Celebrating Jesus’ birth
When Gail Parker, the church’s organist, looked out over the people gathered in the sanctuary for this year’s Christmas Eve family service, she began noticing children, and even some adults, who once had played the role of Baby Jesus in previous years’ pageants.
One of the adults, she remembered, had been Jesus at a pageant 31 years ago. He obviously had left a lasting impression.
Thirty-one years from now, there likely will be another memory, this one about the young boy who was Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve 2014. He was that good!
Seventh-month old Charlie Lamoglia was Baby Jesus this year and his “performance” was an uplifting experience for everyone who attended the 6 o’clock service.
For almost 45 minutes he was at center stage at the front of the sanctuary and it appeared he might have been born for the role.
He smiled at whomever looked his way, looked up in wonder whenever angels or shepherds strolled by, appeared somewhat puzzled when giant twinkling stars danced in front of him, and always focused on his parents — Mary and Joseph for the hour — whenever he needed the reassurance that something special was happening on this particular night.
Charlie was the center of attention for this latest re-telling of the story of Jesus’ birth, but there were many other highlights, too, in a pageant that included children and adults from inside the church and out playing the roles of angels, shepherds and wise men.
One of the truly surprising moments came just prior to the shepherds’ arrival at the stable. As last-minute fill-ins, Terry and Heather Keezer were twinkling stars who danced to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” much to the amusement of the Holy Family. Only in Terry’s case, he was not quite a “little” star. It almost looked as if he had experienced a wardrobe malfunction. But in the end, he was a good sport for accepting the role and making it sparkle.
Also in the pageant, the angels were truly heavenly. . .
. . . and some of the shepherds were clearing having a good time.
The wise men had to indeed be wise, convincing Amazing Grace the giraffe that on this night, she was a camel.
And as with all of this church’s pageants, music was both magical and inspirational. Camille Braun played “The Holy City” on violin, accompanied by her father Mark on piano. Mark then joined with talented Tyler Rodenberger for a piano duet of “Cannon in D.” And throughout the pageant, it was Gail Parker contributions on the organ that set the tone and spirit for each segment of the story.
The spoken word also was special throughout the evening with scripture readings by Ellie Gagne and Preston Stewart and the scene-joining narration of Laura Young.
In the end, it all came down to celebrating Jesus’ birth in our own special way, but with tradition, the service concluded with the candlelight singing of “Away in the Manager” and “Silent Night.”
Click here for more images of the Christmas Eve family service and behind-the-scenes preparations: