The Blessing of the Bambinelli (Baby Jesus) is a tradition which began in Rome. Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), the Holy Father invites children to bring the Baby Jesus (Bambinelli) from the family Nativity scene to Mass for a blessing.
It is a very simple blessing which can be prayed by the grandparents and parents over the Bambinelli. After the blessing the children are invited to wrap up their baby Jesus and to place him under the Christmas Tree. On Christmas morning the Bambinelli is the first Christmas gift to be unwrapped and placed in the family crib.
'God, our Father you so loved humankind that you sent us your only Son Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, to save us and lead us back to you. We pray that, with your blessing, these images of Jesus, soon to come among us, may be a sign of your presence and love in our homes. Good Father, give your Blessing to us too, to our parents, grandparents, to our families and to our friends. Open our hearts, so that we may be able to receive Jesus in joy, always do what he asks and see him in all those who are in need of our love. We ask your blessing on our Bambinelli and the children who present him in the name of the Father, of the son and of the Holy Spirit.
(A sprinkle of Holy Water may be used at the time of the blessing).
We ask you this in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son who comes to give the world peace and who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Bless all families this Gaudete Sunday as we look forward to the joy of the birth of Our Saviour Jesus Christ.