I had the best intentions to go to all 4 Christmas Masses. I only made it to the Midnight Mass because of the weather and such.
For Midnight Mass (at Midnight!) I went to visit my favorite priest (Fr. B!) at St. Ann in Normandy.
The choir sang carols for about 15 minutes before the start of Mass. For the Mass the music was accompanied by an organ.
Opening: O Come All Ye Faithful
Presentation of Gifts: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Communion: Silent Night
Meditation: Mary, Did You Know? (It's Christmas. I'll practice charity...)
Closing: Joy to the World
Mass Setting: Mass of Creation
Gloria: One with the refrain of Angels We Have Heard on High
Fr. B sang the Christmas Proclamation, the Opening Prayer and first part of the Eucharistic Prayer (III). I have to say, Fr. B is one of the best priests at singing.
Mass started with the Christmas Proclamation and then the Baby Jesus was carried to the crib and the Nativity was venerated. There was incense! Bells at the Consecration.
The Gospel Question: Are you a Good Receiver?
It is a season of giving. But at the heart of the feast, it is a season of receiving. It is essential to our Salvation. We are not good at receiving. It makes us uncomfortable. When we get a compliment, we tend to deflect it. We don't want to be indebted. We have a hard time receiving God's Love. Receiving love makes us vulnerable. It is why Jesus came as a baby. The last Words of Jesus were "Father into Your Hands I commend My Spirit" Jesus asked God to receive what He had to offer. Jesus was comfortable with receiving. We need to see God in our everyday encounters. Will you let God tell you He loves you?
View From the Back Pew!
Along the Left Side of the Church
Mary and Joseph
VIII: Jesus Meets the Holy Women
Website of St. Ann
Pictures from Rome of the West (Scroll towards the bottom)