This past Tuesday night, 20 December, our little parish in Trastevere, Santa Dorotea, staged a pretty impressive living Nativity Scene. I was expecting a couple of kids dressed as shepherds or angels draped with sheets à la The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I was completely unprepared for a massive production that included over 50 children and dozens of adults, a children's choir, and adult choir, a violinist, a spotlight and numerous live animals. Trastevere's first Living Nativity Scene, staged in our very own Piazza Trilussa, was a resounding success, and I would be lying if I said I didn't tear up a few times during the 90 minute production. Here are a few of my own photos from the event that do not do it justice.
Seeing Mary and Joseph preparing to cross the Ponte Sisto was a magical sight. This was when I started to get as giddy as a child on, well, Christmas. I have nothing against Santa Claus, the reindeer, the tree and all the presents, but as corny as it sounds, this is what Christmas is all about for me, and seeing it reenacted, especially in my stomping ground, the neighborhood I have called home for more than seven years, was intensely moving.
One of my favorite parts of the nativity scene was the shepherds corner. They went into such detail to recreate the atmosphere and it was truly magical.
Mary and Joseph arrived to Debussy's Clair de Lune, its gentle notes overpowering the hushed square. You can see my priest in this photo, to the right of Joseph's head, the inspiring Padre Umberto Fanfarillo who organized the entire production.
See the angel playing violin?
The three wise men also arrived to gut-wrenchingly beautiful music.
A few photos of the stars.
The baby actually seemed divine: he didn't cry once, not even a peep.
This was without a doubt one of the greatest things I have ever experienced in Trastevere, including the Chocolate Festival! I hope to participate next year!
All photos by author
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