Every year that weather permits, our Secular Franciscan Fraternity hosts a "Live Nativity at Greccio" celebration.
Last time we had it, it was in a new place, indoors, without live animals, but we had 117 people to enjoy the Live Nativity. This year, it's going to be even more different.
It will no longer simply be a Live Nativity, but will be incorporated into our parish's "Catholics Come Home" Christmas Carol Festival. That means that it's going to turn into a Battle of the Bands of sorts, with all 3 parish ensembles (Religious Education Kids' Choir, Adult Choir, and Folk Group) all participating.
A few diehard Greccio participants have bowed out this year--the changes are just too much for them. I kind of want to join them, but I'm bound to hang in there with both the Folk Group and the Secular Franciscans. And I do have to say that I'm relieved for us Seculars, because the membership in general is getting up in age and it's hard for many of them do to much to help with the event. I was getting pretty tired of handling most if it myself. This year, my role is much more limited, and those SFOs who are physically able will bring cookies and help hand out (and collect) costumes.
Tonight I have to go over to the church to represent the Folk Group as we do a walk-through of the whole event to figure out how long it will take. I know it's going to be a bittersweet time. I'm going to have to compromise, as if I haven't done enough of that already with this event and this parish merger.
And in the end I'm going to have to hope that this event touches the hearts of those attending and those participating. After all, "that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."