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Church Nativity Sets Remind Us of His Birth

The scene that depicts the birth of Jesus was popularized by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. He recreated, in a cave, Jesus in a manger, Joseph and Mary with the three wise men, angels and shepherds as will as the animals that were also there. Since then, that scene is the traditional nativity scene used in paintings, stained glass, tableaus, and live plays. Today the nativity scene can be found in hundreds of applications from toys for children to the largest set in Switzerland. During the Christmas season church nativity sets are usually life size and displayed in front of the church for all to see.


Impressive displays of the nativity can be arranged with the large church nativity sets available. They are good for businesses, hospitals and large homes where there is enough space to have such a large display including a twelve foot, five piece set that is lit by C7 LED lights. Other sets are made from fiberglass, plaster and resin. Fontanini nativity sets are made from polymer and are considered the top of the line. They have been made in Tuscany, Italy for four generations by the same family. A Fontanini set would be a great gift to give your church.


Church nativity sets can be bought in individual pieces so the scene can vary year to year. Sometimes just Jesus, Mary and Joseph are displayed and possibly an angel. Often the nativity has seven figures, including Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Angel, Shepherd, donkey and lamb. The three wise men are also added as well as a star and stable. There are different ways the nativity can be represented and it holds the interest of the viewers if it is different each year.


The nativity scene is basically the same everywhere but there are many differences in the style and craftsmanship of large church nativity sets. If you would like to buy one for your church or home you should research online the subtle differences. There are hand painted poly resin with gold highlights, rubberized figures to allow children to touch them without damaging them, giant commercial displays for the top of buildings that light up, white resin that looks like marble, very ornate sets that look Italian Renaissance inspired with action poses and rich cloth. Some sets have contemporary designs and look like they are growing out of the living wood.


Another possibility for your church, hospital or school is to buy the individual figures separately and create your own styles of church nativity sets. For example, you could get the very elaborate three kings who look rich and well dressed along with a very rustic wood carved shepherd and possibly a large white angel with lights. The animals could be very realistic and Joseph and Mary could be Fontanini whose designs are very lifelike with good expressions. Choose the baby Jesus carefully from any set you like that you see online. If you do this, you will have an original but make sure the sizes match and the scale is the same.

This article was published on Tuesday 24 November, 2009.

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