DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — Come and Behold Him is a Festival of Nativities coming to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church this week. Alyson Jackson joins us to talk about it. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Anchor: Coming later this week is a nativity celebration hosted by St Pauls, in Daphne. What is “Come and Behold Him?”
Guest: Come and Behold Him is a Festival of Nativities. We had 250 Nativities last year. This special exhibit features Nativities from a variety of mediums, representing religions and traditions from countries all over the world. It is St. Pauls hope that people of all faiths and beliefs will visit and enjoy the craftsmanship and collections people shared as we all enjoy the season together.
Anchor: In a general sense how do you describe a nativity scene to someone who may not be familiar with them?
Guest: The custom of the Nativity or creche showcasing began in the year 1223. St. Francis of Assisi is widely recognized as the catalyst for this tradition, as he is said to have been inspired by the sight of shepherds in the fields of the Italian village Grecio one moonlit night while traveling. He encouraged those in his community to reenact the Nativity, and the tradition spread to France, Germany and from Europe to other continents. These Nativities express the culture that they were created in also. This to me represents the true Body of Christ. As we join together in each of our understanding to celebrate the Birth of Christ into all of our World.
Anchor: What nativity stands out the most to you in this event and why?
Guest: This might also be one of the most beautiful parts of this event. I can not say that any one Nativity stands out as more spectacular than another. Because we open up the donation of Nativities to the public each year, we are never certain who or what will serve this event. Every year we have more and different Nativities come to show at this event especially as people learn and experience the event. This is our 7th year. We also have a large group of volunteers you display the many Nativities and every year, as the Holy Spirit joins us, the presentation creates a new and deeply meaningful venue.
Anchor: What do you want visitors to come away with at this event?
Guest: That we together as a world, from each of our unique backgrounds, can be open to celebrating together this Christmas season. That we may enjoy the different cultures, artisans, and possibly, for some, the deep meaning of the Birth of Christ and the connection with the Holy Spirit in this event.
Anchor: Where do these nativities come from–who makes them?.
Guest: These handcrafted masterpieces have been designed and constructed with mediums such as clay, glass, hay, paper, porcelain, and wood, as well as more exotic material like abalone shells, alabaster, balsa wood, and bamboo. They have been gathered and cherished from all over the world. Many have been handed down through the generations of a family. Each one has been made and created with love and skill. Each one has been honored and cherished by a family each year. Each one creates its own magic in the exhibit.
Anchor: As we close will you give us the dates and times of this spectacular event:
Guest: Yes, First I would like to say that this exhibit is free to the public. We will be showing the Festival of Nativities on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 &14 from 10am-4pm and on Sunday, Dec 15, from 8:30am-3pm. This is a casual event. We will be serving refreshments at the exhibit. We do not have a nursery or daycare available for children. Children are welcome but this is not an interactive exhibit. The Nativities are not to be touched.. Alyson Jackson with St. Paul’s Episcopal in Daphne