A packed Church, and a sense of joyful chaos, were the foundation of our Crib Service this afternoon. We had a wonderful knitted posada set, Mary and Joseph have done the rounds of our parish and the locality since Advent Sunday, and started the assembly of the crib scene which took place over the course of the service. Following a reading from Luke we had the kids singing 'little donkey' and the Holy Couple and our knitted baby Jesus were placed on the scene, then another reading from Luke followed by 'while shepherds watched' sung by the congregation saw three shepherds and a lot of sheep joining the tableau, then after a third reading from matthew we saw the magi arrive to the sound of 'we three kings'. After this everyone in the church was invited to bring a star (which had been handed out at the beginning of the service) with a name written on it (by them), or a picture if they were more 'visually minded', to represent a prayer for someone at Christmas - so we ended up with this stunning knitted (yes, it was all knitted) crib scene surrounded by bright stars, a very moving, very simple, liturgical offering.
Now off for some carols, then back to put together a last minute sermon for this evening... TTFN