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Crib Fest 2022

What is Crib Fest?

Crib Fest is the theme for our festive season as we celebrate afresh the good news of Jesus’ birth. The aim is to display as many different crib scenes as possible around the church indoors and outdoors. There will be a variety of sizes and from all corners of the world. Some have been loaned others are homemade. How many will we get?

Pope Francis writes: "The nativity scene is part of the precious yet demanding

process of passing on the faith. Beginning in childhood, and at every stage of our

lives, it teaches us to contemplate Jesus, to experience God’s love for us, to feel

and believe that God is with us and that we are with him, his children, brothers, and

sisters all, thanks to that Child who is the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin

Mary. And to realise that in that knowledge we find true happiness. Like Saint

Francis, may we open our hearts to this simple grace, so that from our wonderment

a humble prayer may arise: a prayer of thanksgiving to God, who wished to share

with us his all, and thus never to leave us alone."

This Christmas, let us look, with fresh eyes at the mystery and majesty in the

humble Crib scene. In the poverty and simplicity of a stable in Bethlehem, the Word

became flesh to live among us fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘The Lord himself will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God is with us’.

Through displaying the cribs, we contemplate the wondrous mystery of God’s love. The coming of Emmanuel is Good News for all people, not just the rich, the powerful, the strong, nor the poor, the weak, the powerless but for all people. Everyone was welcome at the Crib; everyone is welcome in the presence of God.

Intercessory prayers as we focus on elements of the Crib

The Animals

Lord, we remember the animals that greeted your Son’s lowly birth and are part of

the Christmas story: the oxen, the sheep, the tired donkey. They remind us of all the

beautiful creatures sharing this planet with us. You have asked us to care for all of

your creation including the animals. We ask you to change us so that we protect

your world, not destroy it. Fill our hearts with love for all of your creation this

Christmas and show us how to use the resources of the planet wisely.

God of Hope, Come to us.

The Shepherds

The shepherds had a special part to play in your story. Shepherds were on the

margins of society and were not important people. You chose to send your angels to

tell them the Good News. Lord, we remember how they were watching their sheep

on the cold, dark hillside. Suddenly they were surrounded by light, and they heard

the song of the angels. They rushed down the hillside to find you. We remember,

this Christmas time, all those in our world who wait to hear your Good News. We

ask you to help us play our part in bringing your Christmas joy and peace to those

who are forgotten.

God of Hope, Come to us.

Mary and Joseph

Lord, we remember the anxious journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, their

worry at finding no room at the inn and the excitement and fear at the forthcoming

birth. We remember they courageously followed your plan for their lives even when

they had to face great difficulty and uncertainty. Lord God, thank you for giving us

the example of Mary and Joseph’s great faith. Thank you for coming into our midst

and enduring the chaos of human life. Help me to know, when things are difficult,

you understand what I go through, because you have lived this life too. We

remember, this Christmas time, all those who are anxious and fearful, who long for

your hope and comfort to come into their lives.

God of Hope, Come to us.

The Christ-Child in the Manger

Lord, we remember your coming into our world as a fragile, tiny and helpless child.

You were born in a stable but worshipped by the angels. We thank you for your

promise of love for all on earth. This Christmas we pray for those who, like you, flee

from their homeland in the face of violence and don’t have enough food, safety or

shelter. Help us to give generously to those in need. Be with all who are lonely, and

with all who feel distant from celebrations.

God of Hope, Come to us.

Come and see the cribs for yourself and use them to help you reflect on God’s message of peace, hope and love for all the world.

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