SZ1596 : Nativity scene, The Church of St Michael and All Angels

taken 8 years ago, near to Sopley, Hampshire, Great Britain

Nativity scene, The Church of St Michael and All Angels
Nativity scene, The Church of St Michael and All Angels
Perhaps we should not be surprised to learn that many Christmas practices date from a time before Christ's birth. Surely there is good reason to think that the familiar Nativity scene comes down to us from the actual event of Jesus' birth, even though it doesn't make its first appearance for more than one thousand years.

Around AD 1000, cribs of gold and silver decorated with precious stones could be found in churches throughout the Roman empire. In 1224, St Francis of Assisi, wanted to remind people of the solemn religious meaning of the celebration set up the scene as based on the description in the Bible. St Francis's love of animals prompted him to add the ox, ass and sheep, which are not mentioned in the biblical passages. It is St Francis's conception of the manger that we see so frequently today.

St Francis kept his scene as humble as possible. But the folk spirit of the celebration did not lend itself to Franciscan simplicity. Eventually pagan celebration crept into the representation of the Nativity scene. Before long, nobles and kings hired famous artists to design their crib scenes. The Magi became more majestic. The simplicity that St Francis sought was lost again. Today one can find both simple and elaborate crib scenes, perhaps each has something to tell us about the spirit of the holiday.
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SZ1596, 133 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 25 January, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 31 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 1564 9671 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:46.1860N 1:46.7748W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 1564 9671
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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Other Tags
Church Interior  Nativity 

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