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An old Catholic tradition... but using a blowmold!


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It's a Catholic tradition to place an empty cradle (manger) somewhere in your home on the night of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and keep it empty until after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. On that night, the Holy Infant is placed in the cradle.

The pics below show the empty cradle under our Christmas Tree, and the process of placing the Babe In The Manger.

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It's a Catholic tradition to place an empty cradle (manger) somewhere in your home on the night of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and keep it empty until after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. On that night, the Holy Infant is placed in the cradle.

The pics below show the empty cradle under our Christmas Tree, and the process of placing the Babe In The Manger.

Cool cradle. So what night is the FotICotVM?

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...an empty manger never seemed right to me :confused:

The season of Advent prepares us for the coming of the Lord. The idea behind the empty manger is to anticipate this coming. The 12 days of Christmas starts on December 25, ending on Epiphany. That's the thinking behind the tradition.

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The season of Advent prepares us for the coming of the Lord. The idea behind the empty manger is to anticipate this coming. The 12 days of Christmas starts on December 25, ending on Epiphany. That's the thinking behind the tradition.

I understand. I've often thought of having a more "realistic" Nativity display. Just Mary and Joseph and maybe an angel or two in the stable at first, with the animals all outside, shepherds way in the background, and the Three Kings on the opposite side of the yard. As December moves on, a Star would lead the Kings across the yard to the stable. The animals would slowly file into the stable, too, with the shepherds being met by a choir of angels after the birth (and appearance) of Jesus. The choir and shepherds would come forward into the stable, the Star with the Kings would also arrive on the Epiphany, followed by the ever-curious drummer boy. The next day, it would all be taken down.

Practical concerns force me to put it all up at once. I have Jesus secured tightly to his manger, which would be difficult to do out in the snow. Still, it would be really cool to have the Kings slowly move across the lawn!

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Hoyt- That's an awesome idea! It's a bit more involved compared to putting it up all at once. The reason I don't leave the manger empty until Christmas is because we really don't know when Jesus is born. To me Christmas is a day chosen to honor His birth. Leaving an empty manger until Christmas is a bit too literal for me, especially knowing that He most likely was not born on Christmas. But don't get me wrong, I respect the tradition. It's cool to see all the different ways we celebrate Jesus' birth :)

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I understand. I've often thought of having a more "realistic" Nativity display. Just Mary and Joseph and maybe an angel or two in the stable at first, with the animals all outside, shepherds way in the background, and the Three Kings on the opposite side of the yard. As December moves on, a Star would lead the Kings across the yard to the stable. The animals would slowly file into the stable, too, with the shepherds being met by a choir of angels after the birth (and appearance) of Jesus. The choir and shepherds would come forward into the stable, the Star with the Kings would also arrive on the Epiphany, followed by the ever-curious drummer boy. The next day, it would all be taken down.

Practical concerns force me to put it all up at once. I have Jesus secured tightly to his manger, which would be difficult to do out in the snow. Still, it would be really cool to have the Kings slowly move across the lawn!

We did something of the sort this year. I made a Mary, Joseph and donkey cut out this year. Joseph leading the donkey with Mary on it was displayed headed toward our stable until Christmas Eve night. Before bedtime Christmas Eve my wife kids and I went outside and removed the cut outs and put out our Nativity set. The stable was empty til then with the exception of the hay my neighbor had already put in it.

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Hoyt- That's an awesome idea! It's a bit more involved compared to putting it up all at once. The reason I don't leave the manger empty until Christmas is because we really don't know when Jesus is born. To me Christmas is a day chosen to honor His birth. Leaving an empty manger until Christmas is a bit too literal for me, especially knowing that He most likely was not born on Christmas. But don't get me wrong, I respect the tradition. It's cool to see all the different ways we celebrate Jesus' birth :)

Sadie, You are more right than you know, most likely Christ was born in the spring or early summer due to the fact travel in those days would have been harder in the winter season and there where other things . There has been much debate in the church for years but the accepted tradition now is Dec 25. Again you are right it does not matter as long as it is accepted it my thinking also.

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It's a Catholic tradition to place an empty cradle (manger) somewhere in your home on the night of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and keep it empty until after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. On that night, the Holy Infant is placed in the cradle.

Does anyone know how this tradition originated? I am confused on what the Immaculate Conception has to do with Christmas? I am Catholic and never heard of this tradition. Many people are mistaken because they think the Immaculate Conception is about Mary conceiving Jesus when it is actually the fact that Mary was born without Original Sin. Enlighten me please.

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Immaculate conception- You're correct. It's about Mary conceiving Jesus. The immaculate parts stems from Mary being a virgin, and conceiving the son of God. I have always been taught that the only human to live that has not sinned was Jesus, I know nothing about Mary being born without sin. But then again, I'm Methodist not catholic. We don't celebrate the immaculate conception and this is just a bit of head knowledge :)

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Immaculate conception- You're correct. It's about Mary conceiving Jesus. The immaculate parts stems from Mary being a virgin, and conceiving the son of God.

No I believe you are mistaken. The IC is about Mary being born pure. The conception of Jesus is celebrated as the Annunciation to Mary. At least that's what 13 years of Catholic school taught me.

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Immaculate conception- You're correct. It's about Mary conceiving Jesus. The immaculate parts stems from Mary being a virgin, and conceiving the son of God. I have always been taught that the only human to live that has not sinned was Jesus, I know nothing about Mary being born without sin. But then again, I'm Methodist not catholic. We don't celebrate the immaculate conception and this is just a bit of head knowledge :)

The Immaculate Conception (in Catholic teaching) has nothing to do with Mary conceiving Jesus. It is all about Mary being conceived without original sin.

Try here for more clarification.

Edited by roberson3
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That's not what I believe, but I'm not here to impose my views so I won't be responding to this thread any longer. Thanks, Sadie

There was no intent to impose my views. Sorry if you took it that way.

This thread was talking about Catholic Tradition. So, my responses were to help clarify (and me learn more) Catholic Tradition about the Immaculate Conception.

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The Catholic church down the street from me did this every year (wait 'til the 25th to put Jesus in the Manger), but this year for some reason He was in there before.

Now, I have seen them actually put the Baby Jesus in the manger, and then put a shroud over him until Christmas Eve (Midnight Mass).

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