for the
Easter Family Service
St. Augustine's

2008 March 23

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 :
  • Lectern by Hospital wall;
  • Table and five chairs for last supper ready between altar rail and front pew;
  • Cross base at Hospital side near the altar but somewhere out of the way;
  • Resurrection scene on blue curtain;
  • Art work from the art exhibition round the walls.
Properties :
People :
  • Narrator at lectern,
  • Reader at lectern,
  • Computer person at computer,
  • Organist at organ,
  • People to hand out orders of service,
  • People ready to give out music if required,
  • Mary MOJ ( Mother of Jesus ) sitting in front pew

BOW YOUR HEADS AND SIGH There was no spoken announcement, but a request -"ALL : Please bow your head and sigh" - appeared on the projector screen. It didn't obviously work very well, which at least suggests that people were watching the action rather than the screen. Compare the "NO ANNOUNCEMENT" item below.
BALCONY We have a convenient balcony, so we use it, but any place away from the centre of action would do.
CAMP FIRE We used our usual electric camp fire. It isn't essential, but it provides a convenient focus for the group.
CHANGED HIS MIND Matthew 27, 3-5
CREEPING Mark must be very obviously creeping from the congregation's viewpoint, but as far as possible must be plausibly invisible to the other actors.
CROSS We used our usual cross. As Jesus spends quite a long time in the crucified position with outstretched arms, we attached loops to the arm of the cross to give support.

( Click the picture for a separate version. No, the loops aren't realistic, but neither is Jesus's wrist watch, which we didn't notice until we looked at the photograph. )

CROSS BASE This is the rather bulky base for the cross ( see note above ). Usually we put it in place at the beginning, but in this service it was more convenient to have the space clear for as long as possible.
EXHIBITION OF ART WORK We didn't use it much - you probably won't notice any references. The most significant practical effect was that the exhibits effectively blocked the church side aisles, so all exits and entrances had to use the central aisle. You might find it an improvement to reallocate some of these.
LIPSTICK - or other suitable material. It is used by Jesus to make "nailmarks" on his hands and feet.
MARY MOJ Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
NO ANNOUNCEMENT - but everyone is already standing after "HE IS RISEN INDEED".
PETER DREW HIS SWORD The swordsman is identified as Peter in John 18.10.
PETER'S SWORD Peter's sword should be recognisably a sword, and be housed in a scabbard which Peter can attach to his belt. Peter has to draw the sword as part of the action.
ROOSTER CROWS Our original plan was to use a computer sound file, as we did once before. It was authentic, but not very loud. One of the cast then volunteered to imitate the cock crow, and we accepted the offer. It turned out to be much louder, but not much like a cock crow. On balance, the authentic sound was probably better.
SHEET This should be a good-sized sheet. It should roll up into a bundle something like a body in size, but without containing a body.
SHORT SWIMMING TOGS The Biblical text says "naked". Use your judgment.
SILVER COINS Actually washers; they are never seen, but should make an appropriate jingly sound when shaken.
SPICES A few impressive containers. ( They might have been our usual Wise Men's offerings, but we're not sure now. )
STANDING There was no spoken announcement, but the service sheet included a warning that this would happen, and the projected version urged "ALL STAND" to join in "He is risen indeed". Whatever did the trick, it worked. Compare the "BOW YOUR HEADS AND SIGH" item above.
YOUNG MAN Two characters in the story are identified as a "young man". There is the "young man" who was following Jesus", commonly identified with the Gospel writer Mark; and there is the "young man dressed all in white", otherwise thought of as an angel. These are quite distinct.

However, we found it convenient to assign the same actor to both parts. This is in part because we don't have a large number of actors, but also because it solves the logistic problem of getting the angelic young man into place. ( In fact, any of the actors by the altar at that time would do, but Mark was convenient. ) And that is why the angelic young man's costume must be behind the altar.