for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

2002 September 29

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.

Properties :
  • Jars of water on the altar.
  • Water pot for the woman at the well ( "that woman" ) at the back of the church.
  • Small plastic sample cups to pour the water into by the side of the altar, with trays, a table, and a tablecloth..
  • Ball for tribesmen, at the side of the church near the lectern.

Furniture :
People :
  • Projector operator, organist, leader in position before service begins.

BALL The ball we used was bigger than a tennis ball and smaller than a football. It has to be big enough to see from the back, but not so big that it might knock things over if someone misses it.

CHILDREN There are no children in the Biblical text; they're here because we had some among our actors. There is no particular significance in their organisation into two groups; the 'her' denotes grouping for the purposes of the service, not a real family relationship.

CUPS Small plastic sample cups to pour the water into as people partake of the "living water".

JARS OF WATER The jars contain water previously blessed by our vicar, intended to be to us the equivalent of the "water" promised by Jesus at the well.

( These are not carried by the women during the play; the women mime carrying imaginary jars. )

MATERIAL "RIVER" FROM CROSS TO ALTAR The intention is to present an image of a river flowing from God to man. A large cross is affixed to the front wall of the church just above the altar, so the flowing fabric from one to the other suggested itself. Other images might be more appropriate in other circumstances; none is strictly essential.

PSALM 46 We are accustomed to singing the psalm in this responsive manner in some of our services. If you're not, you might like to present it in some other way.

The singer sings the verse in a simple plainchant; the melody for the refrain is :

Music for refrain.

READINGS The readings are paraphrased from the references given.

"THERE IS A RIVER" This is the last of four verses of a hymn subject to copyright. See this note for details.

WASTE PAPER BASKETS Waste baskets in the side aisles, in which people can put the cups ( empty ! ) in which they received the "living water".

WATER POT We used one plausible-looking earthenware pot ( borrowed ) for the Samaritan woman; other women carrying pots simply mimed the carrying.

WELL The "well" was made from a large wooden cable drum ( rescued from the side of the road ) with material draped round it. The drum was strong enough to be sat on. The material was patterned like stone - it had been someone's dressing gown !