for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

July 30 2006

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 : Small pebbles in baskets on small tables by the sea.

Larger stone on table by the sea.

STOP sign against wall by lectern.

Basket of screwed-up newspaper on Hospital side against wall to be used as stones in the Woman taken in adultery Bible story.

Bottles of poison for the Messager's talk, at back for Messager to pick up.

Pieces of firm paper with the names of the "poisons" written on them, and pieces of cardboard, with the names of the "antidotes" on the front and blu-tack on the back, at the organ side of church.

Furniture : Large brown Cross on Hospital side surrounded by blue material and "NO FISHING" sign in the 'sea' ( Blue material ).

Two chairs in front of altar for Minister and Young Woman to sit on.

Chairs at organ side for Grandma and the two Children to sit on.

Card table and four chairs ( two of these chairs have already been used ) for "Aunty" story ready at side for stage hand to put in front of altar.

Lectern by Hospital wall.

People : Narrator at lectern,

Reader at lectern,

Computer person at computer,

Organist at organ.

CROSS A large cross in a stand. ( More details here. ) It is surrounded by the "sea", so should have a fair bit of space round it.

HERALD NEWSPAPER It is, obviously, rather unlikely that you can use this quotation is it stands. If you can find a similar example, it makes the point well; otherwise just leave it out.

LARGER STONE This is for Young Woman to throw into the sea. It should be large compared with the pebbles; if it can make a clearly louder noise than the pebbles when it falls that would be good. ( We found that rather difficult because of our carpet. )

LIST OF "ANTIDOTES" The list is :
This time the items are cards and are displayed on the front of the altar. It's the altar because we have one; any suitable display surface will do.

LIST OF "POISONS" The list is :
In practice, we didn't have as many actors as there are items in the list, so the actors were recycled after reaching the back, returning to the queue down the side aisle.

Messager We do not usually include the "message" in the script, but in this case the message included some performance. We used this to emphasise the list of "poisons" and how to deal with them in a more dramatic way than simply reciting them. It isn't part of the main action, but does link together the message and the image of the sea, used in the rest of the service.

MICAH Micah 7.19.

PEBBLES For people to 'throw' into the sea part way through the service.

PIECES OF PAPER These are, first, the papers with the names of the "poisons", and, second, the cards with the names of the "antidotes.

POISONS Containers of poisonous domestic materials, as such as Methylated spirits, medicine, Janola, dish washing powder etc.

SEA The "sea" is an area of blue fabric, arranged to look as much like waves as possible. The intention is that when people throw their stones into the sea, they will disappear from sight; a surface with many folds seems to work not too badly.

STONES The "stones" are used for stoning a woman, so they have to be visible but soft ! We used screwed-up pieces of paper.

STOP SIGN This is a sign like the STOP signs on our roads and is mounted on a stick. ( We've used it in previous family services. )