The student boarders at the Ursuline convent carefully prepared the ceremony of the procession of the Christ Child for Quebec nuns. Dressed in white robes and wearing crowns, the young girls (of whom the littlest had the signal honour of carrying the basket in which the wax Jesus lay) formed a procession and moved slowly forward towards the crèche in the chapel singing Cher petit frère. This hymn, to the tune of an old melody, was the work of Sister Saint Mary Simon.
|This custom ceased in 1935 when parents began to collect their children for Christmas. Before then, the school holiday began on December 27 and ended the day before Epiphany.|
|Each year, the Ursulines brought out their most beautiful ornaments for the festival of the Christ Child. Hangings for the Nativity in needlepoint, silver candelabra dating from the beginning of the colony, embroidered altar cloths and copes of Lyon silk, fashioned just like the draperies of Madame de la Peltrie, gave this ceremonious procession of the Christ Child its solemn and impressive character in spite of the simplicity of the surroundings.|
Other churches also had their processions of the Christ Child as this British traveller recounts who, between 1780 and
1790, attended a Midnight Mass in Canada:
"Around 10 o’clock in the evening, a cradle was ceremoniously carried right into the choir of the church in Quebec. At midnight, a wax Jesus was placed in it with great ceremony and then rocked throughout the whole mass to the sound of carols.
Today, this ceremony still takes place in some Canadian provinces particularly in Edmonton , Alberta where many Catholic parishioners gather together for the procession of Saint-Joachim.