Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Winding down and recuperating

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.

6 comments:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Sounds wonderful..you must be tired out! God bless..

Kat said...

FR: Sounds awesome! In MD we had an hour long homily (ok 4 in one), no incense and no singing of anything except by the choir... would you consider moving here???? Please? I would make it worth your while in pecan pie, cookies and homemade bread.... :)

Anonymous said...

Christmas Day:

My husband and I just attended 9 a.m. Mass at St. Mary's where we were fortunate enough to hear one of your homilies in person. If all your online admirers heard instead of read your homilies, they would be KNOCKED OVER! Your sincerity and faith shine through bigtime, Father. Many thanks, and hope you get some downtime today!

Annie

Father Martin Fox said...

Annie:

Well, I am glad you were here, and if you come again, please don't hesitate to say hello!

As I type, I am having some breakfast, and relaxing. That's my plan for the day, Deo gratias!

Rich Leonardi said...

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!


Good for you and your flock, Father, and Merry Christmas. (Do take care of yourself.)

We attended the 4 pm Vigil Mass at our parish. While it's always wonderful to see so many parishioners in a festive, joyous mood, liturgically it was a doozy. The traditional incensation of the altar is gone, replaced by chatty asides from our new pastor and three rounds of applause for the choir (who sang magnificently), the decorations committee, and the worshipers themselves. But I digress; Merry Christmas to you and your readers.

Rachel Gray said...

At our Midnight Mass they incensed the altar, and then a server incensed all the priests, and then he gestured to the congregation to stand and incensed us! Thanks to the red missalette for the traditional Latin Mass that I've been reading, I had some clue as to why he did that: "What is offered utno the living God is: 1) Bread; 2) Wine; 3) We ourselves-- all the faithful. Hence this threefold gift unto God is incensed, because all the faithful, through this offertorial act, have become holy unto God."

Father, it's good to read your posts and see how you care for your flock and want to offer the best Mass you can. If I'm ever in your area I certainly know where I'll go. :)