Christmas Pageants 101

The information below should answer most of your questions. Feel free to reach out to Rowan if you have other questions we haven’t thought of!

A Christmas Pageant is usually the retelling of the biblical nativity story. It differs from a play in that it is generally a procession with limited, if any, dialog. The story is usually told by a narrator with actors portraying the various parts.  Since my job title is Director (of Spiritual Exploration) I will help direct the actors…so…trust me…no rehearsal needed. It will all be good. Correction…it will all be great!



Like always, we are asking that anyone who wishes to have a part come dressed as the character they would like to play. This is not just for children. Adults too. It might be a really fun thing for your family to do together in fact. What a great memory maker!

Folks should come as angels, shepherds or magi..the wise men. BTW…It is only tradition that says that there were only three and that they were men..but as Unitarian Universalists, we know there have always been wise people of ALL genders! In fact, none of the roles in our pageant are gender specific.  We will have already coordinated with a specific family to play the role of the Holy Family.  

Which brings me to the costumes. Nothing elaborate is needed here, but you might like some suggestions.

Angels…usually something white…but not necessarily. I’ve seen white dresses, a nightgown, white pants and a t-shirt…anything really or could simply be a piece of cloth with a slit cut in the middle for the head and tie something around the waist. A piece of garland or tinsel around the head for a halo…wings if you want them…and ta da…an angel.

Shepherds…light layers. These folks worked outside. Could be a bathrobe, the basic cloth with a slit for the head and usually some sort of headgear…how ‘bout a pillowcase secured with a headband or one of Dad’s old ties. Use a scarf.  Find a nice stick on a walk in the woods to serve as your staff.  

Magi…something regal. A deep color, shiny fabric, beads and gold. A cape…fur…a chance to get your bling on. Maybe you want something to hold that represents a gift of frankincense, gold or myrrh. 

These are just ideas. Don’t stress over the costumes! Make it simple! Do whatever is easiest.

The important thing is not what you’re wearing…it is that you come–with your family if you have one–and take part in the service. It is bound to be meaningful for all of us and lots of fun too. Your children won’t remember …or care… what they wear, but they will remember being a part of it all as we tell this special story.

Looking forward to sharing in this fun UCM tradition with you,

~Rowan Van Ness, Acting Director of Lifespan Spiritual Exploration