Rules for Pageant Survival

xmaslogoHaving just returned from our Christmas Pageant rehearsal (and stopped twitching), I thought I’d offer some friendly advice on how to survive the annual Christmas Pageant.

Father Tim’s Rules for Pageant Survival:

  1. Make sure you have enough wings for all the angels. Unless you have a high tolerance for the requisite high- strung angel meltdown.
  2. Shepherds’ crooks make fine swords (even better than Palm Sunday palms).
  3. Don’t give your young Melchior an actual flaming pot of frankincense.
  4. There’s a fine line between angel and Barbie princess. Parents, please communicate this to your “little angel.”
  5. No live animals. Two-year-old “sheep” cause enough chaos. Save this for St. Francis Day.
  6. If you go with a live baby Jesus always have the Holy Doll standing by just in case.
  7. When you dim the lights and sing “Silent Night” don’t give out individual candles to the children. Unless you have really good fire insurance.
  8. Make sure Joseph goes to the bathroom before the pageant begins.
  9. It’s nice to wash those dish towels the shepherds wear on their heads at least once a decade.
  10. If you like liturgy done “decently and in order,” go to the late service.

Actually, I think the Pageant service is a more realistic celebration of our incarnational faith than Midnight Mass. Authentic relationship with God is more often messy and chaotic than it is dignified and beautifully choreographed. The important thing to remember is that it’s not just chaos but “holy chaos.” God’s in the midst of it all; which is what Christmas is really all about.


5 Comments on “Rules for Pageant Survival”

  1. Holy chaos indeed. And about that fine line between angels and Barbie princesses, not so fine.

  2. Susan Walsh says:

    Holy chaos….a good phrase. And yet it’s not the chaos one remembers decades later; it’s the holy. Now that’s grace. Thank God for His/Her sense of humor.

  3. Auralie says:

    Tim, are you old enough to remember Spike Jones’
    “I’m the Angel in the Christmas Play” ?
    If not, I can lend you the CD

  4. Father Tim says:

    No, but I love the title. I’d love to hear it and of course we’ll have to incorporate it into next year’s pageant right next to “Angels we have heard on high.”

  5. roo roo says:

    Don’t forget Rule 11:

    Make sure the organist and choirmaster leave an extra beat after the first phrase of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” – to wait for the giggling to subside!


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