Students and faculty will stage a live nativity at Neumann University on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 6:15 p.m.

Neumann University will celebrate its annual Greccio/Live Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 6:15 p.m. on the lawn of the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development on Convent Road, Aston. The program is free and open to the public.

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

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

Prior to the program, Neumann University extends an invitation to celebrate Mass at 4:30 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel, located on the first floor of the Bachmann Building.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., manger animals will be on site and available to pet.

After the Nativity program, all are welcome to meet Santa and enjoy refreshments and Christmas music inside the Mirenda Center.

In 1223 St. Francis of Assisi created the first live nativity scene in Greccio, Italy. He had recently been inspired by his visit to the Holy Land, where he’d been shown Jesus’ birthplace, according to tradition. This ritual has been celebrated ever since that year, in Greccio and around the world.