CHRISTMAS

Liturgies

Friday, December 24

4pm Vigil

6:15pm Vigil

10pm Solemn Celebration of Christmas


Saturday, December 25

10am Mass of the Shepherds
(Livestreamed)

 

NO 4:30pm Liturgy on Christmas Day

 

CHRISTMAS: A CELEBRATION OF JOY

 

The original liturgical celebrations of the birth of Christ began in the Holy Land with customs which eventually spread to the rest of the Church.  Three special Liturgies proclaimed the good news.  The first was celebrated in Bethlehem during the night.  Afterwards the participants walked by torch light to Mt. Zion near Jerusalem for a second Mass around dawn, called the Mass of the Shepherds.  Later in the day, a third Liturgy - the Mass of the Word Made Flesh - was celebrated in the Church of the Tomb of Christ.  For 1700 years, these three separate Liturgies marked the birth of Christ.
 

In 1969, the liturgical reforms added a fourth celebration: the Vigil Mass.  We will have two Vigil Liturgies on Christmas Eve, the first will be at 4 pm and the second at 6:15 pm.  These Liturgies are very popular, especially for families with younger children.  The Mid-Night Mass, which will begin at 10 pm, is the primary Liturgy of Christmas and is especially beautiful.  Imitating the Christmas Liturgy of the fifth century, it begins in semi-darkness.  Three readings from the Old Testament remind us of how the promise of a Savior guided God's people and prepared us to hear the Good News of Jesus' birth.  The morning Mass of the Shepherds (10am) is much simpler, also very beautiful and will be livestreamed.