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Put the bambino in

By Fr Martin Sirju

Confusion reigns today regarding creches as to whether such creches constructed during the season of Advent should contain the bambino (Baby Jesus). Devout Catholics have encountered the creche in offices of the Church, in secular institutions and in public. What is to be done? Should the bambino be included or excluded?

In many parishes there prevails the practice inside the church of leaving out the bambino and that is quite understandable. Decorators may begin with simply a cave-like or house-like structure and add figures each week of Advent. The logic behind this is to keep in sync with the liturgical rhythm of Advent: the closer we are to Christmas the more pieces we put in. Then at the Christmas Eve Mass a little child walks at the front of the procession, and places the bambino in the creche. It is all so touching to many and echoes Isaiah 11:6: “a little child shall lead them”.

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