Monday, December 9, 2013

Jesus' manger

The basket of straw on the right , to fill Jesus' manger
As I did in my former parish in Baker City, here in my new parish in Bend, I am inviting all the children to build the manger for Jesus over the next few weeks. The idea is to encourage children to do something good at home, at school, in the neighborhood and every time they do a good deed, they are allowed to place a piece of straw in the manger, awaiting baby Jesus on Christmas Eve.
The main altar at St Francis new church in Bend
Over the first week, the manger remained pretty empty, but after today’s Masses, it filled up quite well and Jesus has enough straw to sleep comfortably, with plenty more straw expected over the next 16 days. The Nativity scene is placed in front of the altar and is visible from everywhere, and it connects with the life of Christ as envisioned in the Eucharist on the altar and in the tabernacle, as well as portrayed on the crucifix, hanging above the sanctuary space. So far we have the donkey and cow, a shepherd and a sheep, but more characters will be added over the next two Sundays until Jesus’ arrival on Christmas Eve.

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