Well, it's been a pretty great Christmas Eve and midnight. After getting things ready for the 4 pm vigil at St. Boniface, which the vicar offered, then I stopped by the drugstore for some pseudephedrine -- which is now sold from behind the counter, and one has to sign for it -- and by another store where I get my favorite beer for Christmas -- Anchor Steam. Then a bit of a breather before 6 pm Mass at St. Mary, which I offered. Kudos to the servers, who all showed up in plenty of time, and everything went splendidly. Missa altissima! My voice is a bit rough from my cold, and it cracked as I sung the Sign of the Cross, and I thought, oop! it's going to be a long night! But after I blew the dust out of the pipes -- and sent a server for water several times -- it all went fine.
Then to a parishioner's house for dinner; I was going to beg off, but I felt so good. Then to St. Boniface for Midnight Mass. Another most-high Mass, with ten servers! We even had the servers incense during the Eucharistic Prayer and we had them hold candles during the Prayer.
Also, for Midnight, I wore my biretta. As I said in my homily -- at Midnight Mass, father brings out his fancy hat!
I even sang the Gospel at Midnight, which I didn't do at 6 pm; I flubbed a few notes, given my rough voice; and as Mass wore on, my voice wore down; I couldn't sing the entire Canon, just the first part, unfortunately.
Anyway, we did have multos candles! More at St. Boniface, but St. Mary had more little lights. St. Boniface uses all white pontsettias, which was was controversial for awhile -- it preceded me, and I left that in place, while St. Mary uses all red. Both churches are splendid for Christmas.
The music was splendid; we had children's choirs for 4 and 6 pm; the schola and bell choir assisted at Midnight. We began the Mass with the proper introit, chanted by the schola, followed by "O Come, All Ye Faithful."
Well, I'm home now, having one of my Christmas beers. Earlier, I flipped on all the lights on the house, it's a tradition all my own: I think we should light up everything on Christmas night. I also put a candle in the window; if you don't know where that tradition comes from, look it up, it's pretty neat.
It's off to bed soon; I just finished my beer, and I'm tempted to have another, but it's rather late.
Oh, and our Midnight Mass drew a good crowd -- at least 400 I would say, which is pretty good, considering elsewhere parishes can't get people to come. They come here.