for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

2000 December 10

These are notes and comments on some of the items which appear in the Family 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.

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.

Numbers : Adapt the numbers to suit the people available. For example, we had eleven children taking part, so had two shepherds and two wise men; one of each would be sufficient.
On the walls : Nine A2-sized cards with the letters of "CHRISTMAS" on the walls distributed round the church.
Stage setting : In front of the altar there are nine chairs arranged in a semi-circle; they will be used to support and display the letters of "CHRISTMAS" as the actors bring them up. The actors stay standing behind these chairs after bringing the letters, so leave sufficient space for them.

In the centre of this semi-circle is the manger.

There are three chairs near the tree for Giver, Friend and Friend 2 to sit on.

Properties : The gift box containing nine cards at the back of the church.

CARDS. There are three sets of cards :
  • Nine A2-sized cards, each with one of the letters of "CHRISTMAS", hang on the walls. The cards are nicely decorated - not just the bare letters. Each letter is covered by a piece of cloth with a ribbon and bow on it to make it look like a present. The cloth is loosely attached to the cardboard at the top ( e.g. Velcro ) so that it will come off with a sharp pull to expose the letter behind. The cards are carried to the front of the church during the service. Towards the end of the service ( during the last chorus of "The best present of all is Jesus" ) nine children stationed in front of these hangings pulled the cloths off.

  • Nine A2-sized cards, each with one of the letters of "CHRISTMAS", highly decorated, mounted on dowelling sticks which can be propped between a chair seat and back to hold the letter upright. Theses are carried to the front as the poem is read and stuck into the chairs.

  • - and the gift cards, described below.
GIFT. A gift box containing nine cards ( the gift cards ) for the Giver to carry to give to the Friend.

The gift cards are labelled as shown in the summary below.

PLAY. Some details of the play might be lost. This early summary is slightly different from the version presented in the service. It also describes the cards :


To be written

Idea to be expanded

3 people, one gives another a gift. The receiver puts it to one side not opened, 3rd person remonstrates "Aren't you going to open your present". Replies "No, it is the giving that counts". I think you should open it "why?"..............

God has given us a gift - how have we responded.......?

Gift is opened with the help of children ( I hope )

It is

C   Creator God

H   gave HIS HOLY son

R   Who Rose from death

I   that Individual

S   Sinners who

T   Turn to Christ and

M   Make their confession to Him and

A   Ask Him to be their friend

S   will be Saved

Using normal common language!!!!!

POEM Each line of the poem introduces a letter. As the Narrator reads the lines of poem, the actor for each line carries a large card showing the letter, and, after the line is recited, takes a position at the front so that the whole set of cards spells CHRISTMAS.

The card-carriers must keep going steadily, so that the poem is spoken quickly enough to be recognisable as a poem, not just a set of separate statements.