Wednesday, December 30, 2009

St. Michael Manger

I had one more holiday-themed post, just in time for the Epiphany (that’s the feast of the Magi or three kings). Every year, one of the nicest manger scenes in Jersey City is erected at Saint Michael, the Roman Catholic Church on the 9th Street. The Vietnamese Community in Jersey City is responsible for this crèche. Saint Michael hosts a Vietnamese-language Mass every Sunday as well as Vietnamese-language prayer services and other activities. They built this Nativity Scene by hand, that wintry background scene is all hand painted. I love all the ornaments dangling, the garland. I guess I just wanted to take note of this neighborhood detail before it is put away and all holiday cheer evaporates and we’re left with just Ordinary Time winter, cruel, dark, cold. The first “Crèche” dates to 1223 to Saint Francis of Assisi. It is believed that the saint created the depiction of a manger scene to combat the growing materialism of Christmas. It’s a fight that may never be won, but at least every year 9th street hangs in for another round!

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