Every Christmas Eve we gather our family together to have a musical, spiritual remembrance of the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ. We dress up (with bathrobes and sheets and towels and broom handles and foil crowns and anything else handy) and act out the story of the nativity.
Over the years, I developed a script that we follow, more or less. Here it is for you.
The music links include free sheet music, mp3 downloads, and more. The inset text, modified slightly from scripture, is read by the designated narrator. I hope this will bless your family this season!
Family Christmas Nativity Pageant
For centuries the people awaited the Messiah, for the prophets had said: Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us.
They further prophesied that he should be born in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus have they said, And thou, Bethlehem, which lieth in the land of Judea, in thee shall be born a prince,…for out of thee shall come the Messiah, who shall save my people Israel.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went our a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the work should be taxed.
And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city.
Mary and Joseph enter
And Joseph (because he was of the house and lineage of David) went with Mary his espoused wife, up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
lay baby in manger
Sing: Away in a Manger
shepherds come on stage, face away from manger
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
have Shephered’s Feast
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 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 a Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hose praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they cam with haste, and found Mary and Joseph…and the babe lying in a manger.
Sing: Silent Night
shepherds turn toward manger – enter wisemen and Herod
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold there came wisemen from the east to Jerusalem, saying, 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.
Sing: With Wondering Awe
And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
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.
And thus the prophecy was fulfilled…from obscure beginnings in a distant land came the Hope and Salvation of the World.
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 Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Sing: Joy to the World