Time to start planning…
“Bambinelli Sunday” or Benedizione dei Bambinelli is a real thing. It’s an Italian tradition, taking place most of the time on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), although I have seen it mentioned as being celebrated on the last Sunday of Advent.
It’s done in parishes, but the big celebration is in Rome…and we wrote a book about it! (To order signed copies – even multiple copies – of the book, go here)
Anyway, I’ll be talking more about this celebration this week, but I’ll start by giving some suggestions on how to celebrate:
- In your home, Catholic school or Catholic parish school of religion, have children make a “bambinelli” like the one the boy in our story made…or any kind you like.
- Invite children and families to bring the bambinelli they’ve made and/or the Christ Child from their home nativity set to church for a blessing after Mass on that Sunday.
- If that’s not possible, invite a priest or deacon to class or a religious education session to bless the infant figures.
- You could have a special Advent event – an evening or Saturday morning – in which children and families are invited to come craft a bambinelli, share stories, share food, and, at the end, have their figures blessed.
Some parishes are already planning – I’ll be expanding this list over the coming weeks, so if your parish or school is planning a Bambinelli Sunday event…let me know!
- St. Emily Church in Mt. Prospect, IL
- Immaculate Conception of Mary in Akron, OH
- St. Mary’s in Alexandria, VA