Our Nativity from about three years ago. It's more lavish this year with a real flowing water fall and pond! We have talent in my parish! Click on image to enlarge
I thought I would post this letter early to my blog readers for comment. My parishioners for the most part won't see it until the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 18/19.
What do you think about the proliferation of vigil Masses on Christmas Eve? Our schedule on the 24th is 4:00 PM; 6:00 PM Children's Mass; 8:00 PM and then Midnight with only two on Christmas Day, 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM (actually only one is needed as both are half empty.)
Well, Christmas is almost here! This Friday is Christmas Eve. You will note the Mass schedule. As in the past, let me warn you not to save any seats for family members who might be arriving later than you. In the past this has nearly caused “Christmas Riots” which is not a pleasant thing on the eve that we celebrate the Prince of Peace. So, may I say in the most delicate, politically correct way that I can, don’t save any damn seats or I’ll get Santa Claus red with anger along with others who want those seats!
Now, let’s get back to the Prince of Peace. The most peaceful Masses we have are actually on Christmas Day, the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. In fact, you can save pews for late coming relatives and no one will blow their top.
There are some in the Church who lament the fact that we allow so many vigil Masses on Christmas Eve. I lament it too. We have shifted our Christmas celebration to the 24th of December when in fact Christmas Day is the 25th. In the old days, before Vigil Masses were allowed, the first Mass of Christmas was at Midnight, which was Christmas Day. The Masses on Christmas Day were packed and additional ones needed. Technically, we could get by today with only one on Christmas Day, but I’m praying that more people will start attending on Christmas Day eventually.
The laity like getting Mass over with on Christmas Eve so all of the less important things of Christmas Day can take place, like opening a ton of Christmas toys and other presents. Shouldn’t the secular side of Christmas take a back seat to the fact that the Christ Mass should actually be celebrated on the day it was intended, December 25th?
I’m not the pope, so I won’t make any changes to our Christmas Eve schedule until there is some formal decree. Even the Holy Father in his old age has moved St. Peter Basilica’s Midnight Mass to 10:00 PM much to the chagrin of purists. But at least think about what I write and maybe start making family adjustments.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Father Allan J. McDonald