KOTA KINABALU – It is good to see Catholic traditions being maintained.
A group of young children from the Neocatechumenal Communities at Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) in Kota Kinabalu did precisely that on Epiphany Sunday, 7 Jan 2018.
Over 30 of them courageously stepped forward to become actors and singers for a 40-minute play staged with all necessary supporting props and impressive graphic backdrops at the main hall of the SHC parish centre.
A new born boy was found to take up the role of baby Jesus, a teenage couple played the central figures of Mary and Joseph; another girl as Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, and many boys and girls volunteered to act as angels and shepherd boys.
Their play was presented in five separate but well-integrated scenes with appropriate narration and backdrop icons to depict each segment – The Annunciation, Birth of Jesus, Visitation, Angels & Shepherds, Three Wise Men.
Grown-up children and some parents supported these young actors by taking up such roles as King Herod, the Three Wise Men, narrators, in stage design, management and production.
Great efforts were made all round to prepare the necessary stage props, including doors of inns where Mary and Joseph were told there was no room for baby Jesus to be born.
The children spent many sessions in practising their respective roles and in presenting all the songs for the play.
Suitable costumes and attires for all were designed and acquired for use for the occasion, adding to the outstanding display of talents by the players.
At the end of the show, Father Paul Lo, assistant Rector at SHC, told the children he was very impressed by their show of talents and presented to them special gifts on behalf of the parents.
Prior to the start of the show, Fr Lo had a brief dialogue with the young children thus helping them to know and understand the true meaning of the Feast of Epiphany and the manifestation of the light that comes with Jesus for all nations.
The Epiphany play has been consistently staged by communities of the Neocatechumenal Way in various parishes of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu as one of the means to pass our Catholic faith to young children.
By taking an active part in such a play over a number of years, the children of the communities are given opportunities to gain knowledge and faith in the birth and mission of Jesus Christ in a personal and intimate way. – Joe Leong