Neumann University will host its annual “Greccio Live Nativity Celebration” on Sunday, Dec. 6 beginning at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development on Convent Road in Aston, Delaware County.

The event is free and open to the public.

Neumann students, faculty and staff will reenact the Franciscan tradition of the crib, first celebrated in Greccio, Italy, performing the live nativity scene with 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 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. Children will receive free glow sticks before the program begins. After the Live Nativity, the community is invited to enjoy traditional Christmas music and refreshments, and to meet Santa Claus in the Devine Hospitality Suite of the Mirenda Center. The animals that participate in the reenactment 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 reenacted the birth of Christ. This ritual has been celebrated ever since in Greccio and around the world.

For more information, call the Office of Mission and Ministry at 610-558-5539.