Christingle Service
St. Augustine's

December 24 2005

Key :

instructions for congregation
movements during service
prayers and readings
sections of the service

Other information  :

There are some notes on our production of the service.

A rough plan of the church is available.

A note on copyright.


St. Augustine's Christingle Service

NarratorWe welcome you here in the name of Jesus, Whose Birthday we celebrate tomorrow.

No collection will be taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church for anyone who would like to give a donation.

If anyone would like the music for our hymns today, please put your hand up and someone will bring it to you.

Please be warned the balloons around the church have a tendency to explode loudly from time to time !

Our sentence for today is from Luke Chapter 2 verse 9 : "An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds and the glory of the Lord shone over them".

Please stand to sing

"How great Thou art".

1.   O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
  Consider all the works Thy hand hath made,
  I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder -
  Thy power throughout the universe displayed -

Chorus :

  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee.
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art !
  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee.
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

2.   When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
  I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
  When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
  And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,


3.   But when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
  Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
  That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
  He bled and died to take away my sin;


4.   When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart;
  Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
  And there proclaim, "my God, how great Thou art".


Reader 1Please sit.

The story of Christmas is full of the glory of God, and our decorations this year ( Gesture to cross, and down to altar ) have a lot of gold in them to recognise the glory.

The story begins with an angel, who told Mary of the part she was to play. After the birth of Jesus, a host of angels appeared to the shepherds, singing "Glory to God in the highest"; later, a star led the Wise men to Jesus, and we sing, "Star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright". We have shown our star ( gesture again ) radiating its glory upon the Holy Family below.

We've shown the beams of the star again on our Christmas Tree ( point to tree ), with golden ribbons. One of the titles given to Jesus is 'Emmanuel', which means 'God is with us', and the ribbons on the tree show the glory of God coming to all of us because of His presence here. God-with-us is the true glory we celebrate at Christmastime.

But if you look at our big star again ( point to star ) you'll see that within it there's a cross. Christmas is only the beginning of the story; we celebrate the climax at Easter with Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection, and further outpourings of God's glory - and all this for our sake.

But now it's Christmas - the feast of Christ. Truly our God is wonderful beyond anything we can imagine. Let us celebrate His glory in this service of worship and praise.

NarratorLater in this service we will be making our own 'Christingles'.

The Christingle is made up of four main parts :


Helper brings 'orange' in and places it on the stand.
NarratorLet us think for a moment about the wonderful world that God has made and remember those special moments when the glory of God has seemed very close to us.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the awesomeness of mountains.
A picture of 'mountains' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the splendour of a rainbow.
A picture of 'rainbow' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the power of a storm.
A picture of 'storm' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the delicacy of a tiny flower.
A picture of 'flower' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the trusting smile of a baby.
A picture of 'baby smile' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the vast expanse of the night sky.
A picture of 'sky' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the peace and quiet of a church.
A picture of 'inside a church' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us hear the glory of God in the dawn chorus of the birds.
A picture of 'birds' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the majesty of tall trees.
A picture of 'trees' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the trustfulness of a child.
A picture of 'child' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us see the glory of God in the beauty of a sunset.
A picture of 'sunset' is placed on the board.
NarratorSome of us feel the glory of God in the loving touch of a friend.
A picture of 'friend' is placed on the board.
NarratorLet us pray.

We thank You, Lord God, for the wonderful world You made.

AllThank You, Lord, for Your wonderful world.
NarratorForgive us for the ways in which we misuse it.
AllForgive us, Lord.
NarratorTeach us to use the resources of this world for Your glory.
AllTeach us, Lord.
NarratorOpen our eyes that we may see the glories of Your wonderful creation.
AllOpen our eyes, Lord.
NarratorWe give thanks and praise to You, Creator God, for the beauty of Your glory.
AllThank You, creator God, for the beauty of Your glory.


We can see the glory of God in the ploughing and preparation of a field for spring sowing.

Winter arm is placed on orange.

We can see the glory of God in the spring blossom with its promise of fruit to come.

Spring arm is placed on orange.

We can see the glory of God in the fields of ripening corn.

Summer arm is placed on orange.

We can see the glory of God in the laden nut and fruit trees of autumn.

Autumn arm is placed on orange.
NarratorLet us praise God for His glory.
AllWe give thanks and praise to You, provider God, for the bounty of Your glory.
NarratorThe Song of Creation taken from the new New Zealand Prayer Book.

Please join in the second half of each verse.

NarratorO give thanks to our God Who is good :
All - Whose love endures for ever.
NarratorYou sun and moon, you stars of the southern sky :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorSunrise and sunset, night and day :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorAll mountains and valleys, grasslands and scree, glacier, avalanche, mist and snow :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorYou kauri and pine, rata and kowhai, mosses and ferns :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorDolphins and kahawai, sealion and crab, coral, anemone, pipi and shrimp :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorRabbits and cattle, moths and dogs, kiwi and sparrow and tui and hawk :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorYou Maori and Pakeha, women and men, all who inhabit the long white cloud :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorAll you saints and martyrs of the South Pacific :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorAll prophets and priests, all cleaners and clerks, professors, shop workers, typists and teachers, job-seekers, invalids, drivers and doctors :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorAll sweepers and diplomats, writers and artists, grocers, carpenters, students and stock-agents, seafarers, farmers, bakers and mystics :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.
NarratorAll children and infants, all people who play :
All - give to our God your thanks and praise.

And so we place this red ribbon around the Christingle to remind us of the love Jesus has for all people and His willingness to die for each one of us.

Helper places ribbon round Christingle.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

( Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels get ready at back. )

1.   Hark ! the herald angels sing
  Glory to the new-born King;
  Peace on earth, and mercy mild -
  God and sinners reconciled.
  Joyful, all you nations, rise !
  Join the triumph of the skies !
  With the angelic host proclaim,
  'Christ is born in Bethlehem'.

Chorus :

  Hark ! the herald angels sing
  Glory to the new-born King.

2.   Christ, by highest heaven adored,
  Christ, the everlasting Lord -
  Late in time behold Him come,
  Offsprng of a Virgin's womb.
  Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
  Hail the incarnate Deity,
  Pleased as Man with man to dwell -
  Jesus, our Emmanuel.


3.   Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace !
  Hail, the Sun of Righteousness !
  Light and life to all He brings,
  Risen with healing in His wings.
  Mild He lays His glory by,
  Born that man no more may die,
  Born to raise the Sons of earth,
  Born to give them second birth.


NarratorPlease sit.

The birth of Jesus.

This reading can be found in Luke Chapter 2 verses 1-7 ( Page 1125 of the Church Bibles ).

At that time the Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own home town.

( Joseph and Mary go down centre aisle. )
NarratorJoseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him.
( Joseph knocks on 'door' ( altar rail ); Inn keeper comes hurrying across behind altar rail to answer the door, shakes his head and shows them to the stable. )
Narrator She was pregnant, but there was no room for them to stay in the inn.

While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her Baby.

She gave birth to her first Son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger.

( Mary gets baby from under straw and places baby in the manger. )
NarratorPlease remain sitting whilst we sing

"Away in a manger".

( During the last verse the Shepherds come to the front and sit in front of the easel on the Hospital side; the Angel of the Lord comes and hides behind the tree. )

1.   Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
  The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
  The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
  The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

2.   The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
  But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.
  I love You, Lord Jesus ! Look down from the sky,
  And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3.   Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask You to stay
  Close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
  Bless all the dear children in Your tender care,
  And fit us for heaven to live with You there.

NarratorThe Shepherds and the Angels.

This part of the story comes from Luke Chapter 2 Verses 8-20 ( Page 1125 of the Church Bibles ).

There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night out in the open, taking care of their sheep.

Angel of the Lord comes from behind the tree.
NarratorAn angel of the Lord appeared to them.
Angel of the LordDon't be afraid ! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Saviour was born - Christ the Lord ! And this is what will prove it to you : you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.
NarratorSuddenly -
Angels come hurrying down centre aisle
Narrator- a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the first angel, singing praises to God :
ALL sing All glory be to God on high.
and to the earth be peace;
Good will henceforth from heaven to men
Begin and never cease.
NarratorWhen the angels went away from them -
All angels return to the back.
Narrator- back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another :
shepherds"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about".
Shepherds hurry past tree across front and into the stable.
NarratorSo they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the Baby lying in the manger.

When the shepherds saw the Baby, they told Mary and Joseph what the angel had said.

Shepherd 1The angel came and told us about this Baby.
Shepherd 6He said He would be a Saviour -
Shepherd 2 a Saviour Who brings peace to the world -
Shepherd 3and We'd find Him in a manger -
Shepherd 4And we came -
Shepherd 5And here He is, lying in the straw !
ShepherdsWe must go and tell everyone !
Shepherds( hurrying down centre aisle telling people as they pass ) We've seen Jesus !
NarratorEveryone was amazed at what the shepherds said.

Let us praise God for His glory !

AllWe give thanks and praise to You, Father God, for the glorious birth of Your Son Jesus.
NarratorVisitors from the East;

the story is in Matthew Chapter 2 Verses 1-12 ( Page 1048 of the Church Bibles ).

Soon after, some men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the Baby born to be King of the Jews ? We saw His star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset. He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born ?"

"In the town of Bethlehem in Judea" they answered.

( Wise men come down centre aisle and stop at altar rail. )
 And so the men left Jerusalem and on their way to Bethlehem they saw the same star and it went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child lay.
( Wise men go up to manger, kneel and worship the Baby. )
 They went into the house, and when they saw the child with His mother Mary they knelt down and worshipped Him.
( Wise man 1 presents gift of gold. )
 They brought out their gifts of gold,
( Wise man 2 presents gift of frankincense. )
( Wise man 3 presents gift of myrrh. )
 and myrrh.
( Wise men go to back down Hospital aisle. )
 Then they returned to their country by another route.

Let us praise God for His glory !

AllWe give thanks and praise to You, Father God, for the glorious gift of Your son Jesus !
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"The First Nowell".

During this hymn Mary and Joseph and the 'Baby' go to the back down the centre aisle.

1.   The first Nowell the angel did say
  Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
  In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep,
  On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Chorus :

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
  Born is the King of Israel.

2.   They lookèd up and saw a star,
  Shining in the east beyond them far.
  And to the earth it gave great light,
  And so it continued both day and night.


3.   And by the light of that same star
  Three Wise men came from country far;
  To seek for a king was their intent,
  And to follow the star wherever it went.


4.   This star drew nigh to the north-west;
  O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
  And there it did both stop and stay -
  Right over the place where Jesus lay.


5.   Then entered in those Wise men three,
  Full reverently upon their knee,
  And offered there in His presence
  Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.


6.   Then let us all with one accord
  Sing praises to our Heavenly Lord,
  That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
  And with His blood mankind hath bought.


NarratorPlease sit.

Our next reading is taken from Acts Chapter 10 verses 34-43 and can be found on Page 1219 of the Church Bibles.

The reading tells us more about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

ReaderPeter, one of Jesus's disciples, began to speak : "I now realise that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Those who worship Him and do what is right are acceptable to Him, no matter what race they belong to.

You know the message He sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on Him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with Him.

We are witnesses of everything that He did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem.

Then they put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross. But God raised Him from death three days later and caused Him to appear, not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from death. And He commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that He is the One whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.

All the prophets spoke about Him, saying that all who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven through the power of His name."

NarratorLet us praise God for His glory !
AllWe give thanks and praise to You, redeemer God, for the sacrificial life of Your Son which made Your glory available to all peoples.
Helper brings candle on and lights it.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"Shine, Jesus, Shine".

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorLet us praise God for His glory !
AllWe give thanks and praise to You, almighty God, for Your glorious light that shines in Your people.
Narrator explains Christingle and how to make it.
Narrator Please sit or kneel for the prayer, which we shall end by singing the Lord's Prayer.

Reader comes to read prayer.
ReaderThank you, God, for Your wonderful glory : the glory of Your creation, the glorious birth of Your Son Jesus, and the glorious light of Your love that can shine in those who believe and follow You.

We thank You for Jesus and all He means to us. May our understanding and love for Him increase during the coming year.

We pray for all who are sad and lonely at this time; please bring joy and companionship into their lives.

We pray for all who are at war with one another. May Your kingdom of peace begin to reign in their hearts today and always.


We will now sing "The Lord's Prayer. "

AllOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and for ever. Amen.
ReaderPlease stand for the Carol.
During this Carol the balloon release crew go to the back.

1.   Silent night, Holy night,
  All is calm, all is bright
  Round yon Virgin Mother and Child.
  Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
  Sleep in heavenly peace;
  Sleep in heavenly peace.

2.   Silent night, Holy night;
  Shepherds quake at the sight.
  Glories stream from heaven afar;
  Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia;
  Christ the Saviour is born !
  Christ the Saviour is born !

3.   Silent night, Holy night;
  Son of God, love's pure light,
  Radiance beams from Thy holy face,
  With the dawn of redeeming grace,
  Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
  Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.


Our helpers will now release coloured balloons for everyone to take home.

We wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year

We invite you to join us for a cuppa in the Hall ( behind the church ) at the end of this service.

Those taking part :

Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Angels, Leader, Narrator, Preacher, Reader, Shepherds, Innkeeper, Wise men, Helper.