A Classic Prayer to Jesus in the Manger

Greeting Christ on Christmas Morn

Nativity scene
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Background

Catholics traditionally leave the Christ child out of their decorative nativity scenes until after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The moment of placing the Christ child figurine is often accompanied by some kind of formal prayer or observance by the entire family. 

The following prayer is an ideal one for the whole family to recite in front of the nativity scene after the Christ child is placed in the manger.

The phrasing of the prayer acknowledges that the Christ child is fully God as well as true man, and it allows followers to recognize the sacrifice by which God became man in order to live and suffer with us. The prayer allows followers to symbolically enter into the scene with Joseph, Mary, the angels and shepherds in order to see Him as they did, and it creates a feeling of deep and meaningful union with Christ. 

Followers may want to print a copy of the prayer and keep in near the manger, in order to pray it frequently on Chrismas day and throughout the Christmas season. 

The Prayer

O Divine Redeemer Jesus Christ, prostrate before Thy crib, I believe Thou art the God of infinite Majesty, even though I do see Thee here as a helpless babe.

I humbly adore and thank Thee for having so humbled Thyself for my salvation as to will to be born in a stable. I thank Thee for all Thou didst wish to suffer for me in Bethlehem, for Thy poverty and humility, for Thy nakedness, tears, cold and sufferings.

Would that I could show Thee that tenderness which Thy Virgin Mother had toward Thee, and love Thee as she did.

Would that I could praise Thee with the joy of the angels, that I could kneel before Thee with the faith of St. Joseph, the simplicity of the shepherds.

Uniting myself with these first adorers at the crib, I offer Thee the homage of my heart, and I beg that Thou wouldst be born spiritually in my soul.

Make me reflect in some degree the virtues of Thy admirable nativity. Fill me with that spirit of renunciation, of poverty, of humility, which prompted Thee to assume the weakness of our nature, and to be born amid destitution and suffering.

Grant that from this day forward, I may in all things seek Thy greater glory, and may enjoy that peace promised to men of good will.

Definition of Words Used in the Prayer

Prostrate: face down--in this case, kneeling before the manger.

Simplicity: in this case, the quality of the shepherds that made them close to nature.

Adorers: those who worship or venerate someone or something—in this case, Christ.

Homage: public honor or respect paid to someone important—in this case, Christ.

Renunciation: rejecting something either bad or good for the sake of something better.

Destitution: extreme poverty.