Suburban Virginia Nativity Concert Captures Essence Of Christmas Season For decades, Falls Church Anglican in suburban Virginia has staged a nativity concert for hundreds of people on Christmas Eve. For many, the event captures the essence and innocence of the season.

Suburban Virginia Nativity Concert Captures Essence Of Christmas Season

Suburban Virginia Nativity Concert Captures Essence Of Christmas Season

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For decades, Falls Church Anglican in suburban Virginia has staged a nativity concert for hundreds of people on Christmas Eve. For many, the event captures the essence and innocence of the season.

Performers conduct a dress rehearsal of the annual nativity concert at Falls Church Anglican in Virginia. The event attracts hundreds of people on Christmas Eve. Courtesy of Falls Church Anglican hide caption

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Courtesy of Falls Church Anglican

Performers conduct a dress rehearsal of the annual nativity concert at Falls Church Anglican in Virginia. The event attracts hundreds of people on Christmas Eve.

Courtesy of Falls Church Anglican

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Tonight, many churches are putting on a Christmas Eve Nativity program. Children dressed as shepherds and angels will act out the story of Jesus's birth. We sent a producer to a dress rehearsal at the Falls Church Anglican in suburban Virginia to capture some of the spirit.

PRISCILLA KNEISLEY: I need the sheep onstage right now. Come on; you have more energy than that. Go, go, go, go, go.

My name is Priscilla Kneisley. I'm a volunteer director of the children's Christmas Eve service.

Follow the blue lines, OK? And this is your hiding place, OK?

It's a very young group of children this year, especially young.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: (Whispering, inaudible).

KNEISLEY: And we have children ranging from age 2, who are star-holders who guide the wise men in. And then we have a lot of kindergartners.

We're going to start from the beginning. You all take it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Welcome to our family Christmas Eve service. God promised his people that his love for them would be shown through a child, a child who is the son of God and our Savior.

KNEISLEY: You know, it's taken from the books of Luke. It's a combination of a story from Luke and Matthew.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Gabriel) Don't be afraid, Mary. I am the Angel Gabriel. God sent me to bring you a message of great joy.

KNEISLEY: You'd think we'd have all this memorized over the years, and some people have done this for many years. But every year, it is so energetic and new.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, hee-hawing).

KNEISLEY: OK. Are sheep and shepherds backstage in the right order? I want all the sheep and shepherds asleep and no wiggling.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As sheep, baaing).

KNEISLEY: OK. Keep going.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As Character) What do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Gabriel) Don't be afraid, dear shepherds. I am here with good news. Today, in Bethlehem, your Savior, Christ, the Lord, is born.

KNEISLEY: Shepherds need to use playground voice.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: My playground voice is my inside voice, so it's all the same.

KNEISLEY: (Laughter) We might be in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing) We three kings of Orient are bearing gifts. We traverse afar.

DAN MAROTTA: My name is Dan Marotta. I'm one of the pastors on staff at the Falls Church Anglican. I help narrate the story. And then towards the end of the reenactment, I share what the meaning of all of this is.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #1: (As Character) Thank you, God, for letting us worship King Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #2: (As Character) We thank God for sending his son.

MAROTTA: It does often seem like almost every year, we get to this point where we go, another year, the problems locally and nationally and abroad - so many terrible things, so many lives lost. But here we are again, remembering the source of hope.

KNEISLEY: Oh, that was great. OK, keep the baby up until the last chord.

MAROTTA: The whole thing doesn't last any longer than about 45 minutes. And hopefully, by the end of it all, you would have experienced a sense that, even in a year as difficult as 2015 has been, there is a place for joy and beauty to enter the world.

UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing, unintelligible).

SHAPIRO: That's the Reverend Dan Marotta and congregants of the Falls Church Anglican. Their Nativity service took place earlier today in Arlington, Va.

KNEISLEY: Smiling - you're still angels. Yes, (unintelligible) the risers.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The last row begins to exit, you may...

KNEISLEY: Stand in the middle, Juliette (ph); stand in the middle. There we go.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: Should I go back?

KNEISLEY: Nope. Go to the risers. Go to the risers. OK, go stand next to the...

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