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Christmas nativity: Classic characters
Chances are you have played at least a minor role in a Christmas nativity play at some point – probably when you were a child if you went to a Christian primary school. The nativity play is still an essential part of life at primary school so perhaps you have young children now who will be starring in the school production this year. Although the event is still a fair way away, it is sensible to bone up on your Christmas nativity knowledge, so here is an outline of the important characters you will be seeing.
Obviously the Christmas nativity is the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, so he is a prominent character. However there is little chance your child will take this role as he is represented by a doll. However a central character to the script usually played by a person is his mother, known by a number of names including ‘Mary, Mother of God’, ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary’ and ‘Saint Mary’. For the main female role in the Christmas nativity it takes a child with good acting skills as they have to simulate giving birth – something challenging for even the most seasoned performers. Of course another pivotal role is that of Joseph, the partner of Mary, who according to the story is taking the heavily pregnant lady to Bethlehem for a census. This is a sought after role as your child will get to wear a robe and carry a shepherd’s crook.
No Christmas nativity would be complete without the three wise man (otherwise known as the three kings). The trio or Balthazar, Jaspar (sometimes referred to as Caspar or Gaspar) and Melchior as extremely important characters. As you may remember they are three distinguished foreigners who visit Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The shepherds who witness the birth of Jesus are also typical components in a Christmas nativity, along with animals inhabiting the stable where he is born such as the ox and the ass.
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