for the
Christingle Service
St. Augustine's

2005 December 24

These are notes and comments on some of the items which appear in the Christingle Service script. Links from the script point to these entries; clicking the links in the left hand column of the table takes you back to the corresponding link in the script - or, where more than one link from the script points to the note, back to the first such link. There are also some general notes on our Christingle services.

The comments are typically related to features of the service which are specific to our church or the time of the service, or which for some other reason we think might require alteration for another setting.

For references to the internal geography of the church, it might be helpful to inspect the plan.


  • The board, on which several pictures will be displayed. The board is supported on the easel, set up on the hospital side of the altar. In the centre of the board are the words "The Glory of God"; the pictures are arranged around the words.
  • A small table at the front by the gap in the altar rail ( = near the middle, but out of the way ) to hold the demonstration Christingle.
  • Christmas Tree, at the front on the hospital side at the end of the altar rail.
  • The manger, in front of the altar.


  • The demonstration Christingle. The stand is on the small table at the front; the other parts are at the back ready for collection when required.
  • Enough Christingle kits to hand out to those present.
  • A collection of pictures which will be collected and taken up to the front for display. These were about A4 size.
  • Costumes for Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, kings.
  • Baby : a doll, representing the baby Jesus, hidden under the straw in the manger.
  • On the altar : Models of the Holy Family - Mary, Joseph and the toddler Jesus.
  • Narrator at lectern;
  • Organist at organ;
  • Computer person at computer.

Angels Several is good; one ( the Angel of the Lord ) has a speaking part.

Arms The arms of our big Christingle, like the arms of the small ones which the people will make later, are things on sticks; in the big one, though, the things aren't sweets but various items representing the season represented by the arm.

Balloons We had a large number of balloons left over from a previous service. Some were arranged around the church as decorations, and many others were collected on the balcony. At the end of the service, helpers threw them over the balcony to the multitudes beneath to add to the festive atmosphere, but they played no direct part in the service.

Cross and star The star was constructed by folding semi-transparent "gold" gauze round a wooden cross, and drawing together the edges between the arms of the cross to form a four-pointed star. It is important that the cross be visible through the gauze. The star was attached to the large cross fixed to the wall above and behind our altar. The bottom of the star was connected by a "waterfall" of similar gauze to figures representing Joseph, Mary, and the young ( not baby ) Jesus standing on the altar.

Decorations. When possible, we incorporate the church decorations into our Christmas services. As essentially the same decorations serve for all the Christmas services ( we don't have time to change them ), some compromise is commonly necessary. This year, the decorations were largely designed round the Christingle service, so they are perhaps more prominent than usual. The main decorations are the cross and the tree; see the separate entries for details.

Demonstration Chrstingle. Our usual demonstration Christingle.

Geography. We have very little space at the front of the church to show a story which develops in many different places. Typically different parts of the area around the altar represent geographically separated spaces. To preserve this notional separation, all movements between different spaces come out from that altar area into the body of the church, then go back in again.

For example, when the shepherds leave their sheep in the fields ( to the hospital side of the altar ) to visit Jesus in the stable ( in front of the altar ), they come past the altar rail by the Christmas tree, and go back through the central gap in the rail to the stable.

LONG WHITE CLOUD Anglicised version of the Maori name for New Zealand ( "Aotearoa"nbsp;).

New New Zealand Prayer Book "A New Zealand Prayer Book : He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa" ( Collins, 1989 ) - "new" because we'd only recently started using them in our services.

Pakeha Maori for "white"-skinned.

Pictures The pictures displayed on the board should be reasonably visible to the congregation, though the fine detail isn't very important. The subjects we chose were : mountains, rainbow, thunderstorm, tiny flower, baby, starry heavens, inside a quiet church, birds, tall trees, child, sunset, friend.

Shepherds Several is good. Speaking parts are allocated for six, but that was simply to give all our shepherds something to say; share them out among all your shepherds.

Sing - to the tune of "While shepherds watched their flocks ...". ( This Gloria is one of the verses. )

Song of Creation - from the Song of the Three Young Men, or Song of the Three Holy Children, or a bit out of Daniel 3, or not there at all, depending on which version of the Bible you use ( it's in the Apocrypha ), with some amendments ( which would certainly have puzzled Daniel ) deemed to be more representative of New Zealand. This translation ( reinterpretation ? ) is from the New Zealand Prayer Book.

Stand That's the stand for the demonstration Christingle.

Tree A conventional Christmas tree, at the hospital side of the church near the altar rail. It always has a star at the top; other decorations vary with the themes of the Christmas services. This year the main decoration was several broad "gold" ribbons radiating in various directions from the base of the star and flowing down the tree to the bottom of the foliage. The tree was also decorated with the words "GOD IS WITH US" in large red letters.