o come let us adore him?

Since I’m sure you all have so much time to spare right now, I have a real question for you to play with in comments. And it is this:

How important is the crib/ crèche to you in worship and why?

And a subset of questions for those who can be bothered: does it matter to you where the crib is in the church? when does the Christ child ‘appear’ in your church, and does it happen when you think it should?

All this comes because a member of the congregation convinced me that I was wrong to try to move  the crib away from the door.  After several conversations,  I realised that others seem to care more about the location of the crib than I do, but less about the timing of the ‘arrival’. So, we will compromise: their location, my timing, and a pile of booklets which won’t be quite right but that I haven’t the energy to fix.

Let us just relish the irony of the booklets needing to be changed the first ever time I got them done early…

11 thoughts on “o come let us adore him?”

  1. Surely it’s all merely symbolic, so you go with what helps people feel right? It’s a lo-o-o-ng time since I actually did any kind of countdown, so no: I just am used to the crib near the door and the procession to bless it seen through clouds of incense because that’s how it’s been for as long as I can recall. As long as it enhances rather than upsets, it’s fine. I think. 😉

  2. I have a wee bit of franciscan bias, and love the whole thing!! Don’t care where it goes in the church, as long as it’s there.

    I usually race home from Midnight Mass to make sure baby Jesus is in his rightful place in our chapel, ready for Morning Prayer!!!

  3. We have a sleeping baby and an awake baby with our set. I’m the one who insisted that the baby Jesus needed to go down for an afternoon nap. (-: (Otherwise no one really sees it, and the sleeping one is nicer.)

    Neither the creche nor the baby appears at our house until the Christmas Eve Eucharist, when the doors to that nook are opened and it is blessed at the beginning of the service.

    Ours is right by the entrance to the chapel, but the one in my childhood church was between the crossing and the pulpit. My sister loved it so much that she timed her wedding to have it there.

    For that one, I think it also came out Christmas Eve, the whole thing, but the Magi figures processed from the back up the side of the church (on the radiators or windowsills or something) until they arrived on Jan. 6 at the creche.

    I would be very sorry not to have one.

  4. Location of the crib is an interesting one. In the twenty plus years I have been attending St Mary’s it has been (a) in front of St Anne’s chapel; (b) in the scaffolding behind the Nave Altar; (c) on the chancel steps; (d) in front of the Nave Altar; and currently (e) at the rood screen on the pulpit side.

    In all cases except (e) it was put up during the christmas decoration of the cathedral; and taken down at Epiphany. With (a) Midnight Mass started with a figure of 8 procession around the building to “O Come of ye Faithful” pausing after verse three (I think) to bless the crib.

    (b) Was out of necessity, during Phase two restoration – at that timethe choir were singing from the back and the cross was full of scaffold.

    Turning to the present day; the current incumbent has introducted us to the concept that the stable is alway there and in use by shepherds and animals (therefore has been out since Advent 1); whilst the Magi are journeying around the building (travelling east at present – I think there are lost – no satnav those days only stars). If last year is anything to go by, the baby will be placed in the crib during Midnight Mass (at present hiding in the Canon’s stalls). I am not telling where he will be at the beginning of Midnight Mass – that is for the celebrant and some of the servers to know.

  5. There’s a lot to be said for having the crib low down, even on the floor, so that we have to kneel to see it properly.

  6. My first profound religious experience was playing with the figures of the crib given me by my godmother. Somehow, something of the love which is summed up in it all came through to me – I suppose I was some age between three and six. I still have that set, and also one I make in my sculpting days. They remain central to Christmas for me, and I have just finished setting them up. I am enough of a Jew, and little enough a purist, to put them up as dark falls on Christmas eve.

    I have to say that crib sets remain very important to me, and I struggle with ones which I don’t like….

  7. Update from St Mary’s.

    The baby Jesus was placed in crib during the singing of the Santus (which coincidentally occured at midnight – but was good planning/timing), when the centre candle in the advent wreath was lit. Those who were watching will have seen where the Provost had hidden the baby.

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