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Children bring Christmas story to life in pageant at Christ Episcopal Church

Sometimes, it’s not only the words that come from the mouths of babes that can be so touching.

It’s also the enthusiasm, the singing, the telling looks and the surprise moments — say, when a shepherd gently holds the hands of one of his nervous sheep, or an anxious angel reaches up to straighten her tinsel halo.

The Children’s Christmas Pageant at Christ Episcopal Church Sunday morning had all that and more — including a cast of nearly 150 children that had starring roles as shepherds, sheep, cows, the Three Kings, camels, angels, Mary, Joseph, the innkeeper and, yes, stars themselves.

And the true star of the show — the Baby Jesus — even had a double. Twins Neely or Lizzie Lyons were prepared to back each other up if one got cranky or tearful.

But that didn’t happen. There wasn’t even a flubbed line. The entire production went off without a hitch, as Mary, played by Eliza Powers, and Joseph, played by Frayser White, and one of the Lyons twins as the Baby Jesus welcomed shepherds, cows, sheep, angels, the Wise Men, camels and stars followed their cues and burst into renditions of “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain” at the appropriate time.

Rector Paul Walker said the church’s annual Christmas pageant is one of his favorite days of the year.

“The Christ Church Children’s Christmas Pageant allows children to participate in the best story ever told! It is a way for the Incarnation to come alive once again,” said Walker. “And watching the parade of angels, sheep, shepherds, and wise men can’t help but fill you with the kind of hope enkindled by the birth of Jesus. Plus, it is just so fun!”

Such pageants, carol services and choir practices are occurring throughout Charlottesville and the area as Christians prepare for one of their holiest days of the year. Sunday was the third Sunday of Advent, a time of year that many Christians observe as a period of reflection and preparation to prepare their hearts for the birth of Jesus.

The pageant at Christ Episcopal wrapped up with a rousing version of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” which seemed especially fitting for a city surrounded by any number of them. Relieved yet happy children raced back to the pews and the arms of parents and grandparents.


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