Neumann University students, faculty and staff will stage a live Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Mirenda Center on the Aston, Delaware County campus.

Neumann University will host its annual Greccio Live Nativity Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 3. The program, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development on Convent Road in Aston, Delaware County.

Neumann students and faculty will re-enact the Franciscan tradition of the crib, first celebrated in Greccio, Italy, and perform the live Nativity scene and the Scripture narration.

The program will also feature the sounds of sacred Christmas music, performed by the Holy Family Regional School Children’s Choir.

All are welcome to visit the university’s campus earlier to attend Mass at 4:30 p.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel of Bachmann Main Building and to see (and pet) the manger animals as they arrive at 5:30 p.m.

After the live Nativity program, the community is invited to enjoy traditional Christmas music and refreshments, and to meet Santa in the Devine Hospitality Suite of the Mirenda Center. The animals that participate in the re-enactment will remain on campus until 7:30 p.m.

The live Nativity was first staged in 1223 when a group of friars, organized by St. Francis of Assisi, led a singing throng of local residents to Greccio, a simple monastery in the heart of Italy. The villagers witnessed a primitive crib, surrounded by farm animals and peasants who re-enacted the birth of Christ. This ritual has been celebrated ever since, in Greccio and around the world.

For more information, call Neumann University’s Office of Mission and Ministry at 610-558-5511.