CRIBS Galore In Catholic Churches in Mangaluru- the ‘Rome of the East’

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CRIBS Galore In Catholic Churches in Mangaluru-the ‘Rome of the East’

Mangaluru: Christmas celebrations are never complete without a Christmas crib and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Also referred to as Nativity Scene or Manger Scene, Christmas crib represents how Jesus was born. The Christmas crib exhibits figures that represent infant Jesus, his mother, Mary, and her husband, Joseph. For those who celebrate Christmas, the nativity scene holds a special significance. In the Christmas, the manger depicts the birth of Jesus Christ. When paired with other Christmas decorations, a nativity set can serve as an important reminder of what the holiday season is all about. Nativity sets can also be a great way to teach the younger ones the story of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in an interactive way that they may understand better.



Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean, went around the City to check on some of the Cribs set up by the Catholic Churches, and could not take my eyes off to see the finesse and perfection of the figurines of the crib sets. Considering the space availability, some cribs were shown with a Christmas manger scene with small figurines, such as wooden hut, chart paper, confetti, pebbles, stones, straw, and these statues. Everyone of the cribs, BIG and Small, were amazing to see, and you’ll see them right in this article. There is something immensely charming about the colour white in particular and these figurines have beautiful Bible verses inscribed on them, which gives a nice faith affirming Christmas feel.



There are various other characters that are part of the Christmas crib. These characters include shepherds, sheep and angels. As described in the ‘Gospel of Luke’, all these characters are displayed near the manger in a barn (or cave) which is projected to accommodate farm animals. A donkey and an ox are also a part of this scene and Magi and their camels are also included. These characters are described in the ‘Gospel of Matthew’. However, there are various cultures which add characters that may or may not be Biblical.




As per sources, Saint Bonaventure, Francis’s biographer described the Christmas crib as, “Many brothers and good people came at Francis’s bidding, and during the night the weather also was beautiful. Many lights were kindled, songs and hymns were sung with great solemnity so that the whole wood echoed with the sound, and the man of God stood by the manger, filled with the utmost joy, and shedding tears of devotion and compassion. By his order, the manger had been so arranged that Mass was celebrated on it, and blessed Francis … sang the gospel and preached to the people on the Nativity of Christ our King, and whenever he pronounced His name with infinite tenderness he called Him the ‘little Babe of Bethlehem’




During a midnight Christmas mass Homily, former Pope Benedict XVI had said, “A child is born for us, a son is given to us” (Is 9:5). What Isaiah prophesied as he gazed into the future from afar, consoling Israel amid its trials and its darkness, is now proclaimed to the shepherds as a present reality by the Angel, from whom a cloud of light streams forth: “To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). The Lord is here. From this moment, God is truly “God with us”. No longer is he the distant God who can in some way be perceived from afar, in the creation and in our own consciousness. He has entered the world. He is close to us.’

It is learnt that the first nativity scene was created by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223. With an aim to promote Christ worshiping, He designed the Christmas crib. This live scene became so popular among different communities that throughout the Catholic Churches this tradition became a part of Christmas celebration. Nativity scenes are displayed in churches, homes, shopping malls and various other venues where Christmas is celebrated, and Team Mangalorean found a bunch of them at all these places. Some Christmas cribs are decorated beautifully with colourful lights to make them look brighter and better. Another way to decorate Christmas cribs is with plants, which is a natural and beautiful way to decorate your Christmas crib, and there were many such cribs. Also sand and straws are few of the elements to decorate Christmas cribs. Some use ice-cream sticks to make Christmas cribs at home. Some Christmas cribs were made up of wood, and few others were decorated with lights, grass, sand and straws. There were a few Christmas cribs made with cardboard.


In conclusion, in my perspective-Making the crib is celebrating God’s closeness, it is rediscovering that God is real, concrete, alive and palpitating. The crib offers us another lesson in life. In today’s frenetic rhythms it is an invitation to contemplation. It reminds us of the importance of stopping. Because only when we know how to gather can we welcome what matters in life. The crib is more relevant than ever, while every day many weapons and so many violent images are made in the world, which enter the eyes and the heart. The crib is instead a handcrafted image of peace. This is why it is a living Gospel. From the crib we can finally grasp a teaching on the very meaning of life. It is right, because the crib reminds us that Jesus comes into our concrete life. And, this is important. To make a small crib at home, always, because it is the memory that God came to us, he was born of us, he accompanies us in life, he is a man like us, he became a man like us.

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