Raleigh Cathedral School’s annual portrayal of the baby Jesus’ birth had something in common with the original: There was no room for the blessed family.
That changed this year as the performance moved to the 2,000-seat Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, which opened in July.
“We’re very excited,” said Donna Moss, principal of the Catholic school since 1999. “We’ve waited a very long time to have a place with enough space.”
All 235 of the school’s pre-kindergarten to 8th-grade students perform in the pageant, whether as characters in the manger at Bethlehem, members of the choir or narrators.
The school, on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh, hasn’t been able to perform the Christmas pageant in its circa-1939 building in years, because its adoring audience couldn’t fit.
“For each child, if you add mom and dad and grandparents, that’s 750 more people,” Moss said.
So each year, Mary, Joseph and Three Wise Men moved the production across the street into borrowed space at Edenton Street United Methodist Church.
This year’s pageant was held Monday night at the new cathedral, which is becoming the home of many of the Raleigh Dioecese’s traditions and celebrations. The congregation will celebrate mass several times at the cathedral Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.