Blessing of the Christmas Crib
[Father:] Our help † is in the Name of the Lord.
[All:] Who made heaven and earth.
[Father:] O great mystery and wonderful sign,
[All:] Dumb beasts saw the newborn Lord lying in a crib.
The Magnificat: Canticle of the Blessed Virgin
[Father:] My soul † magnifies the Lord,
[All:] And my spirit rejoices * in God my Savior,
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid, * for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, * and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation * toward those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm; * He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones * and has exalted the lowly.
The hungry He has filled with good things * and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israël His servant, * mindful of His mercy
As He promised our fathers, * toward Abraham and his descendants forever. Amen.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.
[All:] O great mystery and wonderful sign, * dumb beasts saw the newborn Lord lying in a crib.
The Father reads from St. Luke's Gospel ii: 15-20
At that time, the shepherds were saying to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen they understood what had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard marveled at the things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.
[All:] Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
[Father:] The Word was made flesh, alleluia.
[All:] And dwelt among us, alleluia.
[Father:] O Lord, hear my cry.
[All:] And let my cry come unto Thee.
[Father:] Let us pray. We beseech Thee, Almighty God, bless this crib which we have prepared in honor of the new birth in the flesh of Thine only-begotten Son, that all who devoutly see in this image the mystery of His Incarnation may be filled with the light of His Glory, who with Thee liveth and reigneth forever.
[Mother:] O God, who makes us glad with the yearly expectation of our redemption, grant that we who now joyfully receive Thine only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, may also without fear, behold Him coming as our Judge, the same our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth forever.
The crib is sprinkled with holy water.