A very late nativity!
As promised at the end of the last blog, I now have some photos of the nativity play at our church.
Perhaps I should explain that each year we hold a carol service on the Sunday before Christmas. It's at 5 p.m., so it's dark outside and the church is mainly lit with candles (more about that later!). One year we have a Christingle* service and the following year a nativity play. This year, it was a nativity play. Actually, it's not really a play, but a tableau. The story of the birth of Jesus is read out, and people come forward to represent the characters and gather at the front of the church until there is a full group: Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the shepherds, angels and wise men.
This year nothing was rehearsed, so it was a bit nerve-racking! The children and adults arrived half an hour before the service and were kitted out with an appropriate costume. Everyone waited at the back of the church until their part of the story was read out and then made a grand entrance.
It was very simple and very special. I think it was extra special this year, because we had a real baby to represent Jesus: and he was perfectly behaved all the way through!
Mary and the baby
And candles? Well, there is also a candlelit service on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately this year a candle was left burning after the service. We arrived on Sunday morning to find the candle had burned through a flower arrangement and a wooden window ledge. The fire had travelled up the window alcove and the heat had cracked the glass in the window....but then it had put itself out! How about that for a miracle?
carols: religious songs sung at Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus
tableau: a scene represented by people standing on a stage wearing costumes
nerve-racking: something that makes you tense and worried
to kit out: to provide someone with everything they need at that particular time: in this case, clothes