The audience is ready…..
Lanie came out in “priestly” garments.
Susan had a giggling fit over Lanie’s “beard”. Lanie gave her a stern dignified look…. then she announced to the listeners that her name is Zachariah. As she moved across the stage, she also told them that she is a priest and is about to perform her duty offering incense in the temple. She mimed offering incense.
Then SUDDENLY and ANGEL!!
“AHHH!” Lanie squealed and then acted very humble and hesitant…after all seeing an angel suddenly is very scary!
The angel spoke (In the deepest, most majestic voice Samantha could manage) ” Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John, and thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth….
“For He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Zacharias answered sounding very scared and nervous… “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”
“I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”
The Angel left and Zacharias showed the audience his great distress that he couldn’t talk….they tried to guess why he couldn’t talk.
Felicity narrated : “And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished” (that means the time he needed to spend working in the temple, she explained), “he departed to his own house.”
End of scene one.
For the next scene, Maryellen narrated an introduction while Josefina (Mary) pretended to be working in a kitchen.
Maryellen: The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”
POW! Samantha leaped out! ” Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
Mary (like pretty much everyone else that sees an angel) was frightened, she was also puzzled and not sure what this greeting meant…..
The Angel said …
“Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour 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 for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Mary: ” How can that be? I’m not married or anything!”
Gabriel/ Samantha: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Mary: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. ”
Gabriel left as suddenly as he had come…well okay a little slower because Samantha tripped on her big flowy gold outfit….But Gabriel left.
Maryellen (narrator): “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.”
Josefina pretended to knock and enter the “room” Elizabeth was in. (Naturally Elizabeth was playing Elizabeth)
Mary: Greetings Elizabeth!!
Elizabeth: “OW!!!! oooh uhh”… (then very loudly!) …”Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Mary: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”
End Scene 3
The next scene was Joseph…Nellie strutted out trying to act as manish as she could…even though her beard made her want to sneeze. She explained Joseph’s great distress to the audience. She told them he just didn’t know what to do with all the things he had been hearing about Mary…he just wasn’t sure if it was right to marry her after all.
Joseph:”Well, my mother always told me when it is late and something is bothering you and you can’t figure out what to do….go to sleep. So that is what I’ll do.”
But while Joseph was sleeping he had a dream….yup that is right another angel!
Angel: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Then Joseph woke up…..”I know what I should do now! I know it will be okay to marry Mary.”
End scene 4
Trip to Bethlehem and nativity scene was Ellen’s responsibility. She narrated the beginning….
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”
(Joseph and Mary moved slowly like they were really tired from the long trip.)
Mary and Joseph went up to “innkeeper” Rose and asked for a room.
“No, Sorry we are all full!” She told them in no uncertain terms.
They then went to innkeeper Ellen….”Please sir, do you have a room for us? We will take anything you have.”
Innkeeper Ellen waved her had dismissively…”No no room!”
“Please?” begged Joseph “Anything?”
“Well…” Innkeeper Ellen was softening “if you want to stay in the stable I won’t stop you.”
Ellen then returned to her narrating role… She said the cat was supposed to represent a cow….
“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.”
End Scene 5
The next scene had Lea, Susan, Maryellen and Bridget dressed up as shepherds.
Bridget: “Wow I’m tired tonight…can I sleep now and take the next watch?”
Maryellen: “Me tooooo!…another looong boring day just like the one before it and probably like tomorrow. I just want to go to bed. ”
Lea: “I can take the first watch, just make sure you have all your sheep up for the night.”
Susan: “I have my sheep right here!” she petted her bunny slippers in her lap.
Bridget: “Wait, where is our BIG sheep? Oh here she is”….she nudged the cat into the middle with her stick.
“I thought that was a cow??” Felicity called from the audience.
“It is a multipurpose animal…now shush!” Lea scolded her.
“AHHHHHH What is that!!!” Susan screamed with great melodrama as she fell down in severe shock.
“Defend yourselves!!” Maryellen yelled brandishing her stick.
“Protect the sheep” Bridget shrieked lunging forward to hug a sheep close.
(Even the big sheep was scared and hid)
“FEAR NOT!!” Bellowed the angel “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 Saviour, 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.”
and SUDDENLY!!! There was a multitude of heavenly hosts with the angel saying “Glory to God in the Highest! and on earth peace goodwill toward man. ”
After the angels left, the shepherds revived Susan who had fainted…..
then they went and found the baby just as the angel had said.
Debbie was dressed up as Herod….Her crown looked a bit odd. But she said she had seen pictures of Greek people wearing leaves on their head so she thought it would work.
The three wise men were appearing before Herod to ask where this Baby that is born king of the Jews is? “We have seen his star in the east and are come to worship Him.”
Herod had never heard of this and was very troubled and worried…After all, he was the king of the Jews!!…He consulted with his wise man…who told him it was prophesied that the Baby would be in Bethlehem
Herod told them to go to Bethlehem, and when they found the king ,to come back and tell them so he could worship the king, too.
The Wise men left Herod…and then they saw the star again!! It lead them to where Jesus was….They bowed before him and offered their gifts, Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense
That night after they left they all went to sleep….
When they woke up….They found out they all had had the same dream!! In it they were warned that Herod wanted to harm the baby, not worship him!! They decided that they would go home another way and not tell Herod where the baby was.
This same little baby, God in the flesh, would grow up and be the Savior of the world. He was born to die as a sacrifice in our place, to be the bridge between God and man, that we could be in heaven with Him instead of separated from Him forever.
End of the Christmas Eve play…
If you have read this far..Thank you for your dedication! 🙂 I realise this was super long, with lots and lots of pictures. But, the Christmas Eve play was a long-standing tradition in our family. This year, I wanted to show this tradition with my dolls. The play was a way we showed, even to the youngest kids in our family, the true meaning of Christmas. It was also a lot of fun to act out the different parts 🙂
Merry Christmas! 🙂