I used to get very impatient on Christmas Eve morning when we would get so many, and I mean, so many, phone calls and people asking "what time is Midnight Mass?" I wanted to to add explicatives to my answer when I said curtly, MIDNIGHT! YOU (BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP).
But today so many parishes don't have midnight Mass any more. The vigil Mass is at 4 pm and the Mass at Night is now around 8 or 9 PM.
And yes, I have a confession to make. This is my third year here at St. Anne in Richmond Hill, Georgia and this year, like the previous two, our Midnight Mass will be at 9 PM preceded by a prelude of Christmas Carols at 8:30 PM.
Until I came here, I never missed a single Christmas as a priest either being the priest MC of the Midnight Mass or the celebrant or concelebrant.
At 65 years old, I must also confess, that I am glad that our Midnight Mass at Saint Anne's if finished by 10:15 or 10:30 at the latest.
I think Pope Benedict started having the Christmas Midnight Mass at 9 PM at St. Peter's which Pope Francis has chosen to remain in continuity at least on this one with Pope Benedict by continuing with Midnight Mass at 9 PM.
So what time is your Midnight Mass? Mine is at 9 PM, sweet darling.
Our Vigil Mass is at 5 PM preceded by the Children's Christmas Pageant at 4:30 PM. The 5 PM Vigil Mass of Christmas will be the most packed and maybe standing room only. Our church seated about 1,200!
We only have one Mass on Christmas Day and it will be at 10 AM and using the readings from the lectionary for Mass at Dawn.
To be honest, I wish that we would not have vigil Masses at Christmas, that the first one has to start on Christmas Day which would be Midnight or 12 AM. Then we would have more Masses on Christmas Day.