From a reader:
My wife and I this year were going to attend Midnight Mass this year. My father was going to stay at our house to watch our 2 and 1 year olds since they will be sleeping. Are we obliged to then go to Mass Christmas morning with the children so that they attend? My thought was that when the kids get to be 4 or 5 years old (and will a> understand the Mass and b> not throw a fit every time the organ wakes them up) that at that point we would bring the older children with but leave the wee ones at home to sleep. We bring the children on all Sundays and feasts unless they are sick. Someone on my blog commented “Did not Christ specifically request ‘the little children’?” which I agree, but… did he really want those sleep deprived children screaming during Silent Night?
Kids that young do not have an obligation to fulfill. You are not obliged to take them so they can fulfill an obligation they don’t have.
For the rest… this is a parenting question, and parents with children can chime in with their views.
You have to decide how to expose your children to the celebration of the sacred mysteries.
That said, I do not mind it at all when people leave their infants and very small children at home (in the care of an excellent sitter) rather than bring them to Midnight Mass.
“Squeakers”, by the way is a term used for the ship-board children in the Aubrey/Maturin books. Which it’s a term of endearment, ain’t it?
When you’ve had a hard day getting ready for the Christmas festivities – knowing that you are going to go to Midnight Mass – and you are just plain beat why not have a piping hot WDTPRS mug filled to the brim with Mystic Monk Coffee?
It is, after all, sooooo embarrassing to wake up suddenly with a loud snort, everyone in the surrounding pews glaring at you as you wipe the drool from your chin.
Think about it… without drinking some Mystic Monk Coffee… those glares might mean that you’ve even been snoring for the last,… well… who can tell how long? And, come to think of it, Father seems to be staring at you from the pulpit as his Christmas sermon careens from the manger and Bethlehem into an exegesis of Mark 14:37.
First time buyer? Worried your only hope won’t arrive in time for Christmas Eve? Don’t worry!
Just buying some Mystic Monk Coffee – right now – will give you so much satisfaction that you’ll you just beam with attentive and perky pleasure all through Midnight Mass.
Act now and you won’t embarrass yourself, your family, your whole parish.
Mystic Monk Coffee!