compiled by Catherine Fournier
The Christmas Creche
Mary and Joseph have finally reached the creche. The manger is filled with scraps of yarn for each good deed performed during Advent, the animals have gathered round, the angels hover above heralding the joyous event. Now it is time to enthrone the Christ Child in the place prepared for Him.
Blessing the Creche:
Each family member holds a figure during the blessing, at least one of the shephers, an angel and the infant Jesus. At the proper time in the blessing, and after each member is sprinkled with holy water, each replaces their figure in the Creche scene.
Great and good God we stand before you in wonder and awe.
We thank you for the miracle of Jesus' birth.
May this creche reminds us that Jesus is with us always.
May we parents share the deep and pure love that Mary and Joseph felt for their child. (Put Mary and Joseph in place)
May our children know the joy of the shephers and the song of the angels. (Put the shepherd and angels into the creche)
May we all praise the name of Jesus forever and ever. Amen (Now put the baby Jesus in the crib)
Enthroning the Christ Child:
The family gathers together in a room some distance from where the Christmas creche is placed. The youngest child is given the figure of the Infant Jesus to carry to the crib. Everyone else carries a candle. Process through the house, singing "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" to the Christmas Creche.
When the family has reached the Creche, gather around it while the father leads the prayer.
Father: When the years were fulfilled from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; JESUS CHRIST eternal God and the Son of the Eternal Father, willing to consecrate the world by His gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and the nine months of His conception being now accomplished (all kneel) was born in Bethlehem of Judah of the Virgin Mary, made man. The birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh.
All: Thanks be to God. (The child is now placed in the manger by the youngest child.) All sing "Away in a Manger."
Father: This day Christ is born; this day the Saviour hath appeared; this day angels are singing on earth, archangels are rejoicing. This day the just are glad and say;
All: Glory to God in high heaven, alleluia! Sing "Angels We Have Heard on High"
Father: Lord Jesus, Who came to us as a tiny child, we place our family before you in the Christmas Creche. You are just as real to us now as then. Thank you for your love for us.
All: Sing "Joy to the World."
The Christmas Tree
After the tree is put in the stand, but before the family begins decorating it, a blessing is appropriate.
Thank you, God, for the beauty of this tree and the life it represents.
May it bring us joy and peace and remind us that you are ever-present in our lives through your Son, Jesus.
May we share Your Love whenever we gather around these branches.
Bless too the ornaments and lights that we place on this tree. May all be a sign and a telling to us of the presence of Christ who is the light of the world, and of Your great Plan which brought all these things to pass.
Thank you for all your gifts and blessings, Lord, in the Name of Your Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sprinkle the tree with holy water. Allow each family member to sprinkle the tree.