Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas is Coming...

The snow keeps on comin'!
I vacillate between great joy and a bit of depression and sadness.

I love Advent and the sense of anticipation it engenders in me. The readings at Vigils are beautiful and powerful. The prayers at Mass are exceptionally rich, it seems. I love having the Advent wreath on our table and lighting the candles at dinner time. 

And then there's the liturgical life of our parish...which is impoverished. 

This year, there will be no night-time Mass. Not at midnight, not even at 10pm, not even at 8 pm. Nope. Just the 4:30pm Mass on Christmas Eve, which in past years has been billed as the "Children's Mass". I don't think it is called that now, but I also don't think it has changed any. That Mass is usually packed, and I'm sure there are quite a few "Christmas-and-Easter" Catholics in attendance, as well as non-Catholics from the local community who like a little entertainment on Christmas Eve.

Our choices for Mass, then, are the 4:30 Mass (Nooooooo. I cannot bring myself to attend.), or the Sunday morning 9:30 Mass. That one will include plenty of guitar-strumming, though one can always hope the tambourine will remain silent.  The bishop will be at the Sunday morning Mass for sure, and probably the 4:30 as well, though I don't know for sure. 

That leaves us with the 11:30am Christmas Mass at the mission church. Well, maybe they won't be playing CD's this time; in the past, they have just sung standard Christmas carols. But I'm telling you, if they break into "Feliz Navidad" (because the Hispanics, ya know), I will be this close to walking out. Though I probably won't. Or if I do, I'll return when they are done.

Maybe I sound like Scrooge. Bah, humbug! Well, if you have a lovely Christmas Mass to attend - hopefully one in the extraordinary form - then please say a little prayer for me! I will sing the Office in my little chapel and try to focus on that. I will also sing the propers for the Christmas Masses, just because I can, even if there is no Mass to go along with them. Singing Gregorian chant almost always lifts my spirit!

Well, maybe things will be different next year.  But for this year, Merry Christmas to all of you who read this! 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

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