Many church pianists have already been practicing for their church’s Christmas program.
In many cases, the church pianist IS the choir leader and has the task of deciding what to do for a Christmas program.
My son is our choir director. He works at least 50 hours a week and the father of three small children. Needless to say, I help out by coming up with a simple program to fit our 40 minutes per week choir practice time. (this accounts for starting roughly two months in advance; which may vary from church to church depending on your choir’s ability)
My son and I have about a 40 minute commute to church so we’re very time conscious!
Our most-involved Christmas program back in 2011 was entitled “Christmas at Home” by Ron Hamilton. We used the “readers theatre” version due to limited time. The main actors were acting their first play ever. (Part Two sampler of our Christmas at Home)
In recent years, we have experienced a much more pleasant, relaxing time through having easier Christmas programs.
I have written two VERY easy Christmas programs…one of which is FREE HERE. I’m still editing the second FREE Christmas program.
Now…ideas for enhancing your Christmas Program…
Lyrics taken from cantata books make for great narration when coordinating a chronological list of songs together for a short choir concert. (That’s what we’re doing this year)
Include congregation by having them sing a song in the program. ( the choir could sing a descant taken from a hymnal while the congregation sings the melody) Another neat idea…have Pastor lead congregation in reciting Luke 2:14 at the appropriate time during the program. Very effective! (Tip: Include Luke 2:14 in the Christmas program bulletin)
The congregation could also stand and sing a song following their verse (Luke 2:14) Song suggestions: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World (include lyrics in the program bulletin)
Easy Christmas Program Suggestion:
Several different adults recite the Christmas story(Luke 2:1-19) in microphone off stage while children in appropriate costume act out the narration.
Stage setup: Only two scenes: Manger scene center stage, shepherd scene on left or right of manger scene. (props for shepherd scene not necessary).
Songs can be inserted appropriately throughout the narration.
Extra tip:Remind children that they must listen to what’s being read so they can act accordingly…to avoid appearing mechanical
Also a good idea to remind narrators to read with conviction! It brings the story to life!!
Hopefully this will help church pianists or choir leaders trying to find last-minute ideas for an easy Christmas program.
Please feel free to leave comments or ideas below.
A reminder: I do have over a dozen FREE piano and vocal Christmas arrangements available HERE.
Sharing a few links that may give you an idea as well (don’t fully endorse all the ideas at these links… but you can sift out what you like)