Christmas greetings

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musicus
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Christmas greetings

Post by musicus » Thu Dec 25, 2003 12:28 am

A happy and holy Christmas to all.

It's half past midnight here, and I can hear you wondering, "Why isn't he at Midnight Mass?". Well, midnight around here is at 10pm, apparently. Our church was comfortably full, and I was able to unleash a couple of organ stops that would normally get some people turning their hearing aids off. Traditional carols for the most part, but also Bernadette Farrell's lovely Christmas psalm - which everyone sang, in spite of it having a really long response. (Give 'em a good tune and they will sing.)

And tomorrow, for the first time in years, I don't have to play! Someone else has offered.

How were your celebrations?

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Post by presbyter » Thu Dec 25, 2003 10:24 am

"Midnight Mass"? No such thing in the Roman Missal. 10.00 pm seems a highly suitable time to celebrate "Ad Missam in nocte" (Missal of John Paul II p.155). It's dark at 10.00 pm.

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Post by musicus » Thu Dec 25, 2003 3:08 pm

presbyter wrote:"Midnight Mass"? No such thing in the Roman Missal. 10.00 pm seems a highly suitable time to celebrate "Ad Missam in nocte" (Missal of John Paul II p.155). It's dark at 10.00 pm.


Yes, I know. But when it is advertised in the parish bulletin as 'midnight', then there is some potential for confusion, surely?

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Post by Benevenio » Thu Dec 25, 2003 6:23 pm

presbyter wrote:It's dark at 10.00 pm.


Actually, sunset on Christmas eve was around 15:50 in Birmingham, and it was certainly pretty dark by 4pm.
If darkness is the criterion for celebrating Mass at Night, presumably we could celebrate this mass at 4pm on 24/12...
so at what time does Presbyter advise that we celebrate the Vigil Mass of Christmas?

Extrapolating upon the criterion a little further, I presume those who are in Antarctica and have 24 hour sunlight at this time of year may celebrate neither mass at night nor the dawn mass, only the vigil and the day masses?
Benevenio.

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Post by presbyter » Fri Dec 26, 2003 8:07 am

At whatever time one's Ordinary permits

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Post by presbyter » Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:11 pm

I have been informed that in one diocese in England and Wales, the Bishop insists that no Christmas Vigil Mass is celebrated before 6.00 pm and no Night Mass may be celebrated before Midnight.

I wonder if the elderly who fear the terrors of the night, and who are then stuck for public transport to get to Mass on Christmas morning, are happy with that arrangement.

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Post by Benevenio » Mon Dec 29, 2003 5:34 pm

Perhaps this Bishop spends a lot of time in his diocese, talking with the laity and so knows his flock well? Perhaps his ruling about vigil masses applies to any vigil mass, including those on Saturdays for the Sunday? Perhaps also, he insists on the Easter Vigil being celebrated at 3am so that, as the people leave the building, they greet the risen Christ in new light (as is the norm in Bavaria, for example)?

Perhaps too he sees this specific of pastoral care to be local - why cannot the parishes - which, of course, are a haven of Christian love, where the people put each other first - organise those people who have cars to transport these elderly (or anyone else who relies on public transport for that matter) to the church? Each parish will know who these people are and will already be looking out for them, offering help before they need to ask... or is the Church not like this, in reality, and - despite turning up to listen to readings, to pray prayers and to sing about 'peace and goodwill and love to all humankind' at Christmas - does not actually put what it hears, prays and sings into practice?

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Post by presbyter » Mon Dec 29, 2003 8:11 pm

Believe it or not, there are still many parishes in poor areas where the majority of people do not possess cars. I can think of some inner-city parishes where the residents possess very little indeed and life is simply a struggle for survival, yet the faithful elderly somehow get to Mass.

Public transport is the only form of mechanised transport for a lot of people. Fear of the reality of street crime after dark keeps the elderly well and truly shut-in in the evenings (and I write here myself as one mugged in an underpass about 30 yards from my inner-city establishment some years ago - and one of the most sad memories I have of my time there is of the mugging in broad daylight of a ninety-four year old lady on her way to Mass by two youths after money for drugs).

Oh yes, some parishes have excellent transport schemes to get their elderly to church - cars and even parish minibuses. Fine if the parish happens to be situated where the socio-econmic grouping is what we might call "middle class". But that won't work in the poor areas of our cities.

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Post by musicus » Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:27 pm

We have strayed well off-topic here folks, so I am calling a halt and locking the thread. By all means start a fresh topic if you need to.

M

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