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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

In my manger scene, my mother insists on not putting the baby Jesus in until Christmas. Many have told me this is proper. But then why is Mary kneeling at an empty feeding trough?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

Many families do wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to put the baby Jesus into the manger scene, for the reason that he has not yet been born, and that an empty manger captures the spirit of Advent. This, as you’ve pointed out, means that Mary ends up spending a few weeks kneeling by an empty manger. If manger scenes had poseable figurines, I suppose that could be changed, and she could be in some other posture. In general, though, we just work with the limitations of the figurines we have, and try not get too literal about what it means. The important thing is that Mary, like all of the rest of us, was actively waiting for the birth of her son, and celebrated his birth when he did arrive.
By the way, many families put Jesus in there as soon as they put up the crèche, which is fine, too. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

 
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The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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