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Outdoor Nativity scene at Pine Grove Methodist Church, some rights reserved by Brian Leon.

A role for everyone

Casting the Christmas pageant

You are about to enjoy an animated Christmas pageant in your congregation. Congratulations. If it includes live camels, plan accordingly. If it involves live babies, plan on having a backup baby in case your chosen star doesn’t want to be anointed and breaks the “no crying he makes” credo. If your pageant involves scripture, you’ll need to merge various texts into one mash-up script.

I grew up as a Quaker and did not participate in any Christmas pageants. But in my ministry I’ve come to know them well. I’ve dealt with tricky theological questions and treacherous sociological suggestions concerning the script, content, date, cast and music of Christmas pageants. I have seen original performances shine. I’ve seen traditions implode. And I’ve seen locally beloved practices trump, deny, invert and supersede commonsense solutions.


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