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A Christmas commentary
on readings at a carol service.

These six poems were written for the carol service at St Johns, West Ealing in 2012. 

They are written to be read by one person acting as a commentator on the Christmas story as it unfolds. Each poem comes after the corresponding Bible reading (a carol may be placed in between if appropriate). The Bible passages may be read, as is the usual custom, each by a different person.

The commentator should not read from the same lectern (or other location) as the bible readers. Ideally the pieces would be learned by heart. At their original performance an additional reading was included in the service (Matthew 12 v44-46, placed sixth out of the seven) which was followed by a short talk. The theme of that service was "Riches in poverty".

The poems may of course be used independently of one another, and in other contexts. What kind of Messiah in particular might be read at any time of year.

The style in part mimics the prologue or chorus of a medieval morality play, although introducing a more modern doggerel rhythm on the second and fourth pieces. At the original service all but the Epilogue were performed to a hand-drum beat.

 What kind of Messiah?


 Modus operandi

 The fourth king's gift