An Angel Appeared to Them: A Christmas drama for children and adults


After seeing the issue of Reformed Worship featuring angels on the cover (RW 53), I wrote this program, based on the Christmas story in Luke 2, for our church school.

For our program we had the family scene set up on one side of the platform, while the action scenes with the angels took place on the other side. We borrowed a spotlight from the local school to help shift attention from one scene to another.

—Barbara Vos


Participants in Speaking Order

Hannah (a young girl)

Nathan (her older brother)



Narrators (several children can take these parts)




Angel A



Scene 1

[Family is in their living room around the Christmas tree. Parents and children are hanging ornaments on the tree.]

Hannah: This is the last one.

Nathan: Dad, it’s time for you to put the angel on the top of the tree. . . .

Father: Hannah, will you hand it to me?

Hannah: Here it is, Dad.

[Father places angel on the top of the tree. Family stands back and admires the tree.]

Hannah: Dad, why do we put an angel on the top of tree? Are angels part of Christmas too?

Father: Good question, Hannah. Angels are very much a part of the Christmas story. Let’s sit down and read the Christmas story together.

[Family sits down; Mother brings the Bible.]

Mother: Did you know that the word angel means “messenger”? Angels are messengers for God. They speak and act for God who sends them.

Father: Let’s begin with what I’ll call the Angel of Preparation.


Scene 2: The Angel of Preparation

[Zechariah comes into the temple from the left and begins to pray by the altar (a table with a bowl on it). He stops praying when the angel appears. The angel comes in from the right.]

Narrator 1: In the time of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth who were upright and blameless in the sight of God. But they had no children, and they were both well along in years.

Gabriel: Do not be afraid, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy to you. He will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord!

Zechariah: How can I be sure of this? I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.

Gabriel: I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. Because you did not believe my words you will be unable to speak until the day this happens.

[Spotlight switches to family]

Mother: And Zechariah was unable to speak until the day he named his newborn son John. Then Zechariah was filled with joy and praised God with a song he wrote; in fact, we call it the Song of Zechariah.

Congregation sings: “Blessed Be the God of Israel” SNC 104 

Nathan: I remember another story of an angel. The angel who came to Mary.

Father: Yes. That’s the angel I will call the Angel of Hope.


Scene 3: The Angel of Hope

[Scene changes to Mary standing at the table preparing food. The angel quietly enters from the right and comes to her.]

Gabriel: Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you! [Mary looks afraid]

Narrator 2: Mary was greatly troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said,

Gabriel: Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

Mary: I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said. [Mary bows her head]

Congregation sings: “He Came Down That We May Have Hope” SFL 136, SNC 92


Scene 4: The Angel of Reassurance

[Spotlight returns to family]

Nathan: I remember another angel—the angel that came to Joseph.

Father: That’s right. This part of the story is found in the book of Matthew. You know, I sometimes wonder just how Joseph felt.

[Scene changes to Joseph sleeping]

Narrator 3: This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother, Mary, was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph was a righteous man, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

[Angel appears next to Joseph]

Angel A: Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because the child within her is conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Narrator 4: Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

Congregation sings: “Jesus, Name Above All Names” SNC 114 

[Spotlight returns to family]

Nathan: [pointing to angel on the top of the tree] My favorite part of the Christmas story is the angels announcing to the shepherds that Jesus was born.

Mother: Me too! There are so many songs written about this wonderful announcement. I really like the song, “O Come All You Faithful.” The first stanza reminds us that the baby in the manger is the King of angels! The second part is the song of the angel choir that the shepherds heard.

Father: I think it’s wonderful to remember that God sent special messengers to shepherds. Shepherds were just ordinary people. God wanted us to know that he loves everyone.

Hannah: Let’s sing that song!

Children and congregation sing: “O Come, All You Faithful” PsH 340, PH 41, RL 195, TH 208, TWC 173


Scene 5: The Angels’ Announcement

[Center stage. Shepherds are lying and sitting around a “fire” (perhaps a flashlight under some twigs). Only the light of the fire illuminates the stage.]

Narrator 5: So Joseph went up to Bethlehem, because he was of the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the child to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths, and placed him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.

Narrator 6: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

[Angel B appears, spotlight on angel]

Angel B: Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Narrator 7: Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying:

Children sing: “Gloria, Gloria” SFL 134, SNC 115  Everyone joins in on the repeat. 

[Spotlight returns to family]

Father: There is one more angel who was very important to the Christmas story. After Jesus was born, magi came to worship him and give him gifts.

Mother: But the wise men weren’t the only ones who knew that a king had been born. King Herod was very angry, and he ordered his soldiers to kill all of the baby boys in Bethlehem.

Father: God protected Jesus’ life by sending an angel that appeared to Joseph in a dream. This angel told Joseph to take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. That very night, they got up and left for Egypt.

Mother: Isn’t it wonderful how God carefully protected baby Jesus? God loves us so much. God made sure that Jesus would live so that he could bring us salvation.

Congregation sings: “Meekness and Majesty” SNC 109

[Spotlight returns to family]

Nathan: Are there any more angels in Jesus’ story?

Father: Yes! Do you remember the story of Jesus’ resurrection? Women came to the tomb, and they found two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning. The angels told the women, “He is not here. He has risen!”

Hannah: Will we ever see angels, Dad?

Father: Yes, Hannah. The book of Revelation tells us that we will join tens of thousands of angels standing around the throne of Christ and singing.

Congregation sings: “You Are Worthy” PsH 232


Congregation sings: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” PsH 345, PH 31, RL 196, TH 203, TWC 171.


Reformed Worship 61 © September 2001, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.