Novena to the Christ Child

On Saturday December 15th during the eve-ning Mass Calvario parish began a beautiful novena to the Christ child.

On Tuesday evening the 18thof December it was the turn of the International choir to sing carols and pay a special tribute to the infant Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary whose wi-lling obedience to God made the Incarnation of Christ possible.

The International community shared this no­vena with the brotherhood of Emmaus. Du-ring the novena sincere prayers of thanksgiving were said to God for the Prince of Peace , Jesus, His only Son the best and most priceless gift we as Christians receive at Christmas for through Him alone we have inherited the title “Chi ldren of God” and the hope of an eternal life free from all pain and suffering.

The choir sang” Joy to the World”, as the en-try carol and the theme of happiness and joy flowed throughout the Mass.

The children studying the Catechesis sat on the altar recreating the manger scene in authentic costume with Mary and Joseph in the centre, at their feet was the precious Christ child who lay in a tiny manger filled with straw, behind them stood the angels and to their left a group of shepherd children, girls and boys all in au-thentic dress.

For the communion, the choir sang “Away in manger”, a well- known traditional carol, which added dramatic effect to the whole eve-ning, allowing us to appreciate the humility of Christ but at the same time revealing his glory.

Each evening of the novena the children have participated in Father Rafael has given them a stamp, if after the nine days they have a full house they will receive a figurine of the Christ child.

During the Mass we were transported back in history to over 2000 years ago to a simple stable in Bethlehem. The novena is a wonderful re-minder to the children and to all of us what the true meaning of Christmas is and takes us away from all the commercialism, chaos and suffe-ring of the world in which we live in.

The poverty of the baby Jesus also calls to mind all the children in need in the world. During the offertory every evening throughout the no­vena a basket of toys and food have been offered up to those families who are battling with fi­nancia l difficulties. On Tuesday evening the In-ternational community presented their basket. The toys will be given out to these children du-ring the parish children’s Christmas party on January 4th organised by our charity depart-ment Caritas. The novena ended with the carol “Go tell it on the Mountain” and the children kissed the baby Jesus.

As Christians it is our duty and privilege to spread the Good News of the Gospel with Joy to the World.

Sasha Marsh

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