hurry up! Come to the tomb!” They repeat this, running down the steps to the aisle. Then, dancing and spinning in joy, they cry out such phrases as “Jesus is risen!” “The tomb! It’s empty!” “Jesus is alive!” “Hurry, come and see!” “Run and tell everyone!” to people in each row.

When they reach the back of the assembly, the disciples (and anyone else who wants to join in) run and skip and cartwheel forward, with ringing and jingling bells. Some call out: “Oh, Hallelujah! Jesus is risen!” Simultaneously, others cry: “Jesus is risen? I can’t believe it!” Others, “Christ is alive! How can it be?” All converge at the altar, point out “the empty tomb” to each other, then are joined by the choir in leading the assembly in a favorite hymn of the Resurrection.

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