The Manger Scene is an important part of the season.
Many people bless it early and slowly add figurines and straw, representing small acts
of kindness or sacrifices which they have done in order to "give our Lord a softer bed."
Therefore we put the blessing up early, that you might do likewise, if you choose.|
Enjoy some SWEET reminders with us!
The Christmas Tree is often set up a few days in advance. For this reason we have already put up the blessing for the tree for your use.
"December 25 is an historical date," Professor Tommaso Federici, Professor
at the Pontifical Urbanian University and a consultant to two Vatican
Congregations, has stressed. In an article in the Osservatore Romano on
December 24, 1997, he wrote: "December 25 is explained as the 'Christianization'
of a pagan feast, 'birth of the Sol Invictus'; or as the symmetrical
balance, an aesthetic balance between the winter solstice (Dec. 21-22) and
the spring equinox (March 23-24).
"But a discovery of recent years has shed definitive light on the date of the Lord's birth. As long ago as 1958, the Israeli scholar Shemaryahu Talmon published an in-depth study on the calendar of the Qumran sect, and he reconstructed without the shadow of doubt the order of the sacerdotal rota system for the temple of Jerusalem (1Chronicles 24, 7-18) in New Testament times. Here the family of Abijah, of which Zechariah was a descendant, father of John the herald and forerunner (Luke 1, 5), was required to officiate twice a year, on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of September.
"It is not without reason that the Byzantine calendar celebrated 'John's conception' on September 23 and his birth nine months later, on June 24. The 'six months' after the Annunciation established as a liturgical feast on March 25, comes three months before the forerunner's birth, prelude to the nine months in December: December 25 is a date of history."