for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

2003 April 27

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 : Lipstick behind the altar, for Jesus to mark his hands.

"Golgotha" against the wall to the left of the altar.

Palm crosses : Trays of ready-made palm crosses by the altar rail ( for people to collect during the rededication ) and by the door ( for people to collect as they leave ).

Furniture : Two seats reserved near the front for the "two friends". These should be more in the "congregation" than the "stage" so that the friends effectively disappear when seated.
People : Overhead projector operator ready.

On the balcony : the actors of the first sketch except for the two friends, well hidden from the congregation. ( These are referred to as the Balcony people. )

ACTIONS For example :
E's for EasterUse sign language E : forefinger of one hand touching forefinger of other hand;
We rememberTouch forefinger to temple;
Jesus diedHold hands out horizontal to shoulders as on a cross;
Jesus is risenRaise hands;
Jesus livesMake happy motions -
- or make something up for yourselves.

BALCONY PEOPLE All the spare actors on the balcony - the intention is to give the impression of a crowd.

DISCIPLES Adjust the number to match the forces available and the space; too many might be too much of a crowd. NOT more than 11 ! ( We had three, so we had to imagine the group of disciples who stayed by the wall. )

LOBBY The steps from the balcony come down into the lobby, which is immediately outside the door into the church - see the plan.

GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE The Garden of Gethsemane was at the front of the church on the Hospital side, behind the altar rail. The precise position isn't particularly important, but it should be somewhere very visible.

The script refers a few times to moving "further into" the garden. The direction is arbitrary, and will obviously depend on the geography of your location, but should be consistent. We imagined our "garden" as being the area on the altar side of the altar rail. The actors "enter" on the hospital side, so "further in" was towards the other side.

HILL Our "Golgotha" was a representation in silhouette of a hill ( about 2m tall ) surmounted by three crosses, painted black and standing to the left of the altar with the light-coloured wall behind back-lit. This was effective, but other representations are obviously possible. Further details. )

KIDS' CLUB That's a children's group that meets weekly in our church, and who had been taught the song as part of their activities. It was fun for the children, and gave us a few people to start off the song. Any similar group would do, if you have one. If not, any invitation which gets a few people up will do; the emphasis on children seems appropriate.

MARK HIS HANDS Some colouring material with which Jesus can mark his hands after the crucifixion must be available. ( We used lipstick. ) This should be behind the altar, or whatever other place you choose for Jesus to be after the crucifixion.

PALM CROSS. It is our custom on Palm Sunday ( the Sunday preceding Easter ) to give out palm crosses to the congregation. These are small crosses ( around 15×10cm ) made of palm fronds ( usually from Phoenix palms ), and symbolise Jesus's triumphal entry to Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. We distributed them in the Family Service too as reminders of the whole Easter story.

PRAY-ERS. People who offer prayers. In our production, Pray-ers 3 to 6 were children. Adjust details according to your resources.

SITS On the reserved seats.

TEMPLE GUARDS We had two guards, which was sufficient. If you have lots of people, you might add one or two more.

TWO MEN The "two men in shining robes" are imaginary.

WOMEN We had three women, which was sufficient. They don't have individual instructions.