Easter Family Service
St. Augustine's

2006 April 16

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.



Reader We welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May we learn more about the importance of the Easter story in our lives today.
Narrator 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 you would like the music for our hymns today, please put up your hand and we will bring it to you.

Toilets are between the church and the hall.

Thank you.

Reader Our sentence for today is taken from the first Letter of Peter Chapter 3 verse 18 :

"Jesus Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty."

Narrator Please stand for the hymn

"Come into His presence singing Alleluia".

1.   Come into His presence singing,
  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia !

2.   Come into His presence singing,
  Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord !

3.   Come into His presence singing,
  Worthy the Lamb, worthy the Lamb, worthy the Lamb !

4.   Come into His presence singing,
  Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God !

Narrator Please sit

During this service we will be showing part of the "Jesus" video which was filmed in Israel some years ago. The words used on this video are from Luke's gospel Chapters 22 to 24 and can be found on Page 1161 of the Church Bibles.


The Arrest of Jesus.

No gardens were allowed inside the walls of Jerusalem, so some of the wealthy people had gardens on the slopes of the Mount of Olives just outside the city walls.

Jesus must have had permission to use one of these gardens, and after the "Last Supper" He left the city and went, as He usually did, to a garden on the Mount of Olives. His friends, the disciples, went with Him.

Jesus said to His disciples, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."

Narrator Please remain seated whilst we watch the first video clip :

"In the Garden of Gethsemane".

Video clip 1 : "In the garden of Gethsemane".
Reader The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of Him, and beat Him.

They blindfolded Him and asked Him, "Who hit you ? Guess !"
And they said many other insulting things to Him.

Meanwhile, in the city, life goes on. The people who followed Jesus are worried and afraid, and they hear rumours of what's happening.

Spice trader comes down centre aisle and Jacob comes down organ side aisle; they meet in the middle in front of the steps.
Spice trader Hello, Jacob - I've been looking all over Jerusalem for you.
Jacob Oh, hello ! I've been wondering if your spice caravan had arrived yet.

Have you had a good year ?

Spice trader It's not been too bad, but what on earth is going on here ? There's so much tension in Jerusalem this year.
Jacob Oh, it's terrible.

They arrested Jesus last night.

Spice trader Jesus ! You mean the special man who was teaching and healing here last year ?
Jacob Yes, that man. He was so good - but the religious authorities have arrested Him. They took Him last night and have been arguing all night what to do next.

They brought Him before the Jewish council this morning, and the council accused Him of trying to start a revolution - which is just unbelievable.

Spice Trader But He was such a good man ! I'm sure He was innocent.
Jacob Yes, He was a good man, and I just know He was innocent.
Narrator He was a good man, I'm sure He was innocent.
ALL He was innocent, indeed !
Jacob goes to organ side and spice trader goes to Hospital side.
Narrator Please stand to sing the first two verses of

"My song is love unknown".

1.   My song is love unknown
  My Saviour's love to me,
  Love to the loveless shown,
  That they might lovely be.
  O who am I,
  That for my sake
  My Lord should take
  Frail flesh, and die ?

2.   He came from His blest throne,
  Salvation to bestow;
  But men made strange, and none
  The longed-for Christ would know.
  But O, my Friend,
  My Friend indeed,
  Who at my need
  His life did spend !

Narrator Please sit for the next video clip.

The Trials of Jesus.

Video clip 2 : "The Trials of Jesus".
Jacob and Spice Trader meet in the middle again.
Spice Trader The world has gone mad.

Why would they do that to an innocent man ?
Why would they beat Him, mock Him and send Him to His death ?
Why would they ?

Jacob I just don't understand it.

We all rushed to see Him.
He healed so many of us.
He told us so much about God and how to live in God's way.
I just don't understand it.

Spice trader Well, all the accusing came from the officials.

We, the ordinary people, thought Jesus was great.
I tell you, wherever I've been this year everyone has been talking about Jesus.
And now they're going to kill Him.

Jacob Even the Roman Governor, Pilate, said Jesus had done nothing to deserve death, so he can't have believed there was any risk of revolution - but still he just gave in to the officials' rent-a-crowd, and gave permission for His crucifixion.

The world has surely gone mad.

Spice trader And Herod just laughed at Him and beat Him and sent Him back to Pilate.
Jacob Well, Herod would do anything to keep on the right side of the Romans.

But why are they all against Jesus like this ? Surely He's suffered enough already.
Oh ! I can't bear it. How can they kill Him ?

Spice Trader How can they kill an innocent man ?
Narrator How can they kill an innocent man ?

I'm sure He was innocent.

ALL He was innocent indeed.
Jacob goes to organ side and spice trader goes to Hospital side.
Narrator Please stand to sing verses 3 and 4 of "My song is love unknown".
3.   Sometimes they strew His way
  And His sweet praises sing;
  Resounding all the day
  Hosannas to their king.
  Then 'Crucify !'
  Is all their breath,
  And for His death
  They thirst and cry.

4.   Why, what hath my Lord done ?
  What makes this rage and spite ?
  He made the lame to run,
  He gave the blind their sight.
  Sweet injuries !
  Yet they at these
  Themselves displease,
  And 'gainst Him rise.

Narrator Please sit for the reading.
Reader This reading is taken from Luke Chapter 23 verses 26-38 and can be found on Page 1165 of the Church Bibles.

Jesus is crucified.

The soldiers led Jesus away, and as they were going, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon who was coming into the city from the country. They seized him, put the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.

During this reading, the soldiers, Jesus, 1st criminal, and 2nd criminal come down centre aisle and stand at Hospital side next to the three crosses.
Reader A large crowd of people followed Him; among them were some women who were weeping and wailing for Him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Women of Jerusalem ! Don't cry for Me, but for yourselves and your children. For the days are coming when people will say, 'How lucky are the women who never had children, who never gave birth to babies, or held them to their breasts !' That will be the time when people will say to the mountains 'Fall on us !' and to the hills, 'Hide us !'. For if such things as these are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry ?"

Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place called "The Skull," they crucified Jesus there,

( Soldiers remove Jesus's outer garments and drop them on the floor. Jesus stands in front of centre cross with hands outstretched; two soldiers mime banging in nails at Jesus's hands and feet. )
 and the two criminals, one on His right
( 1st criminal stands on the right of Jesus with his hands outstretched; two soldiers mime banging in nails at his hands and feet. )
 and the other on His left.
( 2nd criminal stands on the left of Jesus with his hands outstretched; two soldiers mime banging in nails at his hands and feet. )
Reader Jesus said,
Jesus Forgive them, Father ! They don't know what they are doing.
Reader They divided His clothes among themselves by throwing dice.
( Head soldier picks up dice from Hospital side and all the Soldiers sit down in front of Jesus and divide the cast-off clothes amongst themselves; then they play with the dice. )
 The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders jeered at Him : "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Messiah Whom God has chosen !"

The soldiers also made fun of Him; they came up to Him and offered Him cheap wine, and said, "Save Yourself if You are the King of the Jews !"

Above Him were written these words : "This is the King of the Jews."

( Jesus, 1st criminal and 2nd criminal put their hands down. )
 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at Him.
1st criminal ( To Jesus ) Aren't You the Messiah ?

Save Yourself and us !

2nd criminal( To 1st criminal ) Don't you fear God ?

You received the same sentence He did.
- and that's fair enough for us, because we're getting what we deserve for what we did; but He has done no wrong.

( To Jesus ) Remember me, Jesus, when You come as King !

Jesus( To 2nd criminal ) I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with Me.
Reader It was about twelve o'clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country.
( Church lights out, thunder noises;
soldiers stop playing with the dice and sit still. )
Reader And the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two.

( after a short pause )

About 3 o'clock the darkness passed ( put church lights on ) and Jesus cried out -

Jesus Father ! in Your hands I place My spirit !
Reader And Jesus died.
( On the word "died", Jesus bows his head; the head soldier looks at Jesus and mimes praising God. )
Reader The army officer saw what had happened, and he praised God.
Head soldier Certainly He was innocent.
Narrator Now they've killed an innocent man ?

I'm sure He was innocent.

ALL He was innocent indeed.
Narrator Please stand to sing the fifth verse of "My song is love unknown".
5.   They rise, and needs will have
  My dear Lord made away;
  A murderer they save,
  The Prince of Life they slay
  Yet cheerful He
  To suffering goes,
  That He His foes
  From thence might free.
Narrator Please sit for the video clip

The Burial of Jesus

Video clip 3 : "The Burial of Jesus".
Narrator Please stand to sing the sixth and seventh verses of "My Song is Love unknown".
During this hymn the soldiers, Jesus, 1st criminal, 2nd criminal and Reader return to back down Hospital aisle.
6.   In life, no house, no home
  My Lord on earth might have;
  In death, no friendly tomb
  But what a stranger gave.
  What may I say ?
  Heaven was His home;
  But mine the tomb
  Wherein He lay.

7.   Here might I stay and sing
  No story so divine;
  Never was love, dear King,
  Never was grief like Thine !
  This is my Friend,
  In whose sweet praise
  I all my days
  Could gladly spend.

Narrator Please sit.
Preacher Message
Narrator Please remain sitting for the next video clip :

Jesus is alive !

Video clip 4 : "Jesus is alive".
Jacob ( excited ) Have you heard, the disciples have all seen Jesus !
Spice Trader ( excited ) Yes, I've heard and I believe.

We're leaving Jerusalem now and I'll be telling everyone I meet about all I've seen and heard.

Jacob Do you think they'll believe you ?
Spice Trader I don't know - but I do know I must tell them the Good News about Jesus.

This will certainly be a different year for me.

Jacob And for me. I intend to find out all I can about Jesus, the Risen Lord.
Spice Trader See you next year. Bye !

( Goes to back down organ side )

Jacob ( Calls after the spice trader ) Safe travelling ! Bye !

( Jacob goes to back down centre aisle. )

Narrator Jesus is risen !
ALL He is risen indeed !
Narrator Please stand to sing the hymn

"Low in the grave He lay."

1.   Low in the grave He lay,
  Jesus my Saviour,
  Waiting the coming day,
  Jesus, my Lord :

Chorus :

  Up from the grave He arose,
  With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
  He arose a victor from the dark domain,
  And He lives for ever with His saints to reign :
  He arose ! He arose !
  Alleluia ! Christ arose !

2.   Vainly they watch His bed,
  Jesus my Saviour;
  Vainly they seal the dead,
  Jesus, my Lord :


3.   Death cannot keep his prey,
  Jesus my Saviour;
  He tore the bars away,
  Jesus my Lord :


Narrator Please sit or kneel for the prayers ending with the singing of the Lord's Prayer.
Prayer 1 Thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice on the Cross for each one of us.

Help us to understand the Easter message in all its fulness. Amen.

Prayer 2 Thank You for our homes and families, thank You for our schools and work places, may we all learn how to love You more and how to get on well with one another. Amen.
Prayer 3 We pray for Your peace and love to surround each one of us.

We pray for Your peacemakers to be effective in this struggling world.
We pray for all who are sick or in trouble claiming Your strength and healing for each one. Amen.

ALL 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.
Narrator Please stand for our final hymn "He lives ! He lives !".
Omitted for copyright reasons; further details.
Narrator Please remain standing for the blessing.