Music composed by James Biery, ASCAP
Libretto written by Marilyn Biery, ASCAP
“Journey to Jerusalem” is a complete Maundy Thursday service consisting of three parts. After an instrumental prelude, Part One (The Washing of Feet) begins with the costumed actors entering the church as they sing about the journey to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Some of them gather at the table and are confused and bewildered when Jesus washes their feet. Jesus sings an aria, “This Is My Commandment.” All sing the hymn “My Song Is Love Unknown.”
Part Two (The Institution of the Lord’s Supper) opens with Judas singing of his inner turmoil in the aria, “He Is My Friend.” Then Jesus and the disciples reenacted the Last Supper and they invite the congregation to receive communion as they sing “Come to the Table.”
Part Three (The Garden of Gethsemane) takes the congregation along with Jesus, Peter, and the disciples as they keep watch in the garden. Jesus (and the congregation) sing “Father, If this Cup Cannot Pass.” The service ends with the congregation quietly singing the meditative ostinato song “See, the Hour Is at Hand.”
The choir advances the story through narration and leads the congregation in song. Each of the three parts is separated by spoken prayers and a time of silence.
What is needed:
- Three Solo Singer/Actors –Jesus (high voice), Judas (medium/low voice), and Peter (medium voice) – and some ensemble singer/actors
- SATB Chorus
- Instrumental ensemble of Flute, English Horn, Viola, Harp or Piano, Bass and Organ (reduced accompaniment upon request)
- Simple costumes; minimal props
- Duration is 60 minutes
The music makes modest demands on the singers and can be prepared in a few rehearsals. Likewise, the instrumental parts can be performed by either professional or talented amateur players.