Decent Films Blog

The 12th Day of Christmas: St. Lucy Nativity

Posted Jan 6th 2010, 05:41 PM

One of the top questions I’m getting about the new Decent Films is how I’m going to be using the blog. My hope is that the blogging format will allow me to be flexible: to post short movie reviews and commentary, notes on DVD releases, and perhaps occasional personal tidbits of the sort that I have often posted in the past at my friend Jimmy Akin’s blog — though generally, I think, with a film-centric focus here. (I won’t be blogging on apologetics and such here at Decent Films.)

For example, in this post I’m stepping out of my normal Decent Films role as a film critic to share a short film I made, just a few days ago. It’s not my very first stab at movie-making (that would be a short, unfinished Super-8 project I began shooting at the age of ten or twelve), but it’s perhaps my first stab at a video that may be of general interest to a sizable number of viewers — not because of my cinematic skills, but because of the highly photogenic subject. As such, it’s my first venture into YouTube.

The video was shot on my iPhone at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, New Jersey, about ten minutes from my home. St. Lucy’s isn’t our home parish, but our family attends weekday Mass there on a fairly regular basis.

The church has a side chapel dedicated to St. Gerard that is notable for at least two reasons. First, it’s the National Shrine of St. Gerard, patron saint of motherhood and childbirth. Second, every year at Advent and Christmas season, the St. Gerard chapel celebrates the greatest birth in history with a Nativity display that is one of a kind, to say the least.

The video is a single shot lasting just under five minutes. Being shot on a handheld iPhone, it’s naturally a bit shaky. Unfortunately I just missed capturing the congregation singing “Silent Night” in the background (in Spanish!), so I’ve tried to use YouTube’s AudioSwap functionality to add a reasonably appropriate background. AudioSwap seems to be buggy, though, so I’m not sure which audio track you’ll hear. (It seemed to work the first time, but then the original soundtrack apparently came back, so I’ve done it twice now. I’m still not sure it’s taken.)

As I shot it, St. Lucy’s Nativity display initially looks like a typical creche scene like you might find in countless churches at Christmastime, but is slowly revealed to be something more remarkable. Every year the people at St. Lucy’s do it a bit differently; perhaps next year I’ll find a way to shoot it again with better equipment. Anyway, here it is, just under the wire for the twelfth day of Christmas.

If you can’t see the embedded video below, you can watch it at YouTube. Enjoy!

Tags: Oddments & Humor, Personal

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Mail: Re: The 12th Day of Christmas: St. Lucy Nativity

I heard you on the radio speaking about video footage you took of a New Jersey Nativity scene, Is it still available to view? Thanks for your help.

You can indeed see my iPhone video of St. Lucy’s in Newark on my blog or at YouTube (search on “St Lucy Nativity” at YouTube, it’s the first match).

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