Menagerie set to welcome birth of Saviour

Thomas, Ryan, Amelia, Madelyn and Fr Emil Milat

At St Thomas More’s Primary School, Campbell children chatter excitedly as they don robes, crowns and angel wings.

They are preparing for the parish’s Christmas Eve Mass – an outdoor service in which they will recreate the first Christmas for the community.

Fr Emi Milat said the simple nativity added a wonderful atmosphere to the Mass.

“It is a family Mass and an outdoor Mass, and a Mass that for some people it is their only encounter during the year,” he said.

“Everyone can come along and get comfortable – just sit on an esky or pull up a chair. People who might not usually enter a church will come to this one.”

Fr Milat said the children would process into the courtyard in front of the priest and sit at the altar.

“The kings bring the offertory, and the angels stand around the altar during the consecration,” he said. 

“The children will remember it. There is nothing like becoming a nativity character at Christmas.”

Fr Milat said the live nativity encapsulated the true meaning of Christmas.

“That is ultimately what Christmas is – God became one of us,” he said.

“I love the saying from St Augustine: God became man so that man might become God.”

St Thomas More’s Religious Education Coordinator Samantha Mance said while the end of the year was busy with sporting finals, graduations and much rushing around, the Mass would become a special memory.

“The nativity involves more people in the Mass, so the grandparents and the aunties and everyone will come along,” she said.

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“It trumps the commercialism of Christmas.”

Over at St Joseph’s Parish in O’Connor, real camels and sheep are making their way towards the Christmas nativity and carol service.

“The night will be animated by the passionate hymns and drums of the Neo-Catechumenal Way written from the scriptures and psalms,” Parish Secretary Stephanie Claessens said.

“The narration will help us relive this beautiful moment of mankind’s salvation that not only echoes through the millennia – but comes into our present gently asking a question of us:  Will you recognise Jesus in your life this Christmas?”

Mrs Claessens said everyone was welcome to attend and encouraged families to invite friends and neighbours.

“We will greet the wise men atop real camels, with more than a sheep or two running amok!” she said.

“If you have young children – feel free to bring a scroll with your child’s wish for a gift from the wise men this Christmas. 

“This is a beautiful moment – come and join us, welcoming the coming of our Lord and Saviour Emmanuel God with us.”

The Live Nativity and Carols will be held at St Joseph’s Parish Church Grounds in O’Connor on 18 December from 8pm.

The outdoor Christmas Eve Mass and live nativity will be held at St Thomas More Church in Campbell on 24 December at 6pm. BYO chair


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  • daryl 6 months

    Love it Fr Emil. The true presence of Christ in the Mass has been under attack. Hopefully the children and adults will never forget this event. Will be there in prayer from Tasmania.