Friday, 24 December 2010

Light the Christmas candle, The Holy One is Born

Church doors are currently  opening for their Christmas Eve Vigils. Here in the NorthEast of England they begin to do this from 6.00 onwards - far too early in my opinion. Few churches now have Mass at midnight such as the one we attend in the Extrardinary Form. The emphasis of this Mass is on the eternal or Divine birth, whereas it is on the birth as man at the dawn Mass  and at the third Mass of Christmas,  His reappearance  as Judge at the end of time.
"O admirabel Commercium! O Wondrous Exchange! the Creator of the human race, taking to Himself a body and soul, deigned to be born of a Virgin and, appearing as Man but without human lineage, bestowed on us His Divinity" (Roman Breviary)
May the blessings of the Christ Child from his manger bed reach you and those you love and bring peace to your homes and families throughout the season and the coming year.

1 comment:

  1. We used to love being able to attend Midnight Mass (and enjoyed the build-up towards it during the evening). Now that we've got a baby and another on the way, the 6pm Vigil Mass is our only option, but this does have the advantages of being packed with young children and of all participants being sober, and also of us being able to get enough sleep before Mass at 9am or 10am on Christmas Day.

    The main problem we've found with the 6pm Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve is that because almost everyone in the parish attends it, the Christmas Morning Mass is eerily deserted. On the plus side, the silence at this Mass really helps one to reflect on the Incarnation.

    What would be wonderful at Christmas is if parishes could do what the Neocatecumenate Way do at Easter, i.e. start with a Mass at sunset on the night before, and then pray through the night, finishing with another Mass at sunrise. The opening of presents and the big meal with the family could be deferred until the evening of Christmas Day in order to give people a chance to get a few hours' sleep after the all-night vigil.