Vonne Lee, Elizabeth McGee and Max Sender played Mary, Jesus and Joseph in St. Andrew's Cathedral children's Christmas Pageant last year. This year, the pageant will start at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Christ’s birth

Actors will dramatize the story of Jesus' birth this weekend at Manoa, Makiki and Kailua churches as the great holiday of Christianity begins. In the Christmas story, Mary and Joseph were turned away from Bethlehem inns and forced to seek shelter in a stable. "La Posada," the traditional Mexican telling of their journey, will be re-created tomorrow and Wednesday by churches in Kalihi and Kaimuki. Special music and festive services are scheduled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some events are:


>> "The Gift of Bethlehem" will be open 6 to 9 p.m. on the lawn of Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. Nearly 100 volunteers participate as church members act in scenes of the holy family, strolling shepherds, caroling angels and exotic kings from the East. It can be viewed by pedestrians or from vehicles as a drive-through; enter from Beretania Street.

>> "Peace, a Yuletide Musical Gift" from Kawaiahao Church will begin at 7 p.m. at 957 Punchbowl St. Jazz vocalist Star Williams will be the special guest performer along with A Touch of Brass ensemble, Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus's Gioventu Musicale, Kawaiolaonapukanileo Vocal Ensemble, and the church choral and bell choirs and halau. Narration will be by David Free and Kawaiahao Drama Ensemble.

>> About 100 singers and musicians will participate in the free Christmas concerts at 7 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Honolulu Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1560 S. Beretania St.

Calvary Church hosts a Christmas play and family service at 7 p.m., followed by a Festival of Carols and Holy Eucharist at 10:45 p.m. The Christmas Day service is at 9 a.m.


>> "La Posada" will be performed by the Hispanic congregation after the noon Mass at St. John the Baptist Church, 2324 Omilo St. in Kalihi.

>> Two-month old Noah Harris has the starring role in the "Live Nativity" enactments to be staged for the first time by Faith Baptist Church, 1230 Kailua Road, Kailua. The performances at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8p.m. will involve several church members including Noah's father Reggie as a wise man and his mother Kanani behind the scene.

>> The Salvation Army's "Live Nativity" show will be presented Sunday through Wednesday, at half-hour intervals from 7 to 10 p.m., at Waioli Gardens, 2950 Manoa Road. More than 100 people participate, with a new group of volunteers each night.

>> Grace Bible Church Honolulu will hold its Christmas celebration at 9:30 a.m. at Dole Cannery Ballroom. The service will be followed by games for children and refreshments.

The Salvation Army re-creates the first Christmas every half-hour from 7 to 10 p.m. from Sunday through Wednesday at the Waioli Gardens, 2950 Manoa Road. More than 100 people participate in the performance, with a new group of volunteers each night.


>> Calvary Church, 45-435 Aumoku St., Kaneohe. The Christmas play and family service are at 7 p.m., followed by a Festival of Carols and Holy Eucharist at 10:45 p.m.

>> Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. Sunday School children will lead the 5p.m. service, followed by "Carol, Candlelight and Communion" services at 7, 9 and 11p.m.

>> Christ United Methodist Church, 1639 Keeaumoku St. The candlelight service begins at 7 p.m.

>> Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave. Christmas will be celebrated at 5 p.m. in a service led by children and youth, followed by supper, and in a 9 p.m. candlelight service of lessons and carols.

>> Epiphany Episcopal Church, 1041 10th Ave. An island version of "La Posada" will precede the 6:30 p.m. Holy Communion service. Hawaiian chanter Raymond Ganotise will lead Mary and Joseph in their search for "room at the inn." Celebrants will set luminarias outside the church to light the way for the 10:30 p.m. Holy Communion service.

>> First Christian Church, 1516 Kewalo St. A 7 p.m. "Lessons, Carols and Communion" service will be held.

>> First United Methodist Church, 1020 S. Beretania St. Christmas Eve services are at 7:30 and 9 p.m.

>> Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific, 930 Lunalilo St. Matins at 6 p.m. will be followed by the Divine Liturgy at 7 p.m. and a reception in the church hall.

>> Harris United Methodist Church, 20 S. Vineyard Blvd. A brass band and bell ringers will lead the music at candlelight services at 7 and 10 p.m.

>> Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St. A family candlelight service will begin at 5:30 p.m. The 11 p.m. Festival Choral Eucharist featuring Haydn's "Missa Sancti Nicolai" will be preceded by 10:30 p.m. "Baroque Christmas" music with the choir and full orchestra presenting works by Boddecker and Bach.

>> Nuuanu Congregational Church, 2651 Pali Highway. Music for the 7 p.m. candlelight service will include Sunday School students and the "Touch of Brass" ensemble.

>> Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, 1184 Bishop St. The Christmas Vigil Mass will be at 6 p.m. Carol-singing and narrated lessons will start at 11 p.m. in advance of Midnight Mass.

>> Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1404 University Ave. Services are at 7:15 and 11 p.m.

>> St. Andrew's Cathedral, Queen Emma Square. A children's Christmas pageant will be presented at 5 p.m. The Christmas Eve festivities will continue with a 7 p.m. choral Eucharist and a 10:20 p.m. choral prelude before the 11 p.m. Christ Mass.

>> St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 93 N. Kainalu Drive, Kailua. The 5 p.m. Nativity pageant and Holy Eucharist will be followed by a 9 p.m. Festive Choral Eucharist.

>> St. John Lutheran Church, 1004 Kailua Road, Kailua. Christmas Eve services will be at 5, 7 and 11 p.m.

>> Salvation Army, Waioli Chapel, 2950 Manoa Road. The 7 p.m. candlelight service will led by Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell.

>> Windward United Church of Christ, 38 Kaneohe Bay Drive. The 7:30 p.m. candlelight service will be preceded by a string quartet at 7:15 p.m.


>> Calvary Church. The Christmas Day service is at 9a.m.

>> Central Union Church. The 10 a.m. Christmas service of readings and carols will feature the Pohnpei congregation choir and their pastor Godaro Lorrin.

>> Epiphany Episcopal Church. A Holy Communion service will be at 9 a.m.

>> Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The 10:30 a.m. Festival Choral Eucharist will feature performance of Gregorian chant, French organ noels and favorite carols.

>> Our Lady of Peace Cathedral. Bishop Francis DiLorenzo will preside at the 9 a.m. Mass. Other Christmas Masses will be at 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. and at noon.

>> Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. The Nativity will be celebrated at 10 a.m.

>> St. Christopher Episcopal Church. Holy Eucharist with hymns will begin at 10 a.m.

>> St. Andrew's Cathedral. The Hawaiian Christ Mass will begin at 9 a.m.

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