JAC Publishing & Promotions

Christmas Pageants by Sandra McNiff

ISBN #1-933159-40-5

Cast Requirements

A variety of casts of all ages.

Plot Summary

This is a collection of Christmas Pageants that may be used on stage or in a church setting. Each one tells the Christmas story in a different way, and some are designed especially for children to perform. The story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, as written in the Bible, unfolds in all of these pageants. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will become the mother of Jesus, then Joseph learns the news from an Angel in a dream. They travel to Bethlehem, where there is no room for them to stay at any inn. One Innkeeper takes pity on them, and allows them to stay in a stable. There Jesus is born, among the animals and the hay. His mother puts him to sleep in a manger. Angels proclaim his birth to shepherds, who come from neighboring fields to adore the baby. Finally, Wise Men from the east make a journey to find the new King whose birth was foretold by the stars in the heavens.

Table of Contents

All suggested hymns are from The Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal), unless otherwise noted. Numbers refer to the hymn numbers in the book.

  • Page 8-11: The Christmas Story—This play shows a family on Christmas Eve, trying to get everything ready with little time to spare. The youngest child wants someone to read the Christmas Story, but everyone is too busy. Finally, Dad, who would rather rest after his long day, begins to read from the big children’s Bible, and eventually all the other family members are drawn in by the story. They realize they do not need all the hustle and bustle as they remember the simple meaning of Christmas. The narration is based on the Biblical text, but is written in a simplified version. Some memorization is suggested for the family scene. This pageant was presented at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in December 1988.
  • Page 12-23: Emmanuel God With Us—First presented in 1992, this pageant is written in a formal style. It presents the story of the birth of Christ using text directly from the Bible as narration. The King James version of the Bible was used for this text, but any version of the Bible may be used. This narration was written with suggestions for phrasing – pausing at the end of each line (generally, where is a punctuation mark). Suggestions are given to include the pageant in a worship service.
  • Page 24-26: Nativity Tableaux, Suitable for a Living Nativity —This pageant has neither narration, nor any spoken words at all, and may be presented in an outdoor setting with live animals, if desired. When using live animals, please make sure their handlers are close by at all times to ensure safety for everyone present. The suggested music is instrumental (live or taped), in keeping with the non-verbal quality of the pageant. However, groups may include singers (such as a congregational sing-a-long) during the hymns. It may also be presented as a shadow drama behind a lit screen. It was written for St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Stuart, Florida, December 2003.
  • Page 27-31: Christmas Light—The narration is a rhyming poem that is suitable for children to read after a few rehearsals. Throughout the pageant, candles are used to symbolize Jesus, the Light of the World. It was presented at St. Anne’s Church in December 2003.
  • Page 32-35: What Is This Night? - This narration is also a rhyming poem, geared for adult readers, and requires minimal rehearsal. The Prop Bearers choose people from the congregation (audience) to portray the characters, help them with their costumes, and lead them to their places in the manger scene. It was written for St. Anne’s Church in 2004.
  • Page 36-40: Prepare! The Lord Comes!—Similar to What Is This Night?, this pageant features a prose narration. The Evangelist walks through the congregation, telling the story, and choosing people to portray the characters. The Assistants help the chosen put on their costumes and take their places in the manger scene. It requires little or no rehearsal except for the Evangelist. It was presented at St. Anne’s Church in 2001.
  • Page 41-45: She Kept All These Sayings In Her Heart—This pageant, first presented in 1995, uses voice-overs for the narration, as it is told through the eyes (and pens) of Saints Luke and Matthew, who included the Christmas story in their Gospels. If desired, the actors may read the narration aloud.
  • Page 46-48: Jesus Our Savior, Light of the World—This pageant’s narration, based on the Bible, is suitable for children to read and understand. It was first presented in 1993, then revised for 2002.

Online purchases are for single script purchases only and include $3 S&H.  For more than one script or a script package, please call us at (781) 272-2066

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$4.50/individual copy

$TBD/package +
$35/performance royalty

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Perhaps you'd also be interested in Sandra McNiff's Requiem
or Final Notes?

Sandra_McNiff.jpg (593082 bytes)Author Biography
Sandra McNiff is a speech-language pathologist, actress, and soprano who has a passion for writing. She has been involved in some aspect of theater or music for more than 40 years. During her career, she has produced and directed a children’s summer theater, worked as a professional puppeteer, performed in musical and non-musical theatrical presentations, staged chancel dramas and pageants, and served in various technical capacities, from stage hand to sound technician. In addition, she has written grants and volunteered as an officer and board member of several artistic organizations.

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