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Lazarus: the Musical

Lazarus: The Musical retells Jesus’ parable, found in Luke 16:19-31, about a beggar (Lazarus) who lives outside the gate of a wealthy man (tradition calls him “Dives”) who pays no attention to Lazarus’ plight.

Watch a clip from a recent performance of Lazarus: The Musical.

In the parable, both Lazarus and Dives die. Lazarus goes to heaven, and Dives is condemned to Hades. Despite Dives’ pleas for relief, Abraham declares his situation irreversible.

Drawing on the Gospel themes of forgiveness and redemption, the musical offers an alternative ending – one in which Dives’ time in hell is a life-changing dream. Dives, identifying with the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus and the 5,000, awakes with a commitment to “feed a hungry world.” He, his family, and the audience are inspired by Jesus’ promise that, with the faith of a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains – we can feed a hungry world. This means that in our time, we can move Congress to do its part in ending hunger!

Lazarus was written in 1986 by Bread for the World staff member Joel Underwood. That version has been presented over 2,000 times in churches, schools, and community theaters. In 2013, Dr. William Cummings II revived and updated Lazarus with exciting new musical arrangements.

Lazarus: the DVD

Order the DVD with a full–length, live recording of a 2014 performance, video clips, music excerpts, and information on producing Lazarus in your church or school.

Producing Lazarus in your Church or School

Bring Lazarus’ message of hope to your congregation or school. The musical can be staged at many levels of musical talent and experience – whether you are using semi-professional singers and musicians or your church choir with piano and drums.

A license agreement provides permission to stage Lazarus and access for ordering the musical score (see a sample) and free Bread for the World materials. The license fee for congregations and schools that share Bread’s commitment to ending hunger is just $25. Other licensing arrangements are available for commercial and community theater productions.

Contact lazarus@bread.org for more information.

in a Worship Setting

Dr. Cummings has developed an abridged 45-minute version of Lazarus for use in worship settings.

Additional Resources for Churches producing Lazarus

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