Many of us have a manger scene or crèche that we set up at this time of year to depict the birth of Jesus Christ.
St. Francis of Assisi is said to have created the first manger scene for Christmas Eve of 1223.
This year, in the height of the pandemic, as more families spend quiet time at home, it may be a good time to get in the habit of offering a special blessing for your manger scene.
A good time to do it is on the Vigil of Christmas, or Christmas Eve, but any time is fine. Here’s how:
Reader: “The Gospel of the Lord.”
Response: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”
The leader then prays:
“God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
you have made manifest your love:
when our need for a Savior was great
you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy, and love.
bless all who look upon this manger;
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
and raise our thoughts to him,
who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
and who lives and reigns forever and ever.”
All respond: Amen.