As part of the Year of The Word, the Diocesan Education Service is encouraging families to bring their crib to church or to school for a blessing before Christmas.

Jesus is the Word made flesh, and after the launch of the Year of the Word at the beginning of Advent we hope to celebrate the Word Made Flesh.

In Rome families bring their baby Jesus figures to be blessed by the Pope on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent (Sunday 15th).

If you don’t have a crib, there are lots of ways you can make your own- look online for ideas. If your parish or school has crib blessings please send pictures to [email protected]

The the Catholic Grandparents Association says:

The beautiful Advent Tradition, Bambinelli Sunday, was instituted by Saint Pope John Paul II during his Papacy. The tradition follows that on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) children and adults bring their Baby Jesus figures from their homes to St Peters Square where they are blessed by the Pope.

Then, following the Sunday Angelus address, the Holy Father blesses the statues of Baby Jesus which the children will take back to homes to be placed under their Christmas trees. All children and families are invited to bring the Baby Jesus figure from their homes to be blessed. Families can make their own 'Bambinelli' if they wish.

Pope Francis has continued the tradition, blessing the statuettes which children bring before him in the Square. Parishes around the world now join in the celebration, encouraging young children to make the connection between the Nativity set at home and the local church where they worship each weekend.

“It helps children and young people to prepare for Jesus.” 

A suggestion is, following the blessing, take your 'Bambinelli' home, wrap it and open it as a family on Christmas morning where the youngest member of the family would place it in the crib. 

A gift of the presence of Christ in your home this Christmas.

Photo Gallery

Bambinelli Sunday 2019