Saint Benedict Academy presented its annual Christmas Pageant on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7 PM at Saint Raphael Church.
The Church was “standing room only” as crowds of families, alumni, friends, and our esteemed Superintendent, Fr. John Fortin, O.S.B., joined the students and faculty for an evening of song, prayer, and celebration.
The presentation began with a processional of all of the students: the villagers (Kindergarten); sheep (First Grade); shepherds (Second Grade); angels (Third Grade); Wise Men (Fourth Grade); and the Principal Characters (Sixth Grade).
After a welcome from one of the fifth grade narrators, another one reminded us of our history and our founding by the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey in 1889 as the bells sounded, a procession of monks (Fifth Grade) solemnly walked down the center aisle, and the choir chanted “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” We were then reminded that the story of the pageant would not begin with the “once upon a time” of fairytales, but rather, as the greatest story ever told must begin: with the sign of the Cross.
Through music, we were transported to the Eastern Kingdoms where the wise men were tracking a new star and made the decision to journey with their entourage in pursuit of the star as it surely indicated the birth of a king. As the stately procession left through the center of the Church, we saw the village of Elizabeth where Mary came to share the news about the Annunciation and Joseph’s interaction with the angels who revealed to him the important role of Mary and the child she carried.
We then journeyed to Bethlehem where the innkeepers offered Mary and Joseph the stable. We also spent time in the fields with the jovial shepherds and their very perceptive sheep. Angels descended and revealed the birth of Christ to the assembly, inviting them to seek out Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger in Bethlehem. As the audience joined the 120 students in singing “Angels We Have Heard on High,” the Christmas tableau was complete.
The presentation concluded with a community sing-a-long, a reflective reading of “One Solitary Life,” and a grand finale of the SBA rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah.”
Many thanks to: the teachers and to parent volunteers for creating the costumes; Mr. Don for his work on sound; Mrs. Perdue and her crew for setting up the cookie reception; our alumni who returned to pass out programs and sing with us; Mrs. Gravel; and, most especially, to our music teacher Mr. O’Brien for teaching the students the music and for his sharing of the gift of music.
Check back in the coming days for more photos from the event.