Outside Christmas Crib
. . . eventually, Joseph leads the little Donkey, carrying Mary, heavy with child, to an outbuilding (under the Abbey steps), half-open to the elements, where her Child will be born.
Joseph, the Angels and Shepherds, the Animals and the Stars all contribute something to keep the family warm and cosy.
Joseph has found straw and hessian (Some has even been strewn outside the grille to dry out the mud) and makes the floor as comfortable as possible for Mary, who goes into labour and gives birth. The angels surround them with soft pipe music, and strips of their robes, They put feathers from their wings, down as lining, for the manger wherein baby Jesus is laid.
The little lambs brush the baby with their warm soft woolly coats, and lick Jesus’s tiny hands. The animals – the Donkey, Ox and Sheep breathe warm sweet breath over the family.
It is Christmas night and the stars fall from the sky to hover over this humble, loving scene. They are filled with wonder, as we all are, at the birth of a very special Child.
The Christmas Star will show the way to the Magi travelling from the East . . .