The Narrative Behind the Nativity Scene

Holy Family Nativity

Do stories and traditions accompany your Christmas decorations? I just returned from a visit to my mom’s house where we enjoyed reminiscing about how our family Nativity came to be. . . . → Read More: The Narrative Behind the Nativity Scene

Does Your Parish Celebrate Bambinelli Sunday?

Bambinelli Sunday

Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent children gather with their families in St. Peter’s Square in Rome for “Bambinelli Sunday.” It’s an Italian Catholic family tradition in which handcrafted babies or “bambinelli” destined to represent the Christ child in the family’s Nativity scene are blessed by the pope. . . . → Read More: Does Your Parish Celebrate Bambinelli Sunday?

Two Takes on Christmas: Chesterton and Rembrandt

Adoration of the shepherds

A Rembrandt painting of the Nativity and a Christmas poem by G.K. Chesterton. . . . → Read More: Two Takes on Christmas: Chesterton and Rembrandt

Advent Photo of the Day

Advent Calendar

A great Advent activity: take a daily Advent photo and post it to your social media sites. One picture may be the wordless witness that leads another closer to Christ. . . . → Read More: Advent Photo of the Day

Keep Christ in Christmas by Celebrating Advent

St. Nicholas: The Story of the Real Santa Claus

Has the commercialization of Christmas turned you into Scrooge? Rather than just making lists, baking cookies, hanging stockings, and wrapping presents, spend some time preparing your heart for the birth of our Savior by actually celebrating Advent. Here are some practical suggestions. . . . → Read More: Keep Christ in Christmas by Celebrating Advent

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Feast of the Holy Innocents

The innocents were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the lamb and sing forever: Glory to you, O Lord.

Today the Church remembers the Holy Innocents, the male children executed because of Herod’s fury to find the Christ child. Herod, fearing for his throne after the Magi told him of the birth of Jesus, ordered the massacre of all Bethlehem boys age two and under hoping that Jesus would be among those killed (Matthew 2:1-18). According to Matthew, this fulfilled a prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no . . . → Read More: The Feast of the Holy Innocents

7 Quick Takes: Merry Christmas from Around the World

German_Nativity

The Nativity may be the most expressive representation of Christmas. Here’s an around-the-world look at a few of them. . . . → Read More: 7 Quick Takes: Merry Christmas from Around the World

Occupy Advent

Take back Christmas by preparing your heart to receive Christ.

Poster by Joel Gehman. Source: occupytogether.org.

Like homecoming weekend in a college town, there are currently no vacancies. Everything, it seems, is occupied. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy San Francisco. Occupy DC. Begun as Occupy Dataran in Kuala Lumpur in late July, the Occupy movement has spread around globe like wildfire in just over three months. “The 99%” seem intent on taking back financial and government institutions that have apparently been corrupted by the minority who presumably control them by their concentration of wealth. The majority are fed up with their interests not being represented, so they’re moving in and . . . → Read More: Occupy Advent