- Peace on Earth
...especially during the Christmas Pageant!
Our beloved annual Christmas Pageant is in its final stages of preparation. Once again, those haunting carols will bring to life the age-old story of Bethlehem as the angels and shepherds of our own Kindergarten class re-enact the mystery of Christ’s birth. Staged in the sanctuary of St. James’ Church, the Christmas Pageant stands as one of the most beloved of our school traditions. I bet you didn’t know this, but it would be physically impossible to fit all our children and parents into St. James’ Church without violating every safety code known to God and the fire marshal! During my first year at St. James’, several parents and teachers offered me their perspectives on what to do to avoid the harrowing scenes of Christmases-past with irate parents jockeying for seats several hours ahead of the pageant. And so, that year we piloted a new plan that allowed comfortable seating in the Church for some, while accommodating others even more comfortably in the Parish Hall. Miraculously, the change worked well, and now it, too, has become a beloved Christmas tradition at St. James’. As your children put the final touches on their songs and performances for Wednesday night’s worship service and pageant, here are a few notices and reminders about the event:
The pageant is now a ticketed event. This afternoon by Backpack Express you received either two red tickets or two green tickets
Red tickets grant access to seating in the Church.
Because we all agree it’s important for the Kindergarten parents (who have never before seen their little ones as angels!) to be seated where they can see well, each Kindergarten family will receive two RED tickets for seating inside the Church.
All new families, regardless of grade level, will receive two RED tickets for Church seating as well.
The sixth grade parents will receive RED tickets since they will be viewing the pageant for the last time.
The third grade parents will also receive RED tickets for church seating…just because.
Green tickets grant access to seating in Parish Hall.
Families who did not receive red tickets will receive green ones.
There will be a giant screen for viewing the live video feed from the Church in real time during the pageant.
After the pageant has ended, each class will join you in the Parish Hall to sing their musical numbers just for you, and unlike the congregation in the Church, you can applaud for every carol!
If we find, just before the pageant begins, that there are additional seats available in the Church, we will lead those GREEN ticket holders who were first in line for admission to the Parish Hall and seat them in the remaining places in the Church in the order in which they arrived in the Parish Hall.
Don't need all those tickets?!
If you are unable to attend the pageant, you must return your tickets to the front office and Mrs. David will make sure they get to another family who requested additional tickets. If you need an extra ticket, please contact me by email and I’ll let you know whether it’s possible or not.
On Wednesday, December 13, at 9:00 a.m., we will hold a final dress rehearsal for the pageant in the Church. You are ALL welcome to attend.
While there may be interruptions for last minute directions, we’d love to have you join us, especially if you will be seated in the Parish Hall later that evening.
Front rows are reserved for students and faculty during the rehearsal as well as during the actual service in the evening. We ask that you respect the signage and sit only in those seats reserved for the congregation – not with your children.
The Sacred Worship Service
Sometimes we forget that the annual Christmas Pageant is actually a service of worship in which we reenact the story of the first Christmas.
Please join in with gusto on the liturgical responses during the service and in singing the traditional carols. Otherwise, we ask that you refrain from talking during the service.
We also ask that you avoid all flash photography in the Church. No iPhones or iPads or notebooks or cameras of any kind. The school will provide video and photo coverage of the event.
If you are seated in the Church, there should be NO applause during or after the service.
For the Needy
This is a time to think of others less fortunate than we. To help the poor, the hungry, and the homeless, we will take up a collection the evening of the pageant, and monetary donations of any size will be gratefully accepted. Proceeds will provide food for the guests of the Soup Kitchen and for St. James’ Food Pantry. Please help us give a delicious Christmas dinner to the folks in our neighborhood whose needs are so great and whose cupboards are so bare. Come to the pageant prepared to give generously. Let’s let them know St. James’ cares.
New This Year: A Pre-Pageant Event
In previous seasons we have served wine in the Parish Hall during the pageant. While that certainly helped to make our spirits bright, we were becoming…how shall I put this…perhaps a little too merry for our own safety and propriety. What is truly a sacred tradition and a cherished part of the school’s history began to look like any other Christmas party on the block. So, we have a new idea that we believe is sure to become yet another treasured moment in the great St. James’ Christmas tradition:
Please join us in the school Courtyard between 6:00 and 6:45 for a pre-pageant event as soon as you drop off your children. We will toast the greatest community ever with a glass of wine and a few light snacks…and then proceed either to the Church or to Parish Hall for that joyful annual experience, the St. James’ Christmas Pageant. We respectfully ask that you not import any contraband from your personal stock or wine cellar. Both the Parish Hall and the Church will be alcohol-free zones from now on.
Thank you...from the bottom of my heart!
I want to thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding. In our core values, this haunting line always strikes me: “Everything we teach and do is the curriculum.” Children learn far more about how to behave by watching the adults around them than they ever do from reading books in school. Let’s give the children a remarkable model of caring, community, good listening, and kind interaction during those precious moments leading up the pageant.
See you Wednesday evening, December 13, for the most beautiful Christmas Pageant ever!
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for the Kindergarteners, at 6:15 for Choir members; and at 6:30 for all other students. Supervision will be available in classrooms at 6:15 throughout the building and the worship service and pageant itself begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.
See you at the Pageant. Remember to bring your red or green tickets!
Head of School
- Homeless Children Clothing Drive