Bonn's city crib
Welcome to the new crib in Bonn Cathedral or "Bonn's city crib" as we like to call it.
God's beginnings were small, poor, humble and self-abasing.
When St. Francis created the first Christmas crib during the Christmas of 1223 in the forest near Greccio, it was with a clear intention in mind – „I want to set before our bodily eyes the hardships of his infant needs, how he lay in the manger, how with an ox and ass standing by he lay upon the hay”. The Saint from Assisi proclaimed the message of a compassionate God in whom the oppressed and the poor can seek refuge again.
"If Christ were born in Bethlehem a thousand times and not in theethyself; then art thou lost eternally" (Angelus Silesius)
Over the centuries, St. Francis’ predicant crib scenehas often been turned into a pretty, festive decoration for the home and oftenenough for churches as well. True to the words of Angelus Silesius „Bonn’s citycrib” moves the scene from Bethlehem to our city. The incarnation of our God isnot a pious story from the year dot, it concerns us right now, in the thick ofour lives, in our city. That is why you will not find any sheep in this crib.You will look for an ox and ass in vain and the familiar stable is not thereeither. In their place you will encounter new crib settings – the organicmarket, a cafe or a bus platform. So places that you go to or know yourself. Weare convinced that God meets us where we are.
The digital age meets the ancient art of woodcarving.
We live in a computer age. Communication, work,shopping and leisure all take place on the computer and the Internet. Thisvirtual world is now part and parcel of reality for modern man. The backdrop toBonn’s city crib was indeed drawn by hand, but on the computer. Just astime-consuming as with paint and canvas. The artistry of the graphic designerwas turned into reality in the printer via the computer. For the wooden figuresit is completely different and yet similar – the skill of the woodcarver wasturned into reality by the knife and paintbrush. The incarnation of God inJesus Christ was also reality. He lived everyday human life with joy, andeveryday concerns. He tells us how God really is – infinitely loving andmerciful.
And what do you make of it?
So why not let this unusual depiction speak to you,perhaps even provoke you. Where would your place in this crib be? Which scenewould you like to be part of? Perhaps you have some ideas as to what we coulddisplay next year.We want our crib to grow and be expanded to includeother characters from our city’s society over the course of the years. If youwould like to donate a figure, please get in touch with us.Writeto us at: Bonner Münster, „Stadtkrippe“,Postfach 7190, 53071 Bonn, stadtkrippe[at]bonner-muenster.de