Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Being with a piece of the Christmas manger

Currently, I live in NYC in an intercommunity women religious convent. (This means I live with many different sisters from other orders, not just Ursulines) There is a wonderful  Advent/Christmas tradition here that I really enjoy.

At the start of Advent, the Christmas stable is taken out of its box. All of the figurines are wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a big basket. Each sister is invited to reach in the basket and take a wrapped figurine.  Then we are encouraged to pray with that figurine throughout Advent. 

People will be picking one of the wise men, a sheep, a camel, Mary, the infant Jesus or any of the other creatures that grace the Christmas manager scene.  Then we pick a date close to Christmas and share about our journey with the Christmas figurine.  That is what we did last night. I loved it!!

Listening to other sisters talk about how a shepherd reminded them of the need to look out for the lost and forsaken, the camel who keeps plodding straight ahead to Jesus  reminds one to keep on plugging away with school and work, and Joseph helps someone accept things that are not always clearly understood.  It was a very touching experience for me.

Then we shared in tree decorating and some yummy Red Velvet cupcakes.  It sure was a great way to spend a couple of hours together.  This type of night reminds me of why I entered religious life and community.

Thank you to Pat, a Sister of St. Agnes who introduced that tradition here!

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

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