for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

2001 December

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.

FURNITURE : A chair for the Narrator behind the Christmas tree.
Manger and table for gifts in front of the altar.
Table at the back for gift symbols and labels for fruit to be picked up.
PROPERTIES : Altar candles alight;
NAMES OF "FRUITS" on the table at the back;
GIFT SYMBOLS on the table at the back.
PEOPLE : The Narrator sits in the chair before the service begins.

ABILITIES. The first few "lives and abilities" are of scriptural characters in the story; the others are chosen to reflect the abilities of those taking part in the service. As wide as range as possible is desirable, to emphasise that we can all offer our own gifts, whatever they might be.

In the narration, we used the names of the people concerned rather than the job titles.

CAST LIST. See the previous note; the list of occupations ( ... Potter, Farmer, Gardener ... ) given here matches the accomplishments of the performers in our presentation. There are also some general notes on casting.
GIFTS. Generally a synonym for "abilities", but emphasising the call to give these to God by using them in His service. In the service, each of the gifts was represented by some object related to the ability concerned.
CHRISTMAS TREE. This was a real medium-sized Christmas tree placed at the congregation side of the altar rail at the east side ( left-hand side from the congregation ). It must be large enough to accommodate the nine "fruits".

The tree is also draped with a long red silky or brocade drape with cardboard "gold" letters reading "GOD'S GIFTS" attached. Nine polystyrene fruit ( see below ) were hung on the tree before the service. Labels are added to the fruit on the tree during the service.

FRUIT. The "fruits" were realistically shaped and coloured models of fruits of various sorts, displayed on the Christmas Tree. During the service, each is labelled with the name of one of the fruits of the Spirit.
MANGER. This was a wooden manger ( or something we thought looked like a manger ) in front of the altar.
WHAT CAN I GIVE HIM. The last verse of "In the bleak mid-winter".