The Blessing of the Glasgow Crib
George Square
Thursday 2nd December at 5.30

at the Blessing of the Crib

The weather at the annual Blessing of the Crib has invariably been dreadful, but as people gathered in Glasgow’s George Square this year there were no howling winds, no torrents of rain to intimidate them. The square was quieter than it usually is, because of the difficult travelling conditions still prevailing, but the Wind Ensemble from the RSAMD was playing merrily in their tent, as the children from the two Gorbals Primary schools, parents, friends and enthusiastic citizens gathered.

The Ensemble played a Trumpet flourish as the Lord Provost and the representatives of the Churches approached the Crib, and then led us in O Come, All ye Faithful. Mgr Gerry Fitzpatrick introduced the Right Hon The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Bob Winter, who took evident pleasure in welcoming his fellow citizens to this annual event, an event which marks Glasgow’s long tradition of honouring the birth of Jesus Christ, whose teaching and example has so profoundly influenced all of us in our understanding of human dignity and worth.

The Band led us in the next carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem (Glasgow is twinned with that city) and then we heard the Rev Douglas Scrimgeour of the United Free Church reading a passage from Matthew’s Gospel (2: 1-12), and that fittingly led to the Blessing of the Crib by the Rt Rev Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. The children from the Gorbals school, just across the Clyde, sang Away in a Manger, a Glasgow favourite, and we were invited to join them in the 3rd verse.

The Wind Ensemble

The greetings from Glasgow Churches Together was given by Rev Neil Galbraith, Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery, who began with leading the applause for the carol-singing children.

the children getting ready

Rev Alan Anderson, Superintendant of the Glasgow Methodist Circuit,
led us in the prayers for the city and the world:

“Gracious God, in your love for us you sent your Son in human form.
By your will he was born in a humble stable giving us an example of humility.
As we imitate that humility, we pray as citizens of Glasgow,
that we will become a worthy dwelling place for his rebirth.
By your word, our witness, and your praise, Lord:
Let Glasgow flourish.

Loving Father,
We pray that you will open our hearts so that we understand
what it is to receive Jesus with joy,
and then commit our lives to doing his will and following his teaching.
Then, may we see him in all those whom we meet who are in need of love.
By your word, our witness, and your praise, Lord:
Let Glasgow flourish.

od, our creator, you loved us so much,
Even to the extent of sending us your only Son Jesus,
Born of the Virgin Mary.
He is our Saviour and draws us close to you.
May this crib be a sign of your presence and of your love in our city.
By your word, our witness, and your praise, Lord:
Let Glasgow flourish.

Let us pray:
Ever present God, may the Christmas message of Peace and Joy
become a reality in all the corners of our world.
To you, Father, be all praise and thanksgiving,
through Jesus Christ your Son
who is both truly God and truly human,
and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
Now and for ever. Amen.

Mgr Chris McElroy, representing Archbishop Conti, invited people to share the sign of peace and Rev Paul Romano, Chaplain to Glasgow City Council, thanked everyone for being there especially those who prepared and took part in the service. We concluded with a hearty rendering of Hark the Herald Angels sing.

George Square's 'lion in winter'