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A Rehearsal-Free Christmas Pageant
An Intergenerational Worship Service for Christmas

Here is an easy, fun, rehearsal-free, intergenerational Christmas Pageant designed to take place during worship service. It invites participation from children, youth and adults alike, tells the story of Jesus’ birth and even involves dressing-up in costumes!

How It Works

As members of the congregation arrive for worship, they are greeted with tables of costumes from which, with the help of enthusiastic volunteers, they will choose what character in the story they would like to dress up as. There will be costumes for angels, shepherds, various barn animals (cows, donkeys, sheep) and townspeople. Once the worship service begins, a narration based on the Luke telling of Jesus’ birth is read/shared with the congregation. At various breaks in the narration, while the congregation sings a corresponding song, folks with certain costumes will go to the front of the sanctuary and help create a live nativity scene.

What you need to make it happen

1. People

  • You need a “master of ceremonies” (M.C.) who informs the congregation of what is happening.
  • You need one or two scripture readers (this is something  youth can do, but adults can do it, too)
  • Optional: You may need a narrator. This CAN be the M.C. or it can be someone different.
  • You need a “Mary” (usually a child or youth) and a costume to go with it – there are no speaking parts, by the way, for Mary  
  • You need a “Joseph” (usually a child or youth) and a costume to go with it – there are not speaking parts, by the way, for Joseph
  • You need a doll (“baby Jesus”), some swaddling clothes, and a manager to put baby Jesus in – needless to say, there are no speaking parts for baby Jesus…
  • You need a “go it alone” angel with a costume, including a pole/staff with a large “star” attached at the top of it.
  • You need at least 4 people with engaging personalities who like to dress people up in costumes. These four people will help the congregation get into their costumes before worship starts (preferably right when they enter the door of the church building)

2. You will need costumes for the congregation

This is where most of the preparation time comes in.  If this is your first year doing the pageant, plan to get a group of folks together by early October to start making these costumes. Remember, numbers-wise, you’re going to want to have costumes for at least 75% of your expected worship service attendance.

You will need a total of 6 generic-type costumes (the following bolded words are the 6 types of costumes you will need)

  • Angels (suggested costume: white robe-like material, maybe some wings, most likely a halo)
  • Shepherds (suggested costume: burlap-like robe, a belt, maybe a sash, maybe a shawl/headband/bandana, definitely a shepherd’s crook/staff)
  • Animals:
  • Sheep (suggested costume: Some sort of wooly white fleece to go over a person’s shoulders)
  • Cows (suggested costume: Some sort of black and white patterned material – like a cow – to go over a person’s shoulders and maybe a tail)
  • Donkeys/Horses (suggested costume: Donkey ears and a tail)
  • Townspeople (suggested costume: same deal as the shepherds but without the staff, and maybe no head coverings)

3. You will need music and lyrics for the songs you choose to sing

This requirement is not any different than any other worship service, but I didn’t want to leave it off the list. Here are the songs I’ve typically used for the narrated part of the worship service:


  • This Little Light of Mine
  • Here I Am, Lord (verses 1 and 3)
  • Little Town of Bethlehem (verses 1 & 2)
  • Away in a Manger (verses 1 and 2)
  • Hark the Herald Angels
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful
  • Do You Hear What I Hear? (verses 1 & 2)  
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Joy to the World  

4. Finally, you will need a script for the M.C. to use / direct with

At the top of this page, in the “Resources to Download for Christmas Pageant” box, you can download a Narration script, example bulletin, a printable version of the text on this page, and the lyrics to the suggested songs for the worship service. It’s all there, just waiting for you to use it.

If you have any questions or comments, click the “Contact” box in the top right corner of any page to email me. I hope this works for you.

–Nathanael Vissia

Resources to Download for Christmas Pageant

A list of what you need to get started……………

Narration script for the Christmas Pageant…….

Example bulletin using Christmas Pageant……..

Lyrics for suggested songs……………………….

click HERE for .doc  |  click HERE for .pdf

click HERE for .doc  |  click HERE for .pdf

click HERE for .doc  |  click HERE for .pdf

click HERE for .doc  |  click HERE for .pdf