The Christmas Pageant is a part of tradition. It can be as big and rehearsed or as small and spontaneous as one chooses. It is a beautiful way to tell the story of the nativity, get children involved, encourage participation, and increase joy during a hectic, time-crunched time of year.
The easiest and most inclusive pageant, is the simple reading of scripture, with hymns included, and children pantomiming it out. If a parish is looking for something bigger, there are lots of scripts out there and these produce beautiful pageants (but do not include those newcomers or visitors.)
The Christmas Pageant can be appropriately done on the Fourth Sunday of Advent during the Sunday School (Christian Formation) time, on Christmas Eve during the earliest Service (as the Ministry of the Word) or on Epiphany as an Epiphany Pageant (just add the Magi).
If the Fourth Sunday in Advent or Epiphany is chosen, add to the festivities with crafts, and refreshments. Publicize, invite, and encourage children from outside the church to come and participate. On Christmas Eve, new families attend and, usually, everyone leaves afterwards for scheduled plans.
In advance, I print instructions for families with children telling them where to go to get dressed and where to go afterwards to return the costume. Every child, who walks through our door, gets a chance to participate.
In the costume room, I have volunteers waiting to help the children. Each child is asked whether they would like to be an angel, shepherd or animal. I have chosen and rehearsed with older children to be Mary, Joseph, Lead Angel (guides the little angels), Lead Shepherd (guides the little shepherds) and Lead Animal Tamer (guides the animals). I, also, have chosen and rehearsed with the readers/narrators their parts in advance. The Lead parts have rehearsed the songs we will sing, too. It is the first verse of known carols, so the congregation/audience may participate too.
Costumes can be a problem for 100 children. For angels, I have men’s small shirts which I hot-glued gold or silver garland around the bottom and sleeves. I use the same garland for halos. Only lead angels get wings if the pageant is done during a service (not enough room for wings, otherwise). For shepherds, I use small men’s colored Continue reading “Christmas Pageant”