Last year I spent a good amount of time putting together this little Nativity program for our family and my extended family. I posted it on my blog and had a great response. I made a few changes to work out some of the kinks from last year.
It's shortened. The scriptures are now written in the actual script. We found it took quite a bit of time to flip through to get to all the references. Also having the scriptures in the text makes it so you could do the program with just a couple adults. Some of the scriptures I slightly abbreviated. It would still be perfectly fine to read them from the actual text if you prefer.
A couple other suggestions. Make sure you make enough copies for most of the adults, so they can help the children. Just enjoy! It does get a little long once Mary and Joseph are in the stable, if your children are very young. I am thinking of having some baby bottles and actual swaddling rags and diapers, to keep the children occupied.
The Christmas Nativity Story in the New and Old Worlds
Cast of Characters (there can be overlap!)
Samuel the Lamanite
Lambs (perfect for the little crawlers)
Stage Director (someone to help the children follow the stage directions)
Gifts for Wise Men
Doll for Baby Jesus
Tin foil rocks and arrows
Book of Mormon
Hymn Books (if needed)
Piano (if available)
Manger (doll crib or box)
Towel/ball to stuff Mary’s tummy
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Christmas Devotional 2008
In our modern world we often think of giving and receiving gifts when we think of Christmas. Although this can be part of a cherished tradition it can also detract from the simple dignity of the season. And distract us from celebrating the birth of our Savior in a meaningful way…The most memorable Christmas’s can be those that are the most humble…It doesn’t take expensive gifts to make Christmas meaningful… The simplicity of that first Christmas foreshadowed the life of the Savior…His life was a model of modest nobility…Though he was a King he cared neither for the honors nor for the riches of men. His life, his words, his daily activities were monuments of simple yet profound dignity. Jesus the Christ, who knew perfectly how to give, set for us the pattern of giving...Through our simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, may we fill the world with the light of his love and his healing power.
President Henry B. Eyring Christmas Devotional 2008
[By playing the parts in this pageant may each of us] learn something about the Savior. And why we love him and how we honor him.
The Pageant Narrative
Narrator: The Savior’s birth was prophesied around the world. In the Old Testament, Isaiah was one of many prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah.
Scripture Reader: Read Isaiah 9:6 “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Sing: “Joy to the World”
Narrator: Prophets in the Americas also told of the Savior’s birth. Samuel the Lamanite was scorned and rejected by the Nephites. Unafraid, he stood upon the wall and testified with prophetic power to a disbelieving crowd.
Stage Directions: Samuel stands on a chair. Pretends to prophesy, the rest of cast sits on ground and tries to hit him with tinfoil balls. They cannot hit him.
Scripture Reader: Helaman 14:5,8; 16:1-3 “And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld, and whosoever shall believe on the name of the Son of God the same shall have everlasting life...Many who heard the words of Samuel believed...and were baptized...but many did not believe in the words...and were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall; but the Spirit of God was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.”
Narrator: Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord. She would be the mother of Jesus. The prophet Nephi saw Mary in a vision 600 years before she would become the Savior’s mother.
Scripture Reader: 1 Nephi 11:13 “And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth was a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white...
Stage Directions: The angel speaks to Mary.
Narrator: The angel visited Mary and helped her understand her divine mission.
Scripture Reader: Luke 1:26-28, 30-31, 37-38 “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: an blessed art thou among women...And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest..And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”
Stage Directions: The angel speaks to Joseph
Narrator: The angel visited also Joseph, her soon to be husband. Comforting and preparing him for the difficult journey ahead.
Scripture Reader: Matthew 1:20-21 “The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son...for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Stage Directions: Mary is pregnant and she and Joseph knock on innkeeper doors. They are rejected. They move to a manger and hold baby Jesus doll.
Scripture Reader: (read slowly giving children time to enact) Luke 2: 1, 3-7 “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed...And Joseph went up from Galilee...unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child...And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Sing: “Away in a Manger”
Narrator: President Thomas S. Monson said: “No room. No room. No room. Ever has it been. Today lovely homes provide rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, playrooms, sewing rooms, television rooms, but no room for Christ. Do we experience a pain of conscience, when we recall his own words “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”…Each of us must make time in our lives and room in our hearts for our Savior.”
Stage Directions: The angel stands on a chair and speaks to the Shepherds and lambs. The shepherds act afraid.
Scripture Reader: Luke 2: 8-14 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Sing : “Far, Far Away on Judea Plains”
Scripture Reader: Luke 12-14 “And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, Glory to Bod in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Sing: “Angels We Have Heard on High”
Stage Directions: Shepherds and lambs come to see the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They kneel down and worship him.
Scripture Reader: Luke 2: 15-16 “And...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 came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”
Narrator: These shepherds visited by the angel watched the most sacred lambs. These were lambs without blemish, to be offered for sacrifice. President Eyring teaches, “The lambs were following the Shepherds to honor the baby Jesus, born to be the infinite sacrifice. The priceless gift of Heavenly Father to all his children…”Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” The Savior, the lamb of God, was the greatest gift ever given. In the first few years of Jesus’s life he was visited by certain wise men, bearing gifts.
Scripture Reader: Matthew 2: 1-2 “Behold there came wise men 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: “We Three Kings”
Stage Directions: Wise men follow the star to Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. They present him with gifts.
Scripture Reader: Matthew 2: 9-12 “And, lo, the star...went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was....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, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Narrator: President Monson counsels us: “Jesus invites us to give of our selves. Behold the Lord requireth the heart and a wiling mind…As we exchange gifts at Christmas may we remember, appreciate and receive, the greatest of all gifts, the gift of our Savior, and redeemer, that we might have life eternal.”
Sing: “Silent Night”