December 24th

The Relic of the Crib

Saint Sixtus III (Pope 432-440, whose feast day is March 28) reproduced the grotto of Bethlehem in his basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome. There the relic of the crib, in which Jesus voiced His first infant cries, has been venerated since ancient times. A particle of that same relic is embedded in the center post of the Cradle at Carmel and venerated after the midnight Mass.

The Rocking of the Infant and Cradle Songs

After the Midnight Mass there is the medieval custom of Kindleweigen, or the rocking of the Infant. This was a common custom in many cultures and we are left with a collection of “Rocking Songs” that are sung as the Infant Jesus is rocked in the cradle.