The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 4

Posted by Theresa Rice on Jan 7, 2020 7:03:00 AM

Editorial Note: This series features Nativity sets from Africa on display in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s Sixth Annual International Crèche Exhibit.

Although Christmas Day has passed, and the holiday music in stores and the lights on houses have disappeared, we are nevertheless still in the liturgical season of Christmas, which lasts until the Baptism of the Lord. Though the excitement and busy planning for Christmas Day can occupy our minds, making January a welcome relief from the intensity of a holiday season, the Christmas season invites us to ponder how the birth of Christ accompanies us even as we return to a normal rhythm of life.

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Topics: inculturation, visual arts, Advent, crèche, Nativity scene

Avoid Seasonal Burnout

Posted by Katherine Angulo and Carolyn Pirtle on Dec 19, 2019 7:08:00 AM

For anyone working in ministry, or any parent, or really any human being, the emotional spectrum of the days leading up to Christmas can often range from stressful to beyond chaotic. In a time that is supposed to be about ‘peace on earth toward people of good will,’ these days can feel anything but peaceful, and the risk of burnout becomes very real. 

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Topics: contemplative prayer, downloadable resources, Advent, crèche, Nativity scene, ministry

Walking with Mary These Final Advent Days

Posted by Lesley Kirzeder on Dec 18, 2019 7:14:00 AM

Advent and Christmas have always held a particular meaning to me depending on the season and space of my life; the way I’ve internalized their meaning changes depending on who and where I am at the time. I’ve been a mother for 13 Christmases now. For the majority of that time, Advent and Christmas have been about making the season magical for my kids in that sparkly, sugar-dusted-self-defeating sort of way. Where puffs of flour appear in the air each time someone opens our door and our calendar is color coded and overloaded. Of course, all this magic-making inevitably stresses me out beyond the point of no return, negating the very magic I try to create.  Sure, it’s also been about helping my children come to learn about the salvific birth of our Lord, who came to save the world, teach us to love, and lead us to heaven, and I think (largely thanks to their amazing teachers) they get that. But all of this magic-making has, slowly but surely over the last 13 years, replaced my own grasp of what this season is supposed to be for me. 

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Topics: liturgical music, Mary, motherhood, Advent, Christmas, Christmas carols

The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 3

Posted by Theresa Rice on Dec 17, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Editorial Note: This series features Nativity sets from Africa on display in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s Sixth Annual International Crèche Exhibit

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Topics: inculturation, visual arts, Advent, Christmas, crèche, Nativity scene

Pray the O Antiphons

Posted by Carolyn Pirtle on Dec 16, 2019 7:08:00 PM

Tomorrow, the Church will begin praying what are known as the “O Antiphons” each evening during Vespers, or Evening Prayer. Outside of Vespers, the O Antiphons are more familiar in their adapted form as the verses for the quintessential Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” 

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Topics: Liturgy of the Hours, Vespers, downloadable resources, Advent, O Antiphons

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The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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