Crib Service 2. Order of service. Welcome. Opening Responses Tonight we are excited Bless us with wonder

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1 Crib Service 2 An outline for a Crib Service narrated by the inn keeper and his wife Samuel and Sarah. Contains other readings and prayers With suggestions for carols Order of service Welcome Opening Responses Tonight we are excited Bless us with wonder Tonight we are expectant Bless us with gladness Tonight we are on tiptoes Bless us with a new birth Carol: O little town of Bethlehem Innkeeper Samuel Innkeeper s wife Sarah (Samuel and Sarah begin off-stage) Sarah: (off-stage) And sweep the back yard as well Samuel, they ll be arriving soon and this is very important you know. I want the inn to look its best, its very best. (As entering) There s just so much to do, so much to do, and our visitors are very important, very important indeed. (Stands on stage and looks at congregation) O, err you re err. You re here already. Sorry, I didn t realise, you should have said something, I d have been here to meet you. I was just so busy getting ready that I didn t realise that you had arrived. Well, not to worry anyway, it s good you are here. So welcome! Welcome to my little inn, The Shepherd and Dog, here in Bethlehem. I know it s not the nicest Inn in Bethlehem, and it s not in the nicest part of town either, but we try to keep it tidy and comfortable and welcoming for everyone. So you are very welcome, very welcome indeed. Sam: (Entering) I ve swept the yard Sarah, polished the bar, cleaned the glasses, made the beds and lit the oven. Is there anything else you want me to do before they. (Pauses as looks at congregation). Oh! They re here already. Why didn t you say so? Sarah: I only just found out Samuel. They were so quiet I didn t notice them arrive. Sam: Quiet?! They don t look that quiet to me. In fact some of them look quite excited! I bet you were day-dreaming again weren t you. I mean you ve done a lot of daydreaming since that day. Since the day when it all happened.

2 Sarah: Well Samuel it was an amazing day, a totally amazing day, and I know I ll never forget it. Sam: Too right Sarah! I don t think anyone could ever forget that day. What with angels, and shepherds and kings, and that star! And then the man and woman and the baby! That tiny little beautiful baby. Sarah: You know Samuel, I think we ought to tell these lovely people all about it. They look like they are just ready for a good story, don t you think? Sam: You know Sarah, I think they do, so let s begin. Sarah: Well my name is Sarah. Sam: and my name is Samuel. I am the Inn keeper, Sarah: and I am the Inn keeper s wife. Together: And we run the Shepherd and Dog Inn in Bethlehem. Sarah: Our story is the greatest story ever told. Sam: The most amazing story ever told. Sarah: But it doesn t start here at the Shepherd and Dog. Sam: Oh no! You have to go back many many years for the beginning of this story. Sarah: Back to a time when God made a promise. Sam: A special promise. Sarah: A promise that would change everything for ever and ever and ever. Sam: and ever and ever and ever and. Sarah: Alright Samuel, I think we get the picture. Let s let (name) tell us about that special promise. Reading: The Prophets announcement. This reading is from Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet who listened carefully to God. Isaiah said this: Now those people live in darkness. But they will see a great light. They live in a place that is very dark. But a light will shine on them. A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful, Counsellor, Powerful God, Father who lives for ever, Prince of peace. (Isaiah 9 v 2 and v 6) Let us light our first candle to remember the prophets. (A candle is lit) Sarah: But it took a long time for God to make his promise come true. Sam: It took over 500 years! And that is a very very long time! A very very very very. Sarah: Erhem! Sam: Oops, sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Sarah: You see, God had to find a very special person.

3 Sam: Someone so special that they could do the most important job ever in the world. Sarah: More special than any Kings or Queens Sam: More special than any pop stars or film stars. Sarah: More special than all the important people in the world put together. Sam: and it took God a long time to find this special person. Sarah: but eventually he did. He found her. Sam: and her name was Mary. Sarah: She wasn t rich, Sam: She wasn t important, Sarah: She wasn t clever, Sam: She was just an ordinary girl, Sarah: a very ordinary girl, except for the fact that she loved God and was ready to do whatever God asked her to do. Sam: OK, let s let (name) tell us what happened shall we. Reading: The Annunciation In Nazareth in Galilee, lived a girl named Mary. She was soon to be married to Joseph, a carpenter, who could trace his family back to David the king. One day, astonishing news burst into Mary s quiet, hopeful life. The angel Gabriel came to her with a message. God is with you Mary! Don t be afraid. God smiles on you! The angel spoke the words gently. You will have a son and name him Jesus. He will be called great, the son of the Most High God! The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David and his kingdom will never end Prayer of Thanksgiving My soul is glad because God loves me From this moment on I will always be happy God shows He cares for those who follow him He brings good things to those in need He always keeps His promises God will never forget us AMEN Carol: O come, all ye faithful Sarah: And it all came true! Sam: Mary was going to have a baby. Sarah: She was very happy.

4 Sam: and so was Joseph who took very special care of her. Sarah: Until something happened! Sam: Something terrible! Sarah: Suddenly they had to go on a journey. Sam: A journey to Bethlehem. Sarah: Mary was about to have her baby. Sam: But she had to walk from Nazareth, where they lived, to Bethlehem! A long way! Sarah: A very long way. Sam: A very very very very very Sarah: Erhem! Sam: long way! When they arrived the baby was about to be born. Sarah: They needed somewhere to stay, but Bethlehem was crowded that night. Sam: There wasn t a spare room anywhere. Sarah: We were full, in fact more than full. Sam: and the last thing we needed was someone else knocking on the door pleading for a room for the night. Sarah: Especially someone who was about to have a baby! Sam: But when we saw them we couldn t turn them away. Sarah: No we couldn t! She looked so tired and so sad. Sam: We didn t have any room inside, but we did have the stable with fresh straw, and there were not too many animals in it that night. Sarah: so that is where we put them, and (name) is going to tell us what happened. Reading: Jesus is born Luke 2 v 1-7 As night gathers, the last two travellers come slowly up the road, a young woman about to be a mother walking with her husband. They are Mary and Joseph from Nazareth. They have walked for six days to come to this city where King David was born so long ago. They have come like so many others because the Roman emperor wants to count each one. But it is late, and Mary is so weary. Where will they sleep? There is no room in the inn so they decide to sleep with the animals. Stars brighten in the sky. All creation holds its breath. Suddenly from the stable comes the cry of a new-born child. Mary wraps the baby in a blanket and lays him in the manger that Joseph has filled with straw. Let us light our second candle to remember Mary and Joseph, they remind us to be joyful as we journey to Bethlehem. (A candle is lit) Carol: Silent Night Sarah: Well later that night we went across the yard and looked in the stable. Sam: And we could hardly believe our eyes. Sarah: The baby was asleep, lying on the straw in the manger.

5 Sam: His Mum and Dad were staring at him with big wide eyes. Sarah: and all around them was a glow, Sam: a beautiful glow, Sarah: A shimmering, sparkling, golden glow. Sam: and when we looked hard into the glow, Sarah: When we really concentrated, Sam: It was as if we could see. Well I could hardly believe my eyes, because it was as if we could see Sarah: Angels! Yes Angels. Shimmering, Sparkling, glowing Angels. Sam: All looking at the baby as well. Sarah: Suddenly there was a terrible clattering. Sam: the sound of boots running across the yard. Sarah: Followed by a terrible smell, Sam: The smell of. Well let s let (name) tell us who they were. Reading: The Shepherds Interactive story of the Shepherds Responses to key words Shepherds OOH ARgh Sheep Baa Angels ting (halo) Baby Waa Bethlehem point and say Bethlehem There were some shepherds living out in the fields near Bethlehem keeping watch over their sheep so that the wolf wouldn t come and attack them. The shepherds found it hard to stay awake. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared. The shepherds were terrified. The angel said Do not be afraid, I bring you good news which will be for all people. Today in Bethlehem a baby has been born who will save people. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you. You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly lots of angels appeared with the angel praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and peace to all people with whom he is pleased. The shepherds were amazed. When the angels had left them and gone back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another: Let s leave our sheep and go to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has told us about. So the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. There they found Mary and Joseph and Jesus, the baby who was lying in a manger. When the shepherds had seen the baby they spread the news about what the angel had said to them about the baby. The people who heard it were amazed at the good news the shepherds had told them. The shepherds went back praising God for what they had seen and heard. They had seen the baby just as they had been told by the angel. Wasn t that amazing!

6 Let us light our third candle to remember the shepherds who heard the angels and hurried to Bethlehem. (A candle is lit) Sarah: It was a few days later when the next thing happened. Sam: We thought they must have got lost. Sarah: I mean, they were not the sort of visitors we usually expect to see in this part of town. Sam: No, we don t get many visitors like that do we. Sarah: with their find camels, Sam: Their bright and expensive clothes, Sarah: with their gold and jewels. Sam: we expected them to ride past, on their way to somewhere else. Sarah: But they didn t, they stopped. Sam: It was amazing. Sarah: Let s let (name) tell us all about it shall we. Reading: The Kings Meanwhile, far away to the east of Bethlehem there were some wise men, the Magi. They knew about many things, but most of all they knew about the stars. One night they saw a wild star that they had never seen before. It did not stay in one place and danced around in the sky. They decided to follow the star to see where it was going and what it wanted to show them. They followed the star all the way to Bethlehem but it took so long that they came long after the baby was born. When they came to Bethlehem the star stopped, not over a palace where they expected to find a king but over a simple dwelling. The wise men knew that God had led them to the right place. As they entered they saw Mary and the baby Jesus. They knelt down on the dusty floor in their fine clothes and they bowed down to Jesus and worshipped him. They knew that Jesus would grow up to be a greater than themselves or any other king. They gave Jesus gifts of Gold; a gift for a king, Frankincense; a sweet smelling incense used in the temple, and of Myrrh. Myrrh was a fragrant spice used perfuming the bodies of people who had died. It is a symbol of sorrow and sadness. Mary thought this a strange gift for a baby. The wise men knew that the Scriptures said that the Christ child would take on the sorrows and cares of the world and by giving myrrh they were showing that this baby was the one God had promised, the one that the world had been waiting for. Let us light our fourth candle to remember the magi who followed the star all the way to Bethlehem. (A candle is lit) Carol: Hark, the Herald angels sing,

7 Sarah: We ll never forget that day will we Samuel. Sam: We certainly won t Sarah, we certainly won t. Sarah: You see, this was the day that the promise came true. Sam: The promise that God had made 500 years before. Sarah: The promise that he would come himself to save us. Sam: and it was that day that he came, Sarah: as a tiny baby, Sam: as the baby Jesus. Sarah: It s hard to believe isn t it! That God came here to Bethlehem, to our stable. It s hard to believe That God became a human being right here when that baby was born. Sam: Well it might be hard to believe Sarah, but it is true! So let s praise God who has done something so wonderful for us, and for all these lovely people, and for everyone across the world. Sarah: You re right Samuel. Let s praise God and all have a very very happy Christmas! TALK and lighting of the Christ candle Children gather at the Crib Prayer Jesus born in a stable Bring hope to the homeless Jesus, Child of Mary and Joseph Bring hope to all families Jesus, light of the world Bring hope to this world s dark places Jesus, bearer of peace Bring hope where there is war Jesus, who fled to another country Bring hope to all refugees Jesus, who was hungry in the desert Bring hope to all who are poor and starving Jesus who showed us how to live Bring hope to the church that bears your name Jesus, who died for us Bring hope to a broken world Jesus, son of God messiah Bring hope this Christmas AMEN Carol: Away in a manger

8 Blessing May the Lord Jesus be born in your hearts. May the light of Jesus light your way. May the love of God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, surround you and keep you safe, today, tomorrow and always. AMEN Copyright John Beauchamp/Kingdomstory.net 2010 All rights reserved. Please refer to for copyright restrictions and permissions.

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