Religion Past and Present

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Christmas Plays and Pageants
(827 words)

[German Version]

The liturgical dramas or plays on the theme of Christmas or Christ's Nativity event, the goal of which was the glorification and adoration of God. The initial pedagogical function was to teach the faith through by presenting sacred history and to encourage appropriate moral behavior in a mode accessible to the otherwise illiterate Christian populace. The earliest forms of liturgical dramas were the annual retelling of the scriptural events during the Latin Christmas and Easter ceremonies. By virtue of these liturgical origins, the initial Nativity and Passion plays…

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Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane, “Christmas Plays and Pageants”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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