for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

August 29 2004

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 :
  • Tambourines, bells etc., disposed as required - some at the back for the "procession" in, some on the altar for Jesus and Zacchaeus as they join in the song and proceed out;
  • 'Cloak' for Zacchaeus to wear;
  • Cards carrying the letters Z A C C H A E U S, on the altar ready for the singers.
Furniture :
  • "Tree" for Zacchaeus to climb : sheeted ladder behind palm plant which is at front Hospital side.
People :
  • Overheads person at front before service begins.

ACTIONS for "Open Our eyes, Lord" The actions we chose look a bit silly without the words, which we have omitted because of copyright. Never mind - if you've found the words you can use the actions, and if you haven't you'll have to find something else anyway.

Each line of action corresponds to one line of words :
-- point to eyes;
-- shield eyes and look up;
-- reach hands out horizontally;
-- cross hands over breast;

-- touch ears;
-- cup ears as if listening;
-- point to eyes;
-- shield eyes and look up.

CROWD GROUPS The crowd is composed of two groups ( and maybe others if you have a lot of actors ), each of which sits together along Jesus's route. The function of each group is to act as an obstacle to Zacchaeus; as Zacchaeus approaches the back of a group trying to see the route, the group stands up to block his view.
CROWD MEMBERS The crowds can be as big as you have space for, but speaking parts are allocated to just six people. If you're short of actors, you can probably combine some of the parts.
HOUSE ( for climbing on roof ) We chose to keep the house imaginary; it worked satisfactorily, and avoided clutter, but you might prefer to use something more physical. We used a space to the left of the altar as the imaginary house. The "house" is mentioned in the script, and you will have to decide where these are :

The door : Zacchaeus knocks on the door; there should be something to make knocking noises. ( We used the altar. ).

The householder : must speak from somewhere, which should appear to be "within" the house. Our householder hid behind the altar at a convenient moment.

LETTERS Nine cards, one with each letter of the name ZACCHAEUS, big enough to be seen clearly from the back of the church, to be held up by a singer as the Zacchaeus song is sung. They should be placed conveniently at the beginning.
TAMBOURINES, BELLS Any cheerful noisy things will do; they should give the effect of a happy and expectant crowd. They should be placed conveniently at the beginning.
TREE The tree has to be something which Zacchaeus can visibly climb; once in the tree, he must be at least slightly hidden, but sufficiently visible that when Jesus looks at him later it's obvious that He can see Zacchaeus.

We used an ornamental palmy sort of plant which lives in the church, with a ladder shrouded in a sheet behind it. It was tall enough to ensure that when Jesus was standing by the tree He had to look upwards to see Zacchaeus's face.

ZACCHAEUS'S HOUSE In the directions relating to Zacchaeus's house, we refer to several places in terms specific to our production. We hope these notes will clarify our meaning. The places are :

chairs : a place "inside" where Zacchaeus and Jesus sit and talk;

altar : a place "outside" where the crowd gather to listen; and

lectern : a place where "Crowdmember 4" can tell "Crowdmember 5" what's happening.

Our house was imaginary, but we placed two chairs for Jesus and Zacchaeus to the left of the altar. The crowd gathered between Jesus and Zacchaeus and the audience, but on a lower step; "Crowdmember 4" and "Crowdmember 5" were well away by the lectern, which was set on the organ side.

ZACCHAEUS SONG We wrote it; help yourself !