Christmas video 14: Mary’s Song

Spoken Truth and the Bible Society have partnered together to tell the story of Mary’s journey to motherhood in a 21st century setting.  Mary’s Song is a spoken word poem and original song – enjoy!

I’ve used it with a couple of groups of non-Christian young people who I work with who really enjoyed exploring the themes from it.  Download the videos or the sheet music for free from here.

Children’s & youth work links

Links from the world of children’s and youth ministry:

A Makaton Nativity Play

born-this-nightRebecca Thompson created a wonderful Christmas resource a couple of years ago that is designed with Makaton symbols as part of it.  She is Mum of Jacob, a young boy with Downs Syndrome, and a Primary School teacher.  She’s now brought out a second Christmas resource.

The resource, called Born This Night, includes seven delightful songs, a simple humorous rhyming script and adaptable parts to suit small or larger casts.  The songbook is easy to use and contains everything you need to stage an enjoyable and memorable performance.

the-gold-star-inn

The Gold Star Inn tells the traditional Nativity story with the help of a donkey who likes to hum! It includes the ten fabulous new songs and two scripts, one for younger children and a longer script suitable for older children. Both stories can be adapted to suit the needs and abilities of groups of children and have proved popular with pupils and teachers in mainstream and special school.

It includes a professionally recorded CD with full performance tracks to listen to the lyrics and backing tracks for the children to sing along to when they have learnt them.  Price with licence for use in school £30.

Alternatively, parents and carers can buy the book and CD to learn and sing the festive songs at home (no licence required).  Priced at £20.

For more information about the plays or to order your copy visit Jacob’s Ladder Productions.

Is Christmas really the right time for the church to ‘man up’?

carol_service

A vicar called Paul Eddy has argued, in the Oxford church newspaper, that carol services should be more manly. For there are many men who only get this annual glimpse of church, and they should be challenged in their assumption that religion is a soppy women-and-children thing. He suggests showing a clip from an action film, emphasizing the heroic nature of Jesus’s post-infant life, and keeping the sermon, and indeed the whole service, short.

Theo Hobson has some concerns though:

But is Christmas a good time for the church to man up? The nativity story features a man, Joseph, whose male pride has been severely hurt, who shows insane trust in his wife’s story of where this baby comes from. This is not the sort of heroism to attract the average bloke. The shepherds are the way forward: these working-class heroes should be depicted doing very manly things like drinking beer. And the angels should be de-girlified, seen as magic soldier-messengers.

And, more seriously, there is scope for emphasizing the cosmic violence of Christ’s birth, its disturbance of the universe. I was made conscious of this by reading Milton’s Nativity Ode. It imagines Christ’s birth as an almighty exorcism of the pagan gods. Osiris ‘feels from Judah’s land / The dreaded infant’s hand…Our Babe, to show his godhead true / Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.’ So maybe nativity plays should try to represent the violent defeat of false religions – in a culturally sensitive way of course. Have a triumphant, yet culturally sensitive, Christmas!