An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To urge us to celebrate the gift of Jesus into the New Year and beyond.
Preparation and materials
- If possible, have a Christmas tree, with presents around the bottom for Children in Need or other local or national charity.
- Familiarize yourself with the presentation of Jesus at the temple by reading Luke 2.25–32.
- Choose a selection of Christmas carols and have the means to play them at the beginning and end of the assembly. If you want some quieter, more reflective music, the 'Sinfonia' at the beginning of Part 2 of Bach's Christmas Oratorio would be suitable. For a rousing atmosphere, try the 'Hallelujah' or 'Glory to God in the highest' choruses from Handel's Messiah.
- Note: This assembly could be used as the basis for a carol service.
- It probably won't be a white Christmas. Whether or not it is all depends on where you live.
- There's so much to do! Decorating the tree, writing our cards, buying all the food and drink.
Then there's all the presents we give and receive! The posties and couriers are busy delivering loads and loads of cards and parcels.
Suddenly, no sooner is Christmas here than it's gone.
- All that is true, but amid all the rushing around, it's still a special time because we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. We give each other gifts because we remember that God gave Jesus as a gift to the world.
- It's a shame that it seems to go by so quickly. Sometimes it seems as if it's over the day after Boxing Day – or at least the day after New Year's Day.
People used to celebrate the feast of Christmas for a much longer time. Although it didn't really start until Christmas Eve, it went on for a good 12 days, until 6 January. That's why, today, many people take their decorations down then, on Twelfth Night.
- Some people keep the festivities going until the Feast of the Presentation, which is on 2 February. That's the day when we remember Mary and Joseph taking the Christ child to the temple in Jerusalem and there meeting old Simeon, who told them what an amazing man Jesus was going to be.
- So, this year, let's remember that the Feast of the Presentation is the proper end to the Christmas season and keep it going a bit longer. It was such a special birth that it's good to celebrate it for as long as we can!
Time for reflection
In all the busy preparations, when we forget the real message of Christmas, and, after everything has quietened down, when we forget the promise of Christmas, may we remember to celebrate your love throughout the year.
Chosen selection of Christmas music (see ‘Preparation and materials’)