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Day of Pentecost choral reading

A script for nine voices, inspired by Acts 2:1-13

(Leader and reader instructions at bottom.)

When the day of Pentecost had come,    [1]

they were all together in one place.    [1, 2, 3]

And suddenly,    [4]

Suddenly ,   [4, 5, 6]

Suddenly,    [ALL]

from heaven,    [1]

there came a sound,    [1, 2]

like the rush of a violent wind,    [3, 4, 5]

 

and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.    [ALL]

Divided tongues,    [6]

as of fire,    [6, 7, 8]

appeared among them,    [8, 9]

and a tongue rested on each of them.    [1]

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit    [1, 2, 3]

and began to speak in other languages,    [4, 5, 6]

as the Spirit gave them ability.    [8]

Now there were devout Jews     [9]

from every nation under heaven     [1, 2, 3]

living in Jerusalem.     [4, 5, 6]

And at this sound the crowd gathered,     [7, 8]

and was bewildered.     [9]

Bewildered.     [1, 2, 3]

Bewildered.     [ALL]

because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.     [4]

Amazed.     [1, 2, 3]

Amazed.     [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Amazed,     [ALL]

and astonished,     [1, 2, 3]

Astonished.     [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Astonished,     [ALL]

they asked,     [1]

"Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?     [2, 3, 4]

And how is it that we hear,     [5, 6, 7]

each of us,     [8]

in our own native language?     [9]

Parthians,     [1]

Medes,     [2]

Elamites,     [3]

and residents of Mesopotamia,     [4, 5, 6]

Judea,     [7]

and Cappadocia,     [8]

Pontus,     [9]

and Asia,     [1]

Phrygia     [2]

and Pamphylia,     [3]

Egypt,     [4]

and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene,     [5, 6]

and visitors from Rome,     [7, 8, 9]

both Jews and proselytes,     [ALL]

Cretans.     [1]

and Arabs,     [2]

in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."     [3]

All were amazed.     [4]

All were amazed,     [ALL]

and all were perplexed,     [4]

saying to one another,     [5, 6, 7]

"What does this mean?"     [ALL – using different vocal tones and inflections, some saying the sentence slowly, others quickly]

But others sneered and said,     [8]

"They are filled with new wine."     [1, 2, 3]

Drunk.     [4]

Inebriated.     [5, 6]

Intoxicated.     [7, 8, 9]

Plastered.     [1, 2, 3, 4]

Loaded.     [5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

Definitely under the influence.     [ALL]

# # #

Instructions for preparation

For the leader

      •Print a copy for each reader, and number them. Then use a highlighter for each script, according to that readers’ lines (per the numbers following each line).

      •Put a check mark at the bottom of the page if that reader has a line coming first on the subsequent page, to alert them.

      •You can reduce or increase the number of voices—adjust the numbering of each line as appropriate.

      •To begin the first practice, read the first dozen or so lines for the group, to give them a sense of the pace.

      •It’s important that the readers practice this together several times to synchronize the rhythm.

     •Make sure readers know how to pronounce some of the unusual names.

For the readers

      •Speak up and out!—a bit more loudly, and a bit more slowly, than your normal conversational volume and pace.

      •Enunciate each word.

      •Aim your voice so that the person sitting farthest from you can hear and understand.

     •Pause a half-beat at the commas, a full beat at the periods.

      •Practice saying any words that are unusual.