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St. John's Episcopal Church is located on the northwest side of Chicago, in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. You can learn more about us at our official web site. We hope you'll join us!

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Friday, January 9, 2009

The Epiphany Pageant

Epiphany is the holiday (January 6) that celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings, or Magi, in Bethlehem.

St. John's has about 140 members, of whom it seems about 190 are children. That makes things very lively, and you have to constantly watch where you're stepping. Each year the kids put on an Epiphany Pageant, and each year it's different. We are lucky to have a vast number (relatively speaking) of very talented people in the congregation: artists, playwrights, mechanics – it's amazing. And the adults chip in to make costumes, take out the "quire" pews to give the kids room for a stage, build sets, assist with direction, feed everybody during rehearsals, and keep the littlest ones from wandering off.

The youngest children are assigned to be "angels," which is not always type-casting. They have a few lines but they say them in unison, so there's usually at least one that's paying enough attention to get the line out on cue. The adult here is Jason. He is a professional actor and has a lot of lines, but the most difficult thing he does is herding these cats.

I took about 10 shots of the angels, and each one is charming and hilarious in its own way.

This is the Annunciation scene. Notice that Jason has a wire going down the back of his neck to a battery pack. His "halo" had little lights in it. You can't say we don't have a sense of humor at St. John's. Mary is showing an appropriate level of apprehension, I think.

There's no room at the inn.

Shepherds watching their flocks by night (sort of):

Joseph and Mary, with a doll. One year we used a real baby. The baby survived, but I'm not sure the mother did. And yes, Joseph wore glasses and a wristwatch. You don't know your Bible, do you?

The Magi arrive. And yes, of course Joseph and Mary had a Christmas tree.

The cast, mostly. I think some of the angels have wandered off.

The audience was totally charmed. Suellen looks positively enraptured.