Family Carol Service
St. Augustine's

2003 December 14

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 Carol Service

LeaderWelcome !

We welcome you here in the name of Jesus : may the story of His birth bring new meaning into each of our lives.

We also welcome some of the people from "Joy Ministries" who worship here on the first Sunday of each month.

There will be no collection taken during this service. There is a donation box at the back of the church if you should desire to leave an offering.

Some "housekeeping" information :

  • The toilets are between this church and the Hall at the back.
  • If anyone is new and would like to be included on the Church lists, please fill in the card at the end of the seats and hand it in to me after the service.
  • Music for the Carols we shall sing in this service is available; please put your hand up if you would like a copy of it.

Thank you.

Please stand for the Carol.

1.   O come, all ye faithful,
  Joyful and triumphant,
  O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
  Come and behold Him,
  Born the King of Angels :

Chorus :

  O come, let us adore Him,
  O come, let us adore Him,
  O come, let us adore Him,
  Christ the Lord.

2.   God of God,
  Light of light -
  Lo ! He abhors not the virgin's womb.
  Very God,
  Begotten not created :


3.   Sing, choirs of Angels,
  Sing in exultation !
  Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above !
  Glory to God
  In the highest


LeaderPlease sit.

 the Christmas story

The Christmas Tree : a symbol of HOPE

Narrator Today as we tell the Christmas story we shall be including symbols which may be used as Christmas Tree decorations.
Caller ( Pointing to tree symbol. ) Did you know that our Christmas Tree is a symbol of HOPE ? Wow !
Switch on Christmas tree symbol.
Narrator The German custom of decorating Christmas trees was introduced to England by Prince Albert - Queen Victoria's husband - in the 19th Century.

The fir tree is a symbol of HOPE in the European winters, where many of the trees in the woods are leafless and dead-looking. The fir trees, however, show up very clearly in the woods with their green branches, as do the holly bushes with their green leaves and red berries. Both these trees affirm the HOPE that spring will come and the trees will be leafy again.

In the Old Testament section of the Bible there are many references to the promised Messiah, the hoped-for One who would come to save Israel and establish God's rule on earth. The Jewish people were mostly expecting a conquering hero who would come and establish His reign on earth.

But, instead, Jesus came to establish God's kingdom on earth, not as an earthly ruler but as a heavenly ruler. This Ruler's subjects would live on earth but their allegiance would be to their heavenly King, Jesus; they would live their lives in and for Jesus here on earth, and, after death, continue to live with Him in heaven.

Isaiah Chapter 9 verses 6 - 7 tells us a little about Jesus, the promised Messiah :

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Today we tell you the story of this Child's birth.

Please remain sitting for the Carols that are part of the Christmas story - but DO join in singing them ! !

All sing :
In the bleak mid-winter
frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.
( During this carol Mary comes down the centre aisle and sits on a chair in front of the altar. )
NarratorLuke Chapter 1 verses 26 - 38 :

God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph. Her name was Mary.

( Angel Gabriel comes and stands before Mary. )
  Peace be with you ! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you !
( Mary looks troubled and puzzled. )
 Don't be afraid, Mary : God has decided to bless you wonderfully !
You will become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of God.
The Lord God will make Him a king, as His ancestor David was, and He will be the king of the descendants of Jacob for ever; His kingdom will never end !
Mary How can this be, for I am still a virgin ?
Angel The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and God's power will rest upon you.
For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God.
For there is nothing that God cannot do.
Mary I am the Lord's servant : may all that you have said come true.
( Angel leaves, and hides behind altar. )
Narrator Shortly after this, Mary went to see her cousin Elizabeth and told her about the Angel's visit. Mary was so excited about what God was doing that she sang this song :
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,
For He that is mighty hath done great things,
and Holy is His name.

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
my soul doth magnify the Lord,
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,
For He that is mighty hath done great things,
and Holy is His name.

NarratorLord, help us to live a life of HOPE that comes from believing in Jesus.
AllHelp us, Lord, to believe in You.

The angel : a symbol of PEACE.

( Mary comes to back down hospital side aisle. )


Caller ( Pointing to angel symbol. ) Did you know that the angel is there to bring peace ? Wow !
Switch on Angel symbol. )
Narrator The angel decoration on our Christmas trees reminds us that the angels appeared to the shepherds to proclaim the Good News of Jesus birth and to acknowledge Him as Prince of PEACE.
All sing :
1.   O little town of Bethlehem,
  How still we see thee lie
  Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
  The silent stars go by :
  Yet in thy dark street shineth
  The everlasting light;
  The hopes and fears of all the years
  Are met in thee tonight.

2.   For Christ is born of Mary;
  And, gathered all above,
  While mortals sleep, the angels keep
  Their watch of wondering love.
  O morning stars, together
  Proclaim the holy birth,
  And praises sing to God the King,
  And peace to men on earth.

Narrator Luke Chapter 2 verses 1 - 7 :

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
And everyone went to his own town to register.

Mary and Joseph go up centre aisle, the inn-keeper prepares to answer "the door" and show them the stables.
Narrator Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration.
And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judaea, which was King David's ancient home.
Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant, also went with him.

Joseph could not find anywhere for them to stay, as all the inns were full. Eventually an innkeeper offered them his stable.

( Inn-keeper meets Mary and Joseph in front of the altar on the overhead projector side and leads them to the stable, where they sit down behind the manger which is on the Hospital side next to the altar. )
 That night the Baby was born and Mary wrapped Him in strips of cloth and laid Him in the manger.
( Mother passes the Baby to Mary, who shows "Him" to the congregation and lays Him in the manger. )
All sing :
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.
( Shepherds come to front, angels ready at side aisle and Angel Gabriel behind altar, ready to appear. )
Narrator Luke Chapter 2 verses 8 - 14 :

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village guarding their flocks of sheep.

Suddenly an angel appeared among them -

( Angel Gabriel appears from behind altar.

At "bright with the glory" : switch on Christmas tree spotlight and main spotlights. )

Narrator  - and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord.

The shepherds were badly frightened. ( Shepherds look frightened. )

Angel Gabriel Don't be afraid ! I bring you the most joyful news ever announced - and it is for everyone ! The Saviour - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem !

How will you recognise Him ?

You will find a baby wrapped in cloth, lying in a manger.

Narrator Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of heaven - praising God.
( Angels surround the shepherds. )
AngelsGlory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth for all who please Him !
All sing :
1.   Angels, from the realms of glory,
  Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
  You who sang creation's story,
  Now proclaim Messiah's birth :

Chorus :

  Come and worship Christ the new-born King
  Come and worship, worship Christ the new-born King.

2.   Shepherds, in the field abiding,
  Watching o'er your flocks by night,
  God with man is now residing,
  Yonder shines the infant Light :


( At end of carol Angels "fly" down centre aisle to the back. )
Narrator Lord, we ask You to fill us with Your PEACE.
AllFill us with your PEACE, Lord God.


The Lamb : a symbol of LOVE

Caller ( Pointing to lamb symbol. ) Did you know that Jesus "The Lamb" died to show us His love ? Wow !
Switch on Lamb symbol.
Narrator The Lamb is a symbol to remind us that the shepherds were the first to hear the message about Jesus and also because one of the names for Jesus is "Lamb of God".

The Jewish ritual included much animal sacrifice.

Christians believe that these animal sacrifices are no longer needed because Jesus's death on the Cross is the supreme sacrifice and He has opened the way for a new and more intimate relationship with God, a relationship that is based on hope, peace and LOVE.

All sing :
1.   While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
  All seated on the ground,
  The angel of the Lord came down
  And glory shone around.

2.   "All glory be to God on high,
  And to the earth be peace;
  Good will henceforth from heaven to men
  Begin and never cease."

Narrator Luke Chapter 2 verses 15 - 20 :

When the great army of angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other -

Shepherd 1( rubbing his eyes ) Did you see those angels ?
Shepherd 2 Yes, wasn't it amazing ! ( Other shepherds nod their heads. ) What should we do ?
Shepherd 3( standing up ) I'm going to Bethlehem to search for this baby. Anyone else coming ?
All shepherdsYou bet I'm coming !
( Other shepherds stand up too, and all shepherds go to the stable; One takes a lamb to give to Jesus. )
Narrator They ran to Bethlehem and found their way to the stable and told Mary and Joseph all about the angels' visit,
( Shepherds pretend to talk to Mary and Joseph, give them the lamb. )
 then they knelt to worship Him,
( Shepherds kneel at the manger. )
 and ran out into Bethlehem telling everyone of their exciting night.
( Shepherds go down centre aisle miming to everyone what has happened. )
NarratorLord, help us to remember Your LOVING SACRIFICE that is symbolised by the LAMB, and teach us to LOVE You more.
AllTeach us, Lord, to LOVE You more.


The star : a symbol of WISDOM.

Caller ( Points to star symbol. )
Did you know that the star is there to guide the wise ? Wow !
Switch on Star symbol.
Narrator The star which we see on the Christmas tree reminds us of the star of Bethlehem that guided the wise men to find Jesus, so that they could worship Him and offer Him their gifts. God still desires to GUIDE His people and show them how to use their gifts for Him.
All sing :
1.   We three Kings of Orient are;
  Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
  Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
  Following yonder star :

  O - star of wonder, star of night,
  Star with royal beauty bright,
  Westward leading, still proceeding,
  Guide us to thy perfect light.

Joseph moves manger behind altar, Mary holds the Baby.
Three wise men come down the centre aisle carrying their gifts in bags.
Herod comes from the organ side and sits on chair in front of altar.
Narrator Matthew Chapter 2 verses 1 - 12 :

At about that time some astrologers arrived in Jerusalem and enquired at Herod's Palace :

Wise man 1 ( to Herod ) Where is the new-born King of the Jews ?
Wise man 2 ( to Herod ) We have seen His star in far-off eastern lands.
Wise man 3 ( to Herod ) We have come to worship Him.
Narrator Herod called a meeting with the Jewish leader asking :
Jewish Leader comes from organ side to stand near Herod.
HerodDid the prophets tell us where the Messiah would be born ?
Jewish Leader Yes, in Bethlehem, for this is what the prophet Micah wrote -

"O little town of Bethlehem, you are not just an unimportant Judaean village, for a governor shall rise from you to rule My people Israel."

Narrator After this interview the Wise Men started out again. And look ! The star appeared to them again, standing over Bethlehem. Their joy knew no bounds !
Wise men move from Herod towards organ, then in front of rail and across to the manger, Herod returns to organ, Jewish Leader returns to organ side.
  Entering the house where the Baby and Mary His mother were, they threw themselves down before Him, worshipping.
Wise men kneel at the manger.
  Then they opened their presents and gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Wise men unpack their gifts, display them to the congregation and then give them to Mary.
  Then warned by a dream, they returned to their country another way.
Wise men return to back down Hospital side aisle.

2.   Glorious now, behold Him arise,
  King, and God, and sacrifice !
  Heaven sings "Alleluya";
  "Alleluya", the earth replies.

  O - star of wonder, star of night,
  Star with royal beauty bright,
  Westward leading, still proceeding,
  Guide us to thy perfect light.

Narrator Lord, we thank You for all the GUIDANCE You give to us, help us to follow that GUIDANCE and to use our gifts in Your service.
AllHelp us, Lord, to be GUIDED by You.

Mary and Baby return to back, Soloist prepares to lead next carol, organist plays chorus of "The stars danced".

Narrator Please stand as ( soloist's name ) leads us in this Carol :
"The stars danced, the angels sang" omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
Narrator Please sit.

after Christmas

The candystick : a symbol of JESUS


Caller ( Pointing to candy stick ) Did you know that the candystick helps to illustrate the life of Jesus ? Wow !
Switch on Candy stick symbol.
Narrator The candystick which we see on Christmas trees reminds us of J for Jesus and of the shepherd's crook.

Listen to a story about the candystick.

A Candymaker's Witness.

A Candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candystick. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolise the Virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolise the solid rock, the foundation of the Church and the firmness of the promises of God.

The Candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Saviour. It could also represent the staff of the Good Shepherd with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as the candystick - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear".

I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the wonder of Jesus and His great love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

Narrator Thank you, Lord, for the gift of JESUS. Help us to KNOW Him better.
AllHelp us, Lord, to KNOW JESUS better.
Narrator Please stand for the Carol "Te Harinui" :
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
Narrator Please sit.

Christmas tree lights : Jesus, Light of the world


Caller ( Pointing to large Christmas tree ) Did you know the lights on the tree are there to shine for Jesus ? Wow !
Switch on Christmas Tree lights.
Narrator Jesus came to be "The Light of the World", so we decorate our trees with lights to remind us that Jesus is "The Light of the World" and that He invites us to be lights for Him in our community.
StorytellerStory : The candle.
Narrator Help us, Lord, to be YOUR LIGHT wherever we go.
AllMay we be YOUR LIGHTS in this world.
Narrator Please sit or kneel for the prayers, which we shall conclude by singing the last verse of "In the bleak mid-winter".

Thank you, Lord God, for the wonderful HOPE that we have in You. Help to increase our faith so that we may KNOW You more intimately. Fill us, Lord God, with Your PEACE and Your Love so that we may reach out in LOVE to our families, our friends and to the wider community in which we live.
May we be people who shine for Jesus wherever we go.

Together we prayerfully sing :

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 ?
Give my heart.
Narrator Please stand for the Carol :

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.


Grace for the barbecue.

Those taking part

Angel Gabriel
Jewish Leader
Shepherds ( at least three )
Wise man 1
Wise man 2
Wise man 3

( Several of the groups - for example, angels, shepherds, etc. - can be adjusted in size according to the number of people available. Use your discretion ! )