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

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

The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 2

Posted by Theresa Rice on Dec 11, 2019 7:02:00 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.

Though the Christmas story centers around the joy of the birth of Jesus, who will bring “peace on earth,” and the promise of “God and sinners reconciled,” it nevertheless leaves important space for the darkness and difficulty of human life. From Mary’s fearful awe at the momentous Annunciation to the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, the Nativity story itself incorporates the brokenness of the world that Christ came to save. The crèche, then, as an artistic depiction of the Nativity, can emphasize the joy of Christmas, but it also invites moments of recognizing the pains, burdens, or fears which accompany human life.

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

The Christmas Crèche: Inculturation and the Incarnation, Part 1

Posted by Theresa Rice on Dec 3, 2019 6:48:00 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 at the University of Notre Dame.

Since the Middle Ages, recreating the story of Christ’s birth through a Nativity scene has been a beloved Christmas tradition around the world. These nativity scenes, or crèches, typically depict the Holy Family with the eclectic cast of characters found in the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke’s Gospels: shepherds, magi, angels, and animals crowd around the manger to welcome the newborn King. While many of these crèche displays are simply breathtaking works of art, their value goes far beyond their technical or visual appeal; the tactile and colorful materials inspire reflection on the entrance of God into the very tactile world in the Incarnation. This reminder of the humanity of Christ—from his humble bed in a manger to the loving attention of his mother and foster father—invites the viewers to enter deeply into the mystery of Christmas. 

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

Living and Handing on the Faith

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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