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Published: Sunday December 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday December 22, 2013 MYT 10:16:18 AM

Nativity sets brighten up the home

Manger managers: Rev Samuel’s wife Grace and daughter Priscilla arranging the nativity set at St Mark’s Church in Butterworth.

Manger managers: Rev Samuel’s wife Grace and daughter Priscilla arranging the nativity set at St Mark’s Church in Butterworth.

BUTTERWORTH: Christmas is a time for decorations and twinkling lights that brighten up trees, gardens and the home. It’s also a time for nativity sets.

These nativity sets, with figurines of different sizes made of clay, porcelain, wood or crystal, depict the birth of Christ in a Bethlehem stable.

They usually come with three to 12 figurines and some have up to 45 pieces.

Apart from the Holy Family comprising baby Jesus and his parents Mary and Joseph, some sets come with angels, shepherds, the three wise men, sheep, oxen, donkeys and a wooden stable with a star.

St Mark’s Church priest Rev Canon John Kennady Samuel said he encouraged members to display nativity sets in their homes to remind them why they celebrate Christmas.

“While it is easy to get caught up with the commercial side of Christmas, the nativity set tells us that Jesus is the central message of the festival,” he said.

The church, he added, had been displaying its nativity set with the tallest figurine measuring 50cm since 2007. The set was donated by a relative of the church’s former vicar Rev Canon Edward M. John.

Bukit Mertajam St Anne’s Church priest Father Henry Rajoo fondly recalled that the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Kulim, Kedah, used to display a nativity set, which was at least 40 years old and was carved from a single piece of clay.

“When I was a teenager, I remember a short circuit in the twinkling lights placed around the set caused a small fire. Thank God, the set was not damaged,” he said.

Father Henry said the practice of displaying nativity sets in Catholic homes was slowly diminishing, adding that it should be revived.

Retired nurse Margaret James, 69, said she treasured her 11-piece nativity set, which her son bought for RM250 from Bangsar Mall in Kuala Lumpur, six years ago.

“It simply reminds us to be humble as Jesus himself was born in a humble animal shelter,” she said.

Tags / Keywords: Religion, xmas nativity set

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