Fr. Patrick Egan compliments the kids on a job well done. / W.C. Mann
CULLMAN – On Sunday afternoon, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in downtown Cullman celebrated one of its favorite annual traditions in the Christmas children’s pageant. During the Christmas vigil Mass (the service that occurs the evening before the holiday), around 30 of the parish’s kids performed a nativity play for the congregation, complete with the holy family, wise men, two-legged animals, and a whole choir of angels.
The staging of live nativity displays is an old Catholic tradition. St. Francis of Assisi has been credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 in Greccio, Italy, after returning from a trip to the Holy Land during which he visited the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.
After the service, Sacred Heart Pastor Fr. Patrick Egan, with a few hours break before he had to start getting ready for the parish’s midnight Mass, took a moment to compliment his new pageant team.
“This year we switched. Mary Hovater had been running it, and now Monica Windham and her sister Natalie Hilb picked it up, along with Annabelle Hazard and Kelly Allbright,” said Egan. “They took it, and they kept the tradition up. It was equal to or better than. Mary did a fabulous job; she did it all by herself. So now there were four of them, and they did a fabulous job tonight.”
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