Due to Covid cancellation of my church’s Christmas pageant I have doctored the original script to reflect the realities of the times. Don’t worry. This will never be performed!
(Narrator is fully masked, as are all the cast, and is in place at the lectern with the brass angel and standing on a box and speaking into the microphone)
Narrator: Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah and join with the faithful throughout the world who celebrate the coming of Light and Life with us:
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
(MARY is up front and enters from the side as does GABRIEL)
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph. Her name was Mary. Gabriel came to Mary and said:
GABRIEL: Greetings! The Lord is with you.
Narrator: But Mary was greatly troubled
MARY: Who are you and why do you come to me in this manner? You are not socially distanced, you are not masked. Stay six feet away please.
GABRIEL: Be not afraid, Mary. God loves you. You will have a son and you will name him Jesus.
MARY: I am not married and I can’t even touch Joseph. He cares for his mother who is immuno-compromised and we are not in the same bubble.
GABRIEL: What toil and trouble that bubble! But never mind for God’s power will make you pregnant. The baby will be the Son of God.
MARY: Ok, whatever you say. I am God’s servant. But please go! And next time wear a mask. Are those wings even sanitized?
Narrator: Then the angel left.
(Gabriel exits to the side and goes to the back of the church)
(Joseph enters from the side to join Mary)
Narrator: In those days the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus held a census of the Roman world so everyone went to their home towns to be registered. Even though non-essential travel was forbidden, the emperor insisted people comply with this order and increased the distribution of rapid test kits. However, he did not hire more health care workers or pay them any more.
Joseph went from Nazareth to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the family of David. He went with Mary who was expecting a child.
BUT when they arrived, the little town was crowded. Joseph had trouble finding a place to stay. They knocked on many doors and Joseph said:
(Joseph knocks on the door. Mary is beside him.)
JOSEPH: Please, can we have a room?
JOSEPH: Don’t you have any rooms at all? My wife is about to give birth!
INNKEEPER: Absolutely not. I have empty rooms but CAN I get the staff to clean them? NO I cannot!! Everybody wants the CERB. No one wants to work. What’s an innkeeper to do?
MARY (turning to Joseph): I think we should take the risk.
JOSEPH: Mary No! Remember? You had Astra Zeneca before Moderna. I’d feel so much safer if you had had two shots of Pfizer. And, now, you haven’t had your booster! It’s just not safe.
INNKEEPER: Go out back into the stable if you’d like. That’s all I can offer.
(Joseph and Mary walk up to the manger and stand behind it.)
Narrator: They ended up in the stable. And Mary gave birth to a son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger.
(Mary lays a baby doll into the crib and looks lovingly at it)
(Narrator, please wait for sheep and angels to arrive from the back of the church to the manger. Since they have to socially distance this will take some time.)
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and they were filled with fear.
SHEPHERDS: What is happening? This is really scary!!! The mask is not covering the nose! Did he really just cough without putting his elbow up to his face?
Narrator: And the angel said to them:
GABRIEL: Be not afraid. I bring you great joy. Today is born Christ the Lord!!! Go to a stable to find the baby. And suddenly there was a multitude of angels praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to his people on earth!’
Narrator: The shepherds said to one another, “I’m really uncomfortable with this crowd. Let us get away and go to Bethlehem to see this child.”
Narrator: Then the youngest shepherd Daniel spoke up:
DANIEL: “I can’t go to Bethlehem. I’m not vaccinated. I can’t DO anything! I can’t go to a restaurant or a gladiator contest or into the temple. My mother won’t even have me in for Hanukkah because she’s scared of the Covid. The government tries to force poison into my body. I resist and then people say I made a choice. It’s not a choice!!!
Narrator: Then the lead shepherd spoke up:
LEAD SHEPHERD: Don’t get your knickers in a knot. Next thing you’ll be protesting and shutting down tea houses. You stay here and we’ll go. Take care of the sheep. If you lose even one sheep go find it. Everyone else. Mask up! Bring the sanitizer! Don’t forget your vaccination papers!
So they went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. Mary held up the baby for them to see since she wouldn’t let them come nearer than six feet. The shepherds were excited and told everyone they met about God’s child.
(The sheep and angels remain at the sides of the manger socially distanced)
(The Wise Men start to come up from the back of the church)
Narrator: Now after Jesus was born three Wise Men from the East – Baltha-STRANG, Casper-TAM and Melchio-FAUCI came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled and called for the wise men. (Now Herod hated all things sharp and pointy. He had never served in a military campaign and he was not double-vaxxed due to fear of needles. But this he kept a secret. Only a few in his entourage knew. He had threatened them. If they ever revealed his secret he would immediately send them to a St. FX ring ceremony.
Herod said to the Wise Men:
HEROD: Non-essential travel is not permitted in these pandemic times. Don’t you know you have to be prepared to pivot domestic and international travel?
Baltha-STRANG: But we have seen a star! We must follow it. We are all double-vaxxed and have our boosters.
HEROD: Don’t you know you there’s a new variant? Omi-something. It’s highly transmisable.
Baltha-STRANG: It’s pronounced Om my cron.
Casper-TAM: You’re saying it wrong Baltha-STRANG.. It’s Omicron like the mic in Mickey.
MELCHIO-FAUCI: Whatever. The point is Herod there’s going to be a new king and we want to see him.
HEROD: Ok. Go and search for the child, BUT when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.
Narrator: The Wise Men followed the night star to find Jesus. They presented their vaccination papers, then took out Lysol wipes to sanitize their treasure boxes then offered their gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. They were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went home another way.
THIS is where our Christmas story ends, but it is not the end of the story. Jesus’s story is a gift, not of gold or wrapped in paper and bows, but of Light and Life.
(The Innkeeper hands Narrator a note)
Narrator: Attention all! The Christmas pageant for 2020 has been cancelled due to rising case numbers and new restrictions. Go in peace.
(The cast grumbles and shouts and does not go in peace until pacified with candy canes.)