Christmas Pageant 2019
Below is an imaginative retelling of the Christmas story designed to be performed by a Sunday School as a Sunday morning service in Advent. It can be adapted for a wide variety of cast sizes and sanctuary set-ups. Specific solo and choral pieces are not cited below but there are many out there to choose from.
- Angel # 1 Angelica:
- Angel # 2 Ariel:
- Angel # 3 Dina:
- Shepherd Sten:
- Shepherd Corin:
- Shepherd Sirus:
- Inman the Innkeeper:
- Queen Regina:
- Queen Isabella:
- Queen Sophia:
- King Herod:
- Shepherds (as many as you need)
- Angels (as many as you need)
- Stage Crew (as many as you need)
Note: consider asking congregation to remain seated for all hymns so everyone can see.
- Advent wreath set up. All lights up in sanctuary.
- Mary is at back of church (behind congregation)
- Gabriel is off stage (up front)
- Reserve front row pew by piano for Baby Jesus and mother.
Prelude Lighting of Advent Wreath Overture : thematically appropriate piece sung by adult choir
SCENE 1: CALL TO WORSHIP
As Overture is ending:
- sanctuary lights go out, except for light over altar
- Angelica, Ariel and Dina enter from the back of the church. When the song ends, they talk one to another with joy and wonder.
Angelica: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace! Ariel: And those who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Dina: “Your God reigns!” Cast enters from the back of the church as the congregation sings “O Come All Ye Faithful.” the angels flock to the choir loft, shepherds and animals down front on the floor. Congregational Hymn: “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
SCENE 2: THE ANNUNCIATION
Mary enters on the last verse of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” sits on chair, picks up the bowl and starts stirring. Mary: All I can think of is Joseph and our engagement. I am excited but nervous about leaving my parents. Though we will still live here in Nazareth, my life will be so different. Lights near Gabriel are turned on. Gabriel rises from behind organ and stands on platform Gabriel: Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Mary: (dropping her bowl, turning and falling to her knees.) Oh! Who are you? What are you? Might you be an angel? Please go, I am frightened! What do you mean “blessed among women”? I am just a peasant girl. Why have you come to me? Gabriel: Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Mary’s Song: Mary sings a “magnificat” themed song. All Cast and Choir: (when Mary is done singing, cast and choir say together) Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, I will sing God’s praise. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, I will sing God’s praise. I will sing and praise. Mary exits, prayerfully down center aisle as Gabriel sings to her. Gabriel’s Song: Gabriel sings a song in response to Mary.
- When dones, Gabriel moves off stage.
- Sanctuary lights out except for light over altar.
SCENE 3 MARY AND JOSEPH TRAVEL TO BETHLEHEM (Luke 2:1-5)
Congregational Hymn: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
- During hymn, Mary’s chair is switched out for hay bales and “Holiday Inn” sign is uncovered.
- Innkeeper goes to stand in corner by porch door at end of hymn.
SCENE 4 JESUS IS BORN (Luke 2:6-7)
- Jesse, Corin and Sirus rise to stand off to the side.
- As the Shepherds speak, Joseph, Mary, donkey and minder, walk down center aisle toward the Inn door.
Sten: Did you receive your tax bill? For all of Caesar Augustus’ promises, I see no tax cut for such as we. Corin: And we must travel all the way back to the towns of our birth to be taxed! Do you think we will be allowed to come back to our new home again or will we be turned away? Sirus: Bad for us but worse for Joseph and Mary. It’s a long, long way to Bethlehem and her time is near.
- Sten, Corin and Sirus sit down with other shepherds.
- Mary and Joseph knock on the Inn door. The Innkeeper opens the door and enters.
Joseph: Please, sir, tell me you have room for us in this Inn. My wife is having a baby! Inman: With everyone traveling to be taxed, I regret there’s no room in the Inn. But you are welcome to seek shelter in the stable. Joseph: Don’t worry, Mary, I will fashion something for the baby and clean out a manger for his bed. Dina: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
- Joseph cares for Mary.
- Baby given to Mary – Mary holds baby during Away In a Manger then places baby in manger after if baby will stay in manger – may need to be held if moving around).
Congregational Hymn: “Away In A Manger”
- During hymn, shepherds gather in front of crèche with animals.
- Microphone is moved back to choir loft.
SCENE 5 GABRIEL SPEAKS TO THE SHEPHERDS
lights out save for choir and Lord’s Table
Angelica: There were in that same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord Gabriel rises came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone around them: and they were sore afraid. Gabriel: “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Congregational Hymn: “Angels We Have Heard On High”
- All Lights up in sanctuary
- Angels rise and travel to the raise point above and looking down on the Holy family.
- Shepherds gather on landing below Holy Family.
Ariel: And so we were a multitude of the heavenly host praising God! Dina: “Glory to God in the highest! Angelica: And on earth peace! Ariel: Good will toward all.”
SCENE 6 THE QUEENS/KINGS TRAVEL TO SEE JESUS
Dina: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came Magi from the east to Jerusalem saying, Queen/King #1: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” Then Herod, inquired of them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem. Queens enter here and interact with King Herod who is in the balcony or at back of church. King Herod: Go and search dil-i-gent-ly for the young child; and when you’ve found him, bring me word and I’ll worship him also. Follow that star, that really UGE star. It’ll be beautiful, just beautiful, beautiful. This is big, REALLY big. Queen/King #2: We need money to buy a present for Jesus! Let an offering be taken in honor of the child and his family! Queens take offering with Stage Crew. Congregational
Offertory: “Arise, Your Light is Come!”
- Offering is taken by ushers and Stage Crew.
- Need lots of ushers so the collection goes swiftly.
- Queens/Kings exit to back of church
Angelica: And lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. Star zips down the zip line to rest over manger Ariel: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshipped him: And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- pianist plays intro to hymn as the Queens enter, dancing.
- Queens/Kings enter and make their way down the isle during Ariel’s line.
- They place the plates before the manger and then sing.
Congregational Hymn: We Three Queens/Kings of Orient Are (Queens/Kings sing verses, congregation sings chorus) When hymn ends, Sten speaks Sten: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called: Angel: Wonderful! Angel: Counselor! Sirus: The Mighty God! Corin: The everlasting Father! Queen Isabella:The Prince of Peace! Benediction Dina:“Glory to God on the Highest! Sirus: And on earth peace! Inman: Good will to all!” Congregational Hymn: “Joy to the World”
- Herod joins rest of the cast at front and all bow
© Rev. Susan Cook Kittredge, 2019