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Nativity Play

18 December, 2012


A Christmas story

by Susan Gately (©2002)


Narrator/s Scenes 1 – 7
Mary Scenes 1, 3, 7
Angel Gabriel Scene 1
Roman Captain (plus 6 guards)
7 hats, 6 paper gowns, 11 shields
Scene 2
Joseph Scenes 3, 4
Donkey Scene 3
1st Innkeeper Scene 4
2nd Innkeeper Scene 4
David Scenes 5, 7
Adam Scenes 5, 7
Angel (and 6 little angels) Scene 5
Isaac Scenes 5, 7
Sam Scenes 5, 7
Melchior Scenes 6, 7
Caspar Scenes 6, 7
Balthasar (plus 6 attendants to kings) Scenes 6, 7
Animals in crib Scene 7



Scene 1: The Annunciation

(Mary is sitting alone sewing a piece of cloth)
Narrator A long time ago, in a faraway town called Nazareth, there lived a girl called Mary. She was beautiful and full of love, and she wanted to love God a lot. One day, while Mary was sewing her dress, an angel appeared to her. It was the Angel Gabriel.
Gabriel Hail Mary, full of grace.
Narrator Mary was a little frightened when she saw the angel. Seeing this, the angel said:
Gabriel Don’t be afraid, Mary. I have great news for you. God has sent me to tell you that you are going to have a child and he will be called Jesus.
Mary But how can that happen when I am not married?
Gabriel You will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and so the child will be holy and be called the son of God.
Mary I am happy to do what God wants. Let what you have said be done to me.
Narrator And the angel left her. Some time later, Mary got married to Joseph, a carpenter who lived in the same village, and they settled down to live together.

Scene 2 – The announcement of the census

Narrator A few days later, there was a big commotion in the centre of the town – the Roman soldiers, lead by a captain, had come to make an important announcement.
(Roman soldiers march onto stage)
Captain Quick march! left right, left right , left right, troops halt!
(Roman soldiers do a few more exercises and then stop)
Captain Hear ye, hear ye. The Emperor, Caesar Augustus, wants to know how how many people are living in this land, so everyone is to go to the town where they were born to be counted. Anyone disobeying the emperor will be punished!Soldiers, ready march! Right left, right left, right left.
(Soldiers march off the stage)

Scene 3 – The Journey to Bethlehem

(Mary, Joseph and Donkey walk to centre of stage)
Narrator Now Joseph was from a town which was miles away from Nazareth, so that meant that he and Mary had to set off on a long journey to Bethlehem. It was winter time and it was very cold. Even the little donkey that carried Mary was feeling cold.
Joseph Oh Mary, I wish we didn’t have to go to Bethlehem at this time of the year, especially now that you are expecting a baby. I’m so worried about you. I hope you don’t catch cold.
Mary Don’t worry Joseph. Wait till you see, everything will work out fine. God will look after us.
Song: Little DonkeyLittle donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards
With your precious load
Been a long time, little donkey
Thro’ the winter’s night
Don’t give up now, little donkey
Bethlehem’s in sight

Ring out those bells tonight, Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Follow that star tonight, Bethlehem, Bethlehem

Little donkey, little donkey, journey’s end is near
There are wise men, waiting for a sign to bring them near
Do not falter, little donkey, there’s a star ahead
It will guide you, little donkey, to a cattle shed

Little donkey, little donkey had a heavy day
Little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way

(Mary, Joseph and Donkey walk off stage)

Scene 4 – The Innkeepers’ Convention

Narrator But when Mary and Joseph arrived at Bethlehem, things didn’t look too good at all. There were so many other people there to be counted that all of the hotels and inns seemed to be full up. There was no room anywhere.

(Innkeepers walk onto stage)

1st Innkeeper Gosh, it’s busy these days. We’re completely booked up.
2nd Innkeeper So are we. I’m glad Caesar wanted to find out how many people were living here – it has been great for business.
(The other innkeepers nod in agreement. Then there’s a knock at the door and Joseph comes on stage. He’s shivering with the cold.)
Joseph Excuse me. I was wondering would you have a room where my wife and I can stay for the night.
2nd Innkeeper Sorry, we’re all booked up. There’s no room. You’ll have go somewhere else.
Joseph But we have tried every inn in Bethlehem. You are our last hope. Please help us. My wife is going to have a baby very soon. She can’t stay out in the cold.
2nd Innkeeper Sorry, that’s your problem. You’ll have to go now.
(Joseph looks very upset, and turns to leave.)
1st Innkeeper No wait – I think I can help you. There’s a stable at the back of our house. It’s not much, I know, but at least you’ll be out of the cold. Here’s the address. You can go there immediately.
Joseph Oh, thank you! May God reward you for your kindness.

Scene 5 – The Shepherds and Angels

Narrator Now, around Bethlehem there were lots of little hills, where sheep used to graze. The shepherds who looked after them had to sleep out in the open at night, taking it in turns to stay awake, because that was when the sheep were in most danger, from foxes and wolves.
(A group of shepherds and their sheep walk onto the stage. All but 2 settle down to sleep.)
David Doesn’t the sky look really lovely tonight?
Adam Yes, I’ve never seen so many stars and they’re so bright.
David I’m glad it’s my turn to stay awake. I wouldn’t want to miss this for anything.
Narrator As they are admiring the stars, suddenly an angel appears in the sky, and the whole sky seems to be lit up with the light that comes from her. David and Adam jump up with the fright. This wakes up the other shepherds, who look up at the angel with great fear.
Angel Do not be afraid. I have great news for you. Today Jesus has been born. He is the saviour of the world. You will find him lying in a manger in a stable in Bethlehem. Just follow the star and it will take you there. And don’t worry about your sheep because God will look after them.
(Other angels join the first angel and they chant together.)
Angels Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to his people on earth. (Repeat this 3 times.)
(Angels fly off to the side of the stage.)
David Come on, let’s go quickly to find Jesus.
Adam Look, I’ll bring him this little baby lamb as a gift.
Song: Angels we have heardAngels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing oer the plain,
And the mountains in reply
Echoe still their joyous strain

Gloria, in excelcis Deo (X2)

Shepherds why this jubilee?
Why your rapturous strain prolong?
Say what may your tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?


Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ our Lord, the new-born king.


(The shepherds, and sheep hurry off the stage.)

Scene 6 – The Three Wise Kings

Narrator Meanwhile, some way off, three kings and their servants were making their way through the night. They had been travelling for months, walking, or riding their camels, thousands of miles. They came from different parts of the world and had met by chance as they travelled along, following a bright star which had appeared in the sky. Because they were wise men, they realised that the star was a sign that the King of the world had been born.
King Melchior I’m so tired. How much longer do we have to travel before we find him?
King Caspar Let us not give up hope. It can’t be too much further now.
King Balthasar I think the star, is getting lower in the sky. Maybe we are getting closer. Come on – let’s hurry up.
Song: We Three KingsWe three kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moon and mountain
Following younder star


Oh, oh, star of wonder, star of night -Star of royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding – Guide us to thy perfect light

Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring, to crown him again
King for ever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign


Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh:
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high


Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom,
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying


Glorious now, behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice
Heaven sings alleluia, Alleluia the earth replies.


Scene 7 – The Stable at Bethlehem

Narrator Just as the angels had said, baby Jesus had been born in the stable at Bethlehem. Mary, his mother, wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. And then both she and Joseph gazed at him with love. They could hardly believe their eyes. Jesus, the saviour of the world, had been born, and he was going to be living with them.
(Joseph and Mary are kneeling on their hunkers, with baby Jesus in the middle. After a few moments, the shepherds arrive.)
David Oh, this must be it. Look there’s the baby!
Adam Imagine, this is the saviour of the world!
(The shepherds fall on their knees before the baby.)
Mary But how did you know we were here?
Adam While we were watching our sheep, the whole sky was lit up with angels, and one of them told us you were here.
Sam The angels were singing in the sky saying “Glory to God in the highest”. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.
David We were terrified, but they told us not to be afraid, that Jesus the saviour of the world had been born.
Isaac We are so happy to be here with you and Jesus.
Mary We are happy you are here too to share our joy. This is a day that we will always remember.
Song: Away in a Manger
(As the song finishes, the three wise kings arrive and they too kneel before baby Jesus.)
King Melchior At last we have found you. Our search was not in vain. Here is my gift for the saviour – a casket of gold.
King Caspar I bring you a gift from my native land – frankincense. I give it to you, Jesus, with all my heart.
King Balthasar And here is my gift – myrrh, a precious spice from the orient. We are so lucky to be here with you, and so we want to give you these gifts on behalf of all of the people of the world, to say that you are the only king.
Adam And we brought you a gift too – a little lamb, on behalf of all the children of the world – to say that you are welcome to our land.
Mary I am sure that baby Jesus is very happy with all of your gifts, but most of all because you have given him your hearts as well.
Narrator Baby Jesus brings the light of love into the world, a love that touches each one of us. So now we light a candle to symbolise the birth of his love within us. We help each other on this journey and so we take the light from one another. Let us bring this light out into the world to each person we meet.

(Candles may be lit now. While the players remain as they are, around Jesus in the crib, all sing “Silent Night”. Blow out the candles at the end.)



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