I was very honored to attend the Christmas Midnight Mass at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC. It is an inspiring Mass to attend as it recreates the Mass that St. Francis first inspired in Grecchio where he fist laid a baby Jesus in a manger in front of the altar for Mass and now recreated here and in Bethlehem.
At the end of Mass, all are invited to venerate the baby Jesus in the Bethlehem Chapel which lies under the church. If you never get a chance to visit the Holy Land, I encourage you to visit this wonderful Church and grounds that has many of the holy sites of the holy land recreated for you to come and pray and find spiritual refreshment.
Video from Catholic Web Services in which Fr. James Gardiner talks about St. Francis’ inspiration in 1223 to begin the practice of having a Nativity scene:
Pax Et Bonum,
John Clem (SFO candidate)