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Andrea Neeson wrote:

Hi there,

  • I was wondering if you could tell me why, at midnight Mass, some churches place
    the figure of Christ in the nativity scene after Holy Communion?

I think this is somehow related to Transubstantiation but I can't quite form the whole idea!

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards,

Andrea

  { Why do some churches place the figure of Christ in the nativity scene after Holy Communion? }

Mike replied:

Hi Andrea,

Being that we are currently in the season of Lent, I honestly have no idea at all : )

  • I'm assuming you are talking about the Lenten season, right?

Mike

Andrea replied:

Hi Mike,

No, I'm talking about Christmas. It's a bit of a random question but I'm studying to be a Catholic primary teacher and I'm playing catch-up on some work! Basically, some churches place the figure of Christ in the manger after Communion as opposed to at any other point during the Christmas midnight Mass.

We've been asked to look at the reason that might be. I can only think of two reasons why:

  • it would detract from the Eucharistic Prayer/celebration, or
  • possibly, since after Communion we are all united and God is with us, it would be an appropriate point to place the figure of Christ, a physical reminder, if you will.

I'm kinda talking through my ideas, so even if you don't have a definitive answer, writing this has helped! : )

Thanks,

Andrea

Mike replied:

Hi Andrea,

I've never heard of this practice.

In reality, Our Lord is born again, in the sense of being made physically presence on all the altars at every daily Mass. Nevertheless, I would have the same concerns as you, unless the faithful were properly catechized correctly as to the reason for doing this.

That's the best I can do.

  • Where do you live?

Mike

Andrea replied:

Hi Mike,

I live in Glasgow, Scotland. It's fairly common practice over here but not many other places it seems!

To qualify to teach in Catholic schools, I have to submit a portfolio of answers to various questions in what we refer to as the Credo journal. The Credo course is run by the University of Glasgow.

I think the reason they've asked us this question is probably because it's not an indoctrinated practice, but more of a localized tradition, and it's something they want us to think about, rather than to confirm we know the correct answer.

Andrea

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