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Catholic Prayer: Blessing of the Christmas Crib

Description:

This blessing of the Christmas Crib is for use in the home, prayed by the family members over the Crib. This should probably be done Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, before opening the gifts. This version is from the 1954 Collectio Rituum or Roman Ritual.

Prayer:

MARY'S MAGNIFICAT

The father of the family recites the antiphon, and then the Magnificat, alternating verses with the rest of the family.

Antiphon: The Lord has regarded humble persons and places, therefore all generations shall call them blessed.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior: Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;

Because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name:

And his mercy is from generation to generation, on those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of his mercy. Even as he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon: The Lord has regarded humble persons and places, therefore all generations shall call them blessed.

FIRST READING

The mother of the family reads:

The eternal Son of God having become man out of love for us, chose to be born in a lowly stable, rather than in the greatest palace of kings. Being rich, He became poor for our sake to show us how greatly He loves poverty and humility. But the presence of the King of kings made this lowly shelter to be the most honorable and noble of royal palaces. Herein He was pleased to be, adored by His virgin mother and father, by the poor shepherds, and by the wealthy wise men. As a man among men Christ came for all men, of all times, and all places; unless we say "there is no room," He will come into our home this Christmas night, and will make it a place of splendor, of love and of great joy.

All answer: Thanks be to God.

Mother: The Word was made flesh, Alleluia.

All: And dwells among us, Alleluia.

SECOND READING

One of the children reads:

From the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke:

At that time the shepherds were saying to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this event that has come to pass which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard marveled at the things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept in mind all these words pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.

Each member of the family kisses the Gospel text.

PRAYER

Father: O Lord, hear my prayer. All: And let my cry come unto Thee.

Father: The Lord be with you. All: And with you also.

Father: O God, out of your love for us you sent your dearly beloved Son to become man. You willed that he be born in a humble stable in order to give us an example of humility. We pray you now to bless this crib, a representation of the scene of his birth; may it draw us closer to him. By imitating his humility may we become a worthy dwelling place for his rebirth, Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord.

All: Amen.

All sing, "O Come All Ye Faithful" or "Silent Night."

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