The Armchair Liturgist: Nativity Stations

armchair1.jpgI’ve seen here and there an effort to translate the experience of the Nativity of the Lord into a devotion akin to the Way of the Cross. As I make it out, Advent and/or Christmas deserve some particular spiritual pilgrimage. People have written books on this. My former parish’s effort was featured in the archdiocesan newspaper before Christmas.

My current parish explored the following stations with its children five years ago. It employed twelve: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Magnificat, the Birth of John the Baptist, and the canticle of Zechariah from Luke, followed by the Annunciation to Joseph and then Joseph taking Mary into his home. Four more from Luke: the journey to Bethlehem, the Birth of Jesus, the Annunciation to shepherds, then the shepherds spreading the news. Last station: Magi.

What do you think? Should Nativity Stations include the anticipatory events of Advent? Need it be fourteen/fifteen stations like the Way of the Cross? Does it need a particular name, The Way of the Crib? Or Manger? Or a particular number of stations?

Image credit: CNS/Paul Haring

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to The Armchair Liturgist: Nativity Stations

  1. Sd says:

    Check out the Advent “stations” printed annually in the Magnificat Advent Companion.

    The texts are less Christmas focused than Advent focused, so from a narrative perspective they don’t really push forward into the nativity story.

    But what is great about them is that each “station” pairs a thematically related Old Testament and New Testament reading. This is an especially worthwhile thing for Advent which, at its heart, marries up Old and New Covenant themes. But I imagine that a “Nativity Stations” devotion could utilize much of the same thinking (if not the same specific texts in many cases.)

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