Several years ago Carrie, a young mom and “child of our church” brought an idea to our pastor. She wanted to direct a traditional Christmas pageant with a bit of a twist—the cast would be intentionally intergenerational. Prior to coming to our church in middle school, she attended First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland, Maryland where her father was the pastor, now retired. She had great memories of participating in this pageant there and wanted the same for our church and her family. And so began a new every-two-years tradition at Christ Memorial Presbyterian!
As the pageant opens, a young child asks two adults, “Why is this such a season of wonder and excitement?” One of the adults responds, “Because of the coming of God’s love at Christmas; because of the birth of God’s son; because of how people received Jesus Christ into their lives.” And then instead of being told the story of Christ’s birth, the adults say they’ll show the story.
There is narration throughout so no lines to memorize. There is room for any number of sheep, shepherds, and angels with a purposeful invitation to people of all ages. A special song for the kings is included but otherwise, all singing is from the congregation’s hymnal with all participating. How often do we bring the generations together not just to worship, but to lead in worship?
We (I speak from experience of playing an angel) are able to pull it off with a Saturday morning rehearsal and a lot of prayer and fun! Very few props but plenty of simple costumes! There’s always excitement about which baby will play Jesus and we remember who that young actor/actress was for years.
I hope you will consider this pageant or something similar to involve people of all ages in bringing the story of the birth of Christ to your community this Advent season.
Here’s the script with thanks to Carrie and First Presbyterian Cumberland.
Also, check out GenOn’s “All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany” for intergenerational events through the season.