“Stations of the Crib” – An Advent Devotion for All

By Katie Camario

“Stations of the Crib” – An Advent Devotion for All

Sitting in the heart of St. Petersburg, amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown city life, Saint Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church is inviting everyone in for a time of peaceful prayer during this season of Advent.

 “You have a moment of respite to remind yourself about the reason for the season; What’s important is remembering Jesus, his birth and his eventual second coming and that’s brough to light here in the service,” said Michelle Rego, Director of Liturgy and Music.

The service is called Stations of Crib, a Franciscan Devotional prayer service for Advent and Christmas that’s similar to the Stations of the Cross celebrated during Lent.

“Franciscans have a particular devotion to the Christmas event because St. Francis started the first Christmas nativity scene. He is said to have assembled a mother, father, baby and animals in order to help villagers understand the Christmas event,” said Rego.

At the center of the devotion is the Advent wreath which is later replaced by the crib scene on Christmas.

“We’re more accustomed to stations of the cross because churches have that Lenten journey incorporated into their architecture. They do not have those kinds of steps incorporated in Advent but almost every Catholic church does an Advent wreath and a crib scene,” said Rego.

The devotional takes participants on a journey of fourteen stations through the events leading up to and immediately following the birth of Jesus. Stations include the Visitation, the Pregnancy and the Journey to Bethlehem. With each station there is a brief reading, a response and a song which gives participants the opportunity to meditate on the Holy Family’s journey.

“We can remember Mary's unabashed trust of God and what God would do for her, Joseph's trust in strange happenings, making sense in the long run. And of course, them welcoming the son of God into their home and into their lives,” said Rego. “The Holy Family’s journey was inconvenient and not easy. And sometimes our journey is the same, inconvenient, not easy, especially at this time of year.”

Stations of the Crib will be held each Wednesday at 12:20pm through January 5 (except for December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception). The church will open at 11:45am and will remain open until 1pm for anyone wishing to stay and pray following the service.

For more information, visit https://www.stmaryolg.org/