The third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, is also called Bambinelli Sunday. This is an Advent Tradition instituted by Saint Pope John Paul II, where children and adults bring their figures of the Christ Child – the Bambinelli – from their family’s nativity scene to St Peters Square to be blessed by the Pope.

Many parishes and homes around the world join in this celebration. After the blessing many families wrap up their baby Jesus and place him under the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning the Bambinelli is the first gift to be unwrapped and placed in the family crib.

St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, Denton Burn were keen to take part in this tradition as a way of reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, but sadly were not able to do so last year due to restrictions.

This year however, along with their other Advent preparations such as Advent Wreaths, Jesse trees and Nativity meditations each child made a salt dough figure of the baby Jesus. These 212 figurines were wrapped and taken to church where they were blessed by Father Paul. The blessed Bambinellis will be taken home by the children to be placed under their trees or special places and unwrapped on Christmas morning to remember the real reason for the season!

Click on the Flickr album opposite to view a selection of images from the ordination.