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‘Come to the Manger’ is coming back
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‘Come to the Manger’ is coming back

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FLORENCE, S.C. – After a two-year hiatus, the “Come to the Manger” creche exhibit and crafts will be celebrated again Nov. 19 through Nov. 21 in a new parish life center at St. Ann Catholic Church.

The center is at 113 S. Kemp St. (behind the McLeod Health Building No.5) at the intersection of Cheves and Kemp streets.

The St. Ann Ladies Guild has hosted this Florence community event for 10 years. More than 150 nativities from around the world are shared by parishioners and other people in the community.

The Ladies Guild of St. Ann sponsored the first Come to the Manger exhibit in November 2009 after visiting the creche exhibit at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner and inviting parishioners and the community to participate.

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The exhibit consists of nativity scenes from all over the world as well as those that had been in families for generations. Some have been handcrafted from ceramics, stained glass and wood. The exhibit has featured traditional nativities and others that were unusual, such as a bird nativity, a Charlie Brown nativity and one made from foil candy wrappers.

A booklet with the history of each nativity scene is provided.

The exhibit is a family event with all ages enjoying the various methods people have used in recalling that first nativity scene where on Christmas Eve in 1223, St. Francis of Assisi and the people of Greccio met in a cave and by candlelight acted out the story of Jesus’ birth using live animals.

The exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 and 12:30 to 5:30 .m. on Sunday, Nov. 21.

Admission is free. Again, this year, there will be a crafts and baked goods sale, along with the nativity displays.

The St. Ann Ladies Guild says it hopes that in sponsoring this event, everyone will experience a special beginning to the Advent season.

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Greetings, everyone! As Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching, let us give a prayer of thanksgiving: “Almighty God, of all mercies, Father, we, your unworthy servants, give you most humble and hearty thanks for all your goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men. We praise you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life. But above all, we thank you for your infinite love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and the hope of glory. And we pray, give us a due sense of all your mercies, that our hearts may be truly thankful, and that we may declare your praise, not only with our lips but in our lives. Amen.” (The Catholic Prayer Book)

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