Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
25 Nov 2011
The life-size beautifully crafted resin figures of the Holy Mother, Joseph, the Christ child, the Angel Gabriel, the three Kings, shepherds and livestock have taken up their places in St Mary's Cathedral's Outdoor Nativity.
The 12 figures, created, carved and painted in Italy by ecclesiastical artisans were installed in the Outdoor Nativity of the Cathedral forecourt yesterday. But electricians who will rig the impressive new lighting system donated to the Archdiocese for the Nativity are waiting for a break in the weather.
"The last few days have been too wet and windy. But this is the final touch and we hope to have the lighting installed later today, or at the latest tomorrow morning," says Dieter Koch, Property Officer for the Sydney Archdiocese.
On 27 November, the first Sunday in Advent, the Outdoor Nativity will be blessed by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell following the 10.30am Solemn Choral Mass at the Cathedral. After the Mass, St Mary's Cathedral Choir will lead the congregation through the Cathedral doors and down the steps to Cathedral Square and the Outdoor Nativity.
In addition to the Cathedral congregation, as many as 1500 Sydneysiders are expected to attend the blessing in what has become a beloved tradition in the lead up to Christmas.
According to the weather reports for the weekend, no rain is predicted for Sunday and with temperatures rising to 26 degrees Celsius, there should be a return to summer after almost a week of non- stop rain and unseasonal chill.
Following the Solemn Choral Mass and the Blessing of the Outdoor Nativity, Embrace, the Cathedral's Youth Group have organised a South-East Asian food festival complete with stalls and fun for the whole family.
Then at 12.30 pm, Cardinal Pell will officially open the annual Children's Christmas Story Art Exhibition and Competition in the Cathedral Crypt. The outstanding 89 artworks by Year 5 and Year 6 students, chosen from more than 1000 entries from schools across the Archdiocese and as far south as Wollongong, will be displayed in the Crypt for the next four weeks.