An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To explore the Advent theme, as a preparation for Christmas and life.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and two readers, plus four other ‘voices’, who are part of the audience, one in each ‘corner’. Type or write out Luke 2.4–7 and 10–11, inserting 'the shepherds' in place of 'them' in verse 9, and Matthew 25.31–33 and 37–41 for your readers to read from during the assembly. Have your readers read and your ‘voices’ familiarize themselves with what they will need to say and do so that any problems can be ironed out ahead of the day.
- You will also need:
– copies of the words and music for 'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65) for all those attending the assembly
– wrapped Christmas present
– party hat or a party 'object', such as party poppers
– bags of shopping.
- If an appeal for shoe boxes operates in your area, you could ask for another student to carry a shoe box to the front towards the end of the assembly and say something like, 'Fill a box and bring joy to someone less fortunate than you this Christmas.
- Have available the song ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ by Diana Ross and the Supremes and the means to play it at the beginning of the assembly, plus ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid to play at the end.
Play 'Santa Claus is coming to town'.
Reader 1 We can't help but know that soon it will be Christmas. For weeks the shops have been reminding us.
Show wrapped Christmas present.
There are carol concerts, nativity plays, Christmas dinners in the pubs and restaurants and in school.
Show party hat or a party 'object'.
There is shopping to be done.
Show bags of shopping.
There is a growing excitement as Christmas gets closer. It is a welcome midwinter boost.
Most of us enjoy the preparations for it and, if we didn't prepare, it would not be a good celebration at all – the preparations are part of the excitement.
Reader 2 In the Christian calendar, the season of Advent starts around the beginning of December and lasts until Christmas Eve. It is all about preparing, getting ready, looking back and looking forwards.
The Church uses it to help us prepare for and understand the meaning of the birth of Christ. Churches are decorated, Christmas crib scenes prepared, carols and nativity plays rehearsed. We begin to feel the excitement building.
Reader 1 Reads out Luke 2.4–7 and 10–11.
Leader This is the story that is so familiar, but it did not stop there. The baby born in Bethlehem grew up to be a man who showed us what it is like to live as a human being, having fun and caring for others as they care for us. He challenges us to live in the same way.
Reader 2 Advent reminds Christians that, one day, we will all have to account to God for what we have done with the life that he has given us.
Christians believe that Jesus came into the world to show us how to live well, how to enjoy it to the full and how to help others to do the same.
Advent is a good time to think about how well we are doing that – including, very importantly, the enjoyment.
Reader 1 Reads out Matthew 25.31–33 and 37–41.
Voice 1 I could have stopped and said ‘Good morning’, but I was in a hurry and moved on.
Voice 2 I could have offered to help, but I was busy with my PlayStation.
Voice 3 I suppose I didn't have to say that and laugh at her, but . . .
Voice 4 I know 50p isn't much to give, but I'm saving up for . . .
Reader 2 'As you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me' (Matthew 25.45, NRSV). It is so easy to help – everyone can make a difference.
Leader Let us all sing ‘When I needed a neighbour’.
Reader 1 The baby born in Bethlehem grew up to be a man who showed us what it is like to live as a real human being, having fun and caring for others as they care for us.
Leader What will you do this Christmas and in the days, weeks, years after it?
Voices We will have a good time, have fun, enjoy the parties, be glad and celebrate with each other the life God has given us.
We will remember those we can help and help out at home – not just at Christmas but afterwards as well.
We will look around us and see who we can help in the world outside our homes.
We will think of others in parts of the world where there is hunger and give a little to help.
At this point, if including. have the student carry a shoe box to the front and say something like, 'Fill a box and bring joy to someone less fortunate than you this Christmas.'
Time for reflection
Every day, I, Jesus, come to you in the form of other people.
Look for me, help me and let me help you and celebrate with you.
Life is good, let us enjoy it and help others to do so as well.
‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ by Diana Ross and the Supremes
'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65)
'Do they know it's Christmas?' by Band Aid