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Away in a Very Crowded Manger

What I loved about our church Christmas pageants when I was little was that it was the same every year. You might start out as a sheep, but by the time you were a bit older, you could have the script and the songs nearly memorized and would be all set for one of the juicy roles like Mary or a Wise Man (no one wants to be Joseph - he's boring and has to hang around with a girl). I was offered the part of Mary once, but I didn't want to be Mary to Scott Weber's Joseph. I don't know why exactly, because I don't remember really disliking him.

There is a student at Albion who I haven't seen in the four years that he's been there. This may be because I've forgotten what he looks like now. I can't think of him without remembering him at about nine years old, dressed as the third Wise Guy, following the flat, monotone delivery of "Where is he who is born King of the Jews?" and "For we have seen his star in the East..." with a very lively, animated, game-show-announcer-esque "...and are COME to WORship him!"

I was sad when our choir director left and we went through a series of new scripts and even years where there was no pageant at all. My senior year, more in the interest of tradition than in religious affairs or the church, I volunteered to direct the pageant and resurrected the script. I had the disadvantage that none of the current crop of actors knew the songs or script as well as we had, but with the church organist as Musical Director, we managed to get them singing and practicing lines and pulled off something nice.

I don't really know why I felt I had to blog about this, except that at 22 years old, I still remember big chunks of dialogue from the play. As I sat eating dinner tonight, I suddenly remembered how it made me giggle when the narrator said that the shepherds "found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger."

srah - Tuesday, 3 December 2002 - 2:59 PM

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