Catechetical Programs
Christ In Us Grades K–8
Parish, K–8
School, K–8
Bilingual, K–6
We Believe: Living Your Catholic Identity Grades K–6
Full Access
We Live Our Faith, Catholic Identity Grades 7–8
Full Access
One Faith, One Lord Grades 7–Adult
Our Catholic Faith Grades 4–6
God’s Own Making
Grades 4-8
Discovering God
Ages 3–5
Between You and Your Child
Catechetical Bilingual
Cristo en nosotros
Cursos 1–6
Creemos Identidad católica
Cursos K–6
Vivimos nuestra fe
Cursos 7–8
Nuestra fe católica
Cursos 4–6
Una sola fe, un solo Señor
Cursos 7–Adulto
Entre usted y sus hijos
Cursos K–8
Sacraments Programs
Believe • Celebrate • Live | Bilingual Edition Ages 7–15
Reconciliation Primary
Eucharist Primary
Reconciliation & Eucharist Intermediate
Confirmation Restored Order
We Believe and Celebrate
Spanish Edition
Prayer Books
My Reconciliation and Prayer Book, Ages 7–9
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración, Edades 7–9
My Mass Book, Ages 7–9
Mi libro de la Misa, Edades 7–9
We Believe and Pray, Grades 4–6
Sacraments Bilingual
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Edades 7–15
Reconciliación Primaria
Eucaristía Primaria
Reconciliación y Eucaristía Intermedio
Confirmación Restauración del orden sacramental
Creemos y celebramos
Libros de oración
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración, Edades 7–9
Mi libro de la Misa, Edades 7–9
Lifelong Faith
Bible Resources
The Compass Bible for Catholic Teens
YOUCAT: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church
YOUCAT: Catecismo Joven de la Iglesia Católica
La Biblia católica para jóvenes
Adult Resources
Becoming a Parish of Mercy
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
General Directory for Catechesis
Professional Development
Professional Development
Catechetical Learning
Theology of the Body Course
Catholic Identity Course
English | View All
Catechetical Resources
Virtual Events
Religion Blog
Catechetical Downloads
Liturgical Seasons
CHATechesis Podcast
Bilingual | ver todos
Recursos catequéticos
Eventos Virtuales
Blog de Sadlier Religion
Descargas Catequéticas
sadlierReligion Hero-1.png

December 14, 2017 WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Topics For Families, REL Seasons - Advent/Christmas, REL Catechetical - K–6, REL Catechetical - Jr High, REL Topic - Catechesis, REL Asset - Prayer Card, REL Catechetical - Adult, REL PD - Family Faith

Prayer for Setting Up the Crèche

Setting up the crèche is a beloved tradition in both homes and parishes. I have seen a number of beautiful Nativity sets over the years. Many of them reflect cultural traditions and customs, thus making the little tableau both accessible and universal. The origin of the crèche is attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi who, in order to both accommodate an overflow crowd in the small town of Greccio, moved the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve outdoors. He set up a manger, filled it with hay and brought two live animals to bring the scene to life.


Most crèches are based on the Infancy Narrative found in Luke’s Gospel. He portrays the Holy Family in humble fashion by describing how, with no room in the inn, they were given shelter where animals were housed. Thus, the infant Jesus is wrapped in “bands of cloth” and laid in a manger, a feeding trough. Biblical scholar and author Stephen Binz notes that the sheltering place was actually one of the many caves that pitted the hills around Bethlehem. It’s far from the cozy depiction in the Nativity sets under our Christmas trees. Binz goes on to note the horrible conditions which were “…more like giving birth in some abandoned hovel of an urban alleyway today.” (Jesus, the Compassionated Savior, Part 1: Luke)

The Flight into Egypt as described in Matthew’s Gospel, places the Holy Family not in a cave with animals and a manger, but fleeing for safety from the terrors of King Herod’s death squads. As such, they share the plight of a huge number of families today. According to the United Nations, there were 16.7 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2013. It’s a staggering number that includes those fleeing from war-ravaged countries as well as the scourge of poverty, hunger, and disease.

Both Scripture accounts offer a way to use the crèche for reflection as well as decoration. Luke’s setting in Bethlehem invites us to consider how Jesus was born not only into humble but also into impoverished circumstances. Matthew’s portrayal of refugees seeking safety in a far-off land reminds us of the plight of so many people who leave all they know behind in order to seek some semblance of security. Like Saint Francis, such meditations might move us to greater love for the “Babe of Bethlehem” and the hope he brings to a world in need of his light and love.

Download and share a Prayer for the Placing of the Crèche with your family or class as a way to deepen your love for Christ.


Prayer for the Placing of the Creche Download Now