Christingle Service
St. Augustine's

December 24 2008

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

NarratorWelcome !

We welcome you here in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus, Whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow.

No collection will be taken during this service. If you would like to leave a donation, you'll find a box at the back for this purpose.

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

ReaderOur theme for today's service is :

the JOY
that comes from loving and serving
our Lord Jesus Christ.

NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"How great Thou art".

During this hymn Pray-er comes up Hospital side and sits behind Christmas tree.
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;
  The 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" -


NarratorPlease sit.

Tonight we will be making Christingles. ( Hold up Christingle and point to each part as appropriate. ) These are made up of four parts :

The first part is the orange, which represents the world which God created;

The second part is the four arms, which originally represented the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, but this year we have chosen to use them to represent the Christmas story and the Bible, The Word of God;

The third part is the red ribbon around the whole world, which represents the blood of Jesus given for all people;

- and the fourth, and last, part is the candle, to remind us that Jesus said "I am the light of the world".

The first part of the Christingle is the orange.

Helper 1 carries the demonstration orange from organ side, shows it to the congregation, puts it on the stand, and returns to seat.
NarratorThe orange represents the wonderful world that God created.

I expect all of us have been filled with awe and wonder at some stage in our lives by the wonders of God's creation.

( Story teller's name ) has three true stories to share.

Helper 2, Helper 3, Helper 4 sit in the altar rail gap with pictures to illustrate the three stories.

Helper 2 stands and displays his picture.

Story tellerStory 1.
As story 1 ends Helper 2 sits down.

Helper 3 stands and displays his picture.

Story tellerStory 2.
As story 2 ends Helper 3 sits down.

Helper 4 stands and displays his picture.

Story tellerStory 3.
As  3 ends Helper 4 sits down.

Helper 5 comes to front and shows "JOY OF ENCOURAGEMENT THROUGH GOD'S CREATION" card to the congregation.

Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, God, for the joy of receiving encouragement through Your creation.

Thank You, God, for the wonders of Your creation.

Thank You that You speak to many of us in many different ways as we experience the wonders and joys of the world You created for us to live in.

Help us to be good stewards of Your creation, Lord.

ALLWe thank You, God, for the times when the wonders of Your creation encourage us. Amen.
Helper 2, Helper 3, Helper 4 put pictures on altar and return to their seats; Helper 5 places card on wall, organ side and returns to seat.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"Once in royal David's City".

During this hymn - Angel Gabriel and Innkeeper ready near organ, Mary and Joseph ready at back.
1.    Once in royal David's city
  Stood a lowly cattle shed,
  Where a mother laid her Baby
  In a manger for His bed;
  Mary was that mother mild
  Jesus Christ her little Child.

2.    He came down to earth from heaven
  Who is God and Lord of all,
  And His shelter was a stable,
  And His cradle was a stall;
  With the poor and mean and lowly
  Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

3.    And through all His wondrous childhood
  He would honour and obey,
  Love and watch the lowly maiden,
  In whose gentle arms He lay;
  Christian children all must be
  Mild, obedient, good as He.

4.    For He is our childhood's pattern
  Day by day like us He grew,
  He was little, weak and helpless,
  Tears and smiles like us He knew;
  And He feeleth for our sadness
  And He shareth in our gladness.

5.    And our eyes at last shall see Him.
  Through His own redeeming love,
  For that Child so dear and gentle
  Is our Lord in heaven above;
  And He leads His children on
  To the place where He is gone.

6.    Not in that poor lowly stable,
  With the oxen standing by,
  We shall see Him; but in heaven,
  Set at God's right hand on high;
  Where like stars His children crowned
  All in white shall wait around.

NarratorPlease sit.

In the original Christingle story the four arms of the Christingle represent spring, summer, autumn and winter. But this year we have chosen to use them to represent joy - four examples of joy which come from the stories of the birth of Jesus as told in the Bible.

The first arm represents the joy of being called by God to be His servant.

Helper 6 brings first arm from organ side, displays it to the congregation, places it in the big orange and returns to seat.
ReaderToday we're using "The Message" translation of the Bible for our Christmas story.

The birth of Jesus is announced.

Luke Chapter 1 verses 26-35 and verse 38, and Matthew Chapter 1 verses 19-21 and 24-25.

( Mary comes up centre aisle and pretends to be dusting the altar rail. Meanwhile, Reader continues .... )

God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galiliean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin's name was Mary.

Angel Gabriel comes out from organ side and stands to one side of Mary. When Mary sees him she looks surprised and shaken.
Angel Gabriel to MaryGood morning !

You're beautiful with God's beauty,

Beautiful inside and out !

God be with you.

ReaderMary was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that.
Angel GabrielMary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a Son and call His name Jesus. He will be great, be called "Son of the Highest". The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will rule Jacob's house forever - no end, ever, to His kingdom.
MaryBut how ? I've never slept with a man.
Angel GabrielThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.

Nothing is impossible with God.

MaryYes, I see it all now. I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.
Angel Gabriel returns to his place by the organ.
Reader as Angel Gabriel movesThen the angel left her.
Mary goes to back down centre aisle;

Joseph comes to front up centre aisle and walks agitatedly to and fro at the altar side of the altar rail.

As Joseph passes the altar rail :

ReaderBefore they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant. ( It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn't know that. ) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
Joseph gives up the problem, slumps wearily into the chair, and goes to sleep.
ReaderWhile he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke to him.
Angel Gabriel from beside organJoseph, Son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name Him Jesus - "God saves" - because He will save His people from their sins.
ReaderThen Joseph woke up. He did exactly as God's angel commanded in the dream.

( Joseph wakes up and returns to back down centre aisle and stands next to Mary. )

He married Mary.

The birth of Jesus :

Luke Chapter 2 verses 1-7.

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for.

So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

Joseph and Mary come up centre aisle, knock on altar rail.

Innkeeper comes running out from organ side.

InnkeeperNo room, no room.

( Pauses; looks at Joseph and Mary; understands. )

But I have room in my stable.

Innkeeper shows Joseph and Mary to his stable and returns to his seat down organ aisle, taking with him the chair that Joseph slept on. Mary and Joseph sit on chairs by manger.
ReaderWhile they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn.

( Baby placed in manger )

She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a manger.

Helper 7 comes to front and shows "JOY OF BEING CALLED BY GOD TO BE HIS SERVANT" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, God, for the joy of being called by You to be Your servants.

Thank You, God, for the way You helped Mary and Joseph to follow Your plan for their lives and to become Your servants.

Help us, also, to desire to be Your servants and to discern and follow the plan You have for our lives. Amen.

ALLHelp us, God, to discern and follow Your call to us to serve You. Amen.
Helper 7 places card on wall, organ side and returns to seat.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"Away in a manger".

During this hymn the shepherds, angels and Wise Men ready at back.

Stage hand places camp fire between altar and Hospital side.

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 Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
  And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

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

NarratorPlease sit.

The second arm represents the JOY OF EXPERIENCING THE GLORY OF THE LORD.

Helper 7a brings second arm from organ side, shows it to the congregation, places it in the orange and returns to seat.

The shepherds learn about the birth of Jesus and go to visit Him.

Luke Chapter 2 verses 8-20.

There were shepherds camping in the neighbourhood.

( Shepherds come up hospital aisle and settle round the camp fire. )

They had set night watches over their sheep.

Suddenly God's angel stood among them.

( Angel Gabriel comes and stands by them; shepherds point to angel Gabriel and look terrified. )

and God's glory blazed around them.

They were terrified.

Angel GabrielDon't be afraid, I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide. A Saviour has just been born in David's town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master. This is what you are to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.
Angels come "flying" up centre aisle and stand behind shepherds.
Reader, as angels come At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic host singing God's praises -
ALL ( twice )All glory be to God on high
and to the earth be peace
Good will henceforth from heaven to men
begin and never cease.
The angels including angel Gabriel "fly" to stand around the manger, leaving room for the shepherds to come between them and the manger.

The shepherds look at one another.

ShepherdsLet's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.
ReaderThey left running.
Shepherds run past lectern along congregation side of altar rail and kneel at sides of manger.
ReaderThey found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

Seeing was believing.

Later they told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child.

All who heard were impressed.

Helper 8 comes to front and shows "JOY OF EXPERIENCING THE GLORY OF THE LORD" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, God, that the shepherds experienced the joy of seeing the Glory of the Lord.

Thank You, God, for the times when we have experienced an overwhelming sense of Your presence. These times are wonderful and precious to us.

Help us to continue to be sure of Your presence in our lives even when You seem very far away.

ALLThank You, God, for the times when we experience the glory of Your presence in our lives. Amen.
Helper 8 places card on wall, organ side, and returns to seat.

Shepherds sit around the sides of the manger with the angels behind them.

NarratorThe third arm represents the joy of giving our gifts and talents to God.
Helper 9 brings third arm from organ side, shows it to the congregation, places it on the orange, and returns to seat.

The Wise Men bring their gifts to Jesus.

Matthew Chapter 2 verses 1-2, 5-6, 10-11.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory, a band of scholars arrived from the East.

( Wise Men come down centre aisle with their gifts, stop half way down aisle, turn to congregation. )

They asked around -

Wise Man 1Where can we find and pay homage to the new-born King of the Jews ?
Wise Man 2We observed a star in the eastern sky that signalled His birth.
Wise Man 3We're on pilgrimage to worship Him.
Wise MenWhere is the Messiah supposed to be born ?
ALLBethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly : It's you, Bethlehem, in Judah's land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.
ReaderThen the star appeared again - the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child.
Wise Men move forward to front pew.
Wise Man 1 excitedlyWe're here !
Wise Man 2 excitedly We're in the right place !
Wise Man 3 excitedlyWe've arrived at the right time !
ReaderThey entered the house -

( Wise Men go in and kneel in front of manger. Mary picks up baby. )

- and saw the child in the arms of Mary his mother. Overcome, they knelt and worshipped Him. They opened their luggage and presented gifts.

( Mary hands baby to Joseph. )


( Wise Man 1 gives gold to Mary. )


( Wise Man 2 gives frankincense to Mary. )


( Wise Man 3 gives myrrh to Mary. )

Helper 10 comes to front and shows "JOY OF USING OUR GIFTS AND TALENTS IN GOD'S SERVICE" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, God, that the Wise Men experienced the joy of giving their gifts and talents to You.

Help us, too, to find how we can use our gifts and talents in Your service.

Let us remain seated as we prayerfully sing :

ALL ( twice )What can I give Him,
Poor as I am ?
If I were a shepherd
I would give a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him ? -
I will give my heart.
Helper 10 places card on wall, organ side and returns to seat.
NarratorThe fourth arm represents the joy of reading God's Holy Bible.
Helper 11 brings fourth arm from organ side, shows it to the congregation, places it in the orange, and returns to seat.
Helper 12 comes to front and shows "JOY OF READING AND UNDERSTANDING GOD'S HOLY BIBLE" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Lord God, may we all experience the joy of reading and understanding Your word as we read the Bible.

Thank You, God, for the Bible.

We thank You for all it means to us. May we read it regularly.

Fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that He may teach us how to understand and put into practice all that the Bible teaches us.

We thank You that the Bible has been translated into so many languages and ask that You will help provide even more translations, so that people of other languages may read Your Word in their own language too. Amen.

ALLThank You, God, for the Bible; help us to read it regularly and follow its teachings. Amen.
Helper 12 places card on wall, hospital side and returns to seat.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"From heaven you came, helpless babe".

During this hymn the actors all stand up and proceed to back :
first Mary and Joseph and the baby.
second the Wise Men.
third the shepherds and
fourth the angels.

They then prepare to be Candle Bearers.

Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
NarratorPlease sit.

The red ribbon represents the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God's Son who willingly gave His life for all people everywhere.

Helper 13 shows red ribbon to the congregation then puts it round the Christingle and returns to seat.
Helper 14 comes to front and shows "JOY OF KNOWING JESUS AND RECEIVING HIS FORGIVENESS" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Thank You, God, for the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and Saviour and receiving His forgiveness.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your willing sacrifice on the Cross.

Thank You that Jesus has paid the price for our redemption.

Help us all to reach a deeper understanding of all this means, and to turn to Jesus in repentance and receive forgiveness for all our sins.

ALLHelp us all to know You more deeply this Christmas time and in the coming year. Amen.
Helper 14 places card on wall, hospital side and returns to seat.
Narrator- which brings us to the final part of the Christingle - the candle, which represents Jesus as the Light of the world.
Helper 15 brings candle from organ side, shows it to the congregation, and lights it from the Christ candle ( the centre candle ) on the Advent Wreath.
Helper 15I light this candle from the centre candle of the Advent wreath, which is the candle that represents Jesus as the Light of the world.

( Helper 15 walks over to Christingle and places the candle in the orange. )

This Christingle candle is to remind us that we are invited to carry the light and joy of Jesus into our lives, our homes and our community.

Jesus comes up centre aisle with a candle and he lights it from the Advent wreath Christ candle, then stands in front of altar near altar rail.
ReaderJesus said in John Chapter 8 verse 12 :
JesusI am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.
NarratorPlease stand to sing the hymn

"Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light".

During this hymn the Candle Bearers come up the centre aisle carrying unlit candles. As they pass Jesus they light their candles and stand in the altar area facing congregation.
1.    Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
  Like a little candle burning in the night:
  In this world of darkness, so we must shine;
  You in your small corner, and I in mine.

2.    Jesus bids us shine first of all for Him;
  Well He sees and knows it if our light grows dim:
  He looks down from heav'n to see us shine;
  You in your small corner, and I in mine.

3.    Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around;
  Many kinds of darkness in the world are found -
  Sin, and want, and sorrow; so we must shine;
  You in your small corner, and I in mine.

NarratorPlease sit.

- and in Luke Chapter 11 verses 33-36 Jesus says :

JesusNo one lights a lamp
( Candle Bearers hide their candles by turning their back on the congregation )
and then hides it or puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lamp stand
( Candle Bearers turn to face congregation )
so that people may see the light as they come in.
( Candle Bearers hold light up )
Your eyes are like a lamp for the body. When your eyes are sound, your whole body is full of light; but when your eyes are no good, your whole body will be in darkness
( Candle Bearers lower the candles and turn their backs on the congregation )
Make certain then, that the light in you is not darkness. If your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness,
( Candle Bearers turn to face congregation and raise the candles again  )
it will be bright all over, as a lamp shines on you with its brightness.
Helper 16 comes to front and shows "JOY OF SHARING THE LIGHT OF JESUS WITH OTHERS" card to the congregation.
Pray-erLet us pray.

Lord God, we thank You that You desire us to share the love and light of Jesus with others.

ALLPlease keep our Jesus candle burning bright within us so that we may be living witnesses to Jesus throughout our lives. Amen.
Helper 16 places card on wall, hospital side and returns to seat.
NarratorPlease stand to sing

"Joy to the World".

Candle bearers go to back down centre aisle and blow out their candles.
1.   Joy to the world; the Lord is come!
  Let earth receive her King
  Let every heart prepare Him room,
  And Heav'n and nature sing,
  And Heav'n and nature sing,
  And heav'n, And heav'n and nature sing.

2.   Joy to the world; the Saviour reigns!
  Let men their songs employ;
  While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
  Repeat the sounding joy.
  Repeat the sounding joy.
  Repeat, Repeat the sounding joy.

3.   He rules the world with truth and grace;
  And makes the nations prove
  The glories of His righteousness
  And wonders of His love.
  And wonders of His love.
  And wonders, And wonders of His love.

NarratorPlease sit.
LeaderExplain Christingle and how to make it.
Distribute the Christingle kits;
Make the Christingles;
Light the Christingles;
Helper turns off the main church lights;
Leader blesses the Christingles;
Helper turns on main lights.
LeaderPlease blow out the candles !

( when that's done - ) Please sit or kneel to sing the Lord's Prayer.

Prayerfully we sing :

Our 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.

LeaderPlease stand for the Carol

"Silent Night".

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.

LeaderPlease remain standing for the blessing.


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

Those taking part :

Angel Gabriel; Angels; Candle bearers; Helpers (16); Innkeeper; Jesus; Joseph; Leader; Mary; Narrator; Pray-er; Preacher; Reader; Shepherds; Story teller; Wise Men (3).