I highly doubt putting Christmas decorations up too early would kill the anticipation… actually I think it would highten it… afterall we leave Jesus on the crucifix year round don’t we;) … (aside from Easter)… disclaimer: I love the crucifix.
Anyway I do think placing the figures in the nativity scene as they happened would be a good Biblical lesson for children:)
However… I will faithfully follow what the Church suggests I do.
You are talking about in the Church right? Not at home.
Another reason the Church does not put up Christmas decorations during Advent is because Advent has specific symbols and decorations as well as colors that are not the same as Christmas. For some reason I am having a bit of a problem remembering the colors for Christmas but I seem to recall it being White - someone I am sure will correct me if I am wrong.
Your former priest and I are on the same page: 4th Sunday of Advent unless Christmas falls on Friday, Sat or Sun and then it gets decorated on Wednesday. Nativity scene has no Jesus until after ‘Midnight Mass’ (celebrated at 11 p.m. in our parish).
A few years ago I was back in my hometown for a few months and went to the only parish that had Midnight Mass. Their entire Sanctuary was taken up with a Bethlehem scene: hill, palm trees, paths, houses, lights, etc. The Sanctuary was sooooo busy that one had to search for the altar and it was difficult to keep one’s mind on what was happening there rather than noticing more & more details in the scene. They must have been working at it from the first day of Advent to get so much done.
That busyness made me long for the days of my childhood when we went from church to church to see the different crêches (most of which were beautiful in their simplicity) and drop a few coins in the hands of the nodding angel.
Yes on the decorations but for everyone on the nativity scene (even to encourage the other churches), but I’m understanding better now the reasoning… although I distinctly remember that not that long ago we decorated the Church and set up the nativity scene all well before Christmas… but don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing things the right way:thumbsup:
In my parish, we have the stable and the animals in place, and Mary and Joseph are traveling. (The stable is on the far, far right as you face the altar … Mary and Joseph are just to the left of the altar … they’ll get there on Christmas Eve.) Outside, we also have a box w/ a plexiglass cover where another Nativity is … so far, animals only. Manger remains empty until Christmas Eve and the wise men don’t show up until Epiphany.
We have one of those Fontanini sets and buy a couple of new figures yearly. It’s fun setting up “Bethlehem” with shops and shop keepers, and villagers walking past the stable full of animals, chicken coops and sheep pens. Our shepherds and their sheep stand on some “hills” a bit away. The Angels gather toegther singing and playing instruments in a place we are calling “heaven” which resembles Tuscany. Mary and Joseph and their little donkey are sitting under a palm tree high on the armoire “hills” traveling to Bethlehem. The kings have an encampment nearer the kitchen. Baby Jesus will not be inevidence until Mary and Joseph fiind lodgings on Christmas Eve.
My grand daughter and her mom (my DD) have begun carrying on the tradition in thier home.