for the
Family Service
St. Augustine's

September 30 2007

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;
  • Large letters J O Y on blue curtain on the wall behind the altar;
  • Small table between the altar rails for the sparklers to be put on as the procession ends;
  • Herod's Throne in front of the altar;
  • Manger and "baby" and chair for Mary ready to be moved to centre;
  • Three chairs and three handbags, each containing a small mirror, ready at Hospital side to move in front of altar.
Properties :
  • Sparklers for everyone present at front ready to be picked up as we proceed around the church;
  • Vase of sparklers by lectern;
  • Wise men's gifts at back;
  • Costumes for Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, grown-up Jesus, four friends (belts or sashes), at the back;
  • Blanket and teddy bear, longer ropes on balcony for lowering the blanket down, straw on balcony;
  • JOY cards to hand out at the end on side table at back.
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,
  • LL, G1, G2, gang at back ready for the play;
  • All other actors at back ready to join the gang as they proceed round the church.

EAST There is a bit of a problem with the compass directions. If the Wise Men came from the East following a star which they had seen, then they must have seen the star in their West. We decided that it was more likely than not to be confusing to try to apply this observation consistently, so we've always used "East". You might like to do it the other way. ( It is noteworthy that "We three kings ..." gets it right ! )

GANG A gang was generally understood in New Zealand at that time as a group of undisciplined, rowdy, and antisocial ruffians.

HANDBAGS Just ordinary women's handbags; they're put on the chairs and each contains a small mirror. They don't have to be handbags - any container will do.

... HANDED OUT AGAIN ... We collect the sparklers and give them out again mainly so that children don't get distracted by them ( or stick them into each others' eyes ) during the service.

JOY CARDS Small cards, also used at a previous service.

LONGER ROPES The friends had carried the blanket using quite short ropes, to avoid undue clutter. These weren't long enough to reach down to the floor from the balcony, so additional ropes were provided. They were provided with easy means of attachment, so no time was wasted in tying knots.

PLAYS HYMN The choice was left to the organist. We do have a keyboard arrangement of the tune, but the CD has the advantage of sounding like more people.

PLEASE SIT ... The letter J is prominent in this paragraph by design. It is the J of JOY, and in our service the paragraph as displayed on our projector screen showed all instances of J as very large letters highlighted in colour.

SIMILARLY, this paragraph emphasises the letter O, and this paragraph emphasises the letter Y.

PUBLICITY MATERIAL The flyer distributed to local households.

SPARKLERS Not essential, but contribute an air of festivity to the procession. Further details here.

TEDDY BEAR The teddybear was substituted for the paralysed man because in the sequence following the invalid is carried in a blanket up a steep narrow curving staircase, and then lowered over a balcony to the floor around 3 metres below. If you can manage ( safely ) with the human, it would be better. The substitution seemed to be accepted well enough.

THRONE A chair. If you can find a fairly imposing and majestic chair, that would be good. Ours was slightly imposing, and worked. It shouldn't be too hard to move out of the way when not needed.

VESTRY Somewhere convenient and out of the way.

WARNED IN A DREAM Matthew 2.12.

YEAH, RIGHT A topical phrase conveying scepticism.