As Pittsburghers prepare their hearts for the coming of the Christ child, final preparations are underway at the Pittsburgh Creche.
Volunteers dressed the life-sized figures Friday for display at the creche instead of indoors as usual due to COVID-19 restrictions. Before they began their work, Monsignor Ron Lengwin gathered the seamstresses and other volunteers to pray.
“God loves us so much, each and every one of us, that He entered our lives and continues to enter our lives, and here we remember the first moment that happened,” he prayed.
The Pittsburgh Creche is the only authorized replica of the Nativity scene that St. John Paul II commissioned for the Vatican. This is the 22nd year it has been displayed, mostly at U.S. Steel Plaza.
The creche is an ecumenical effort by Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians to preserve the true meaning of Christmas. It stands as a reminder of God’s great love for all his creation.
Responsibility for the Pittsburgh Creche belongs to the Christian Leaders Fellowship, the local heads of 10 Christian traditions: Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Presbytery, Salvation Army of Western PA, United Church of Christ Penn West Conference and United Methodist Conference of Western PA.
The Pittsburgh Creche will be blessed on Friday, November 20, though not in front of a crowd due to pandemic restrictions.
“The creche is an image, but in a sense it’s real,” Monsignor Lengwin said. “The remembrance of what is real, our faith—from the moment of baptism, to the reception of the Eucharist, and for some, unfortunately, the sacrament of the sick. But in every case, God continues to bless us.”