Your good news and sermon notes for Christmas!

So!  How was Christmas?  Do you have any good news for the readers?

Also, was there are particularly good point from the Christmas sermon you heard?

(Yes, I am in fact trying to get you to listen more carefully and make a point of remembering.)

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51 Responses to Your good news and sermon notes for Christmas!

  1. Lily says:

    Yes, I heard a great sermon that reminded us (and especially those who are suffering this Christmas) that it is right in the midst of our suffering that Christ is ever present. And you, Father, called this back to mind just when I needed it the most. Thank you.

  2. Catherine says:

    One of our priests cautioned us about being too sentimental about the usual images of the Christmas season and to keep in mind the fact that the Catholic Church is the one true church. This was very interesting in light of the fact that my son-in-law was present, and he is not Catholic, so I wondered what he was thinking. It was a beautiful sermon that tied in beautifully with the readings.

  3. mrose says:

    Assisted at a beautiful Missa Cantata w/ lots of incense for Midnight Mass. Went to Confession immediately prior to Mass, which I was thankful for as I did not anticipate Confession being available at Midnight Mass.

    Father impressed upon us the humility of Our Lord, and that His humility is THE moral lesson par excellance to draw from the Nativity of Our Lord. He made a funny comment along the lines of “if everyone would adopt true humility in imitation of the Child Jesus, then 99% of the world’s problems would be solved” – an amusing and not-so-veiled reference! He also mentioned the humility of Our Lady and of St. Joseph.

  4. paperclip says:

    Our bishop brought up homosexuality, co-habitation and abortion, telling us that all these practices are unacceptable even in our modern society. I had to resist the urge to get up and applaud!

  5. APX says:

    Good news? We had out first Christmas in our new Cathedral that just opened. Though its aesthetic appeal leaves something to be desired, it has the comfiest kneelers I’ve ever knelt on. The cushioning is just the right density and they have flex in them so there’s no uneven pressure placed on your knees or shins which after a long time of kneeling causes severe pain.

    Also, the bishop changed our 11:00 Midnight Mass to actually start at Midnight despite the non-approval of other people, and made a point to mention at the end of Mass that “we proved all those people wrong who said no one would show up to a Mass that actually started at Midnight.”

    I also managed to avoid receiving communion from one of the members of the army of EMHC’s, and received from the bishop while kneeling, and he appeared quite happy as I knelt down. Despite the Cathedral being packed, no one tripped over me and it caused no issues. Oddly enough, despite being mocked about everything else by my family, no one even said anything about the fact that I knelt to receive.

    Point-wise for the homily, this year’s homily surpassed all previous ones. There were no jokes about waiting to get drunk after Mass or the homilist playing his guitar and having a sing-along during the homily.

    The homily was given by the Bishop and he said a lot during his homily, but what I remember the most was him talking about the “Porta Sancta” in St. Peter’s Basilica and then compared Jesus’ birth to, during his time working in Rome, some ghetto neighborhood (he didn’t call it a ghetto, but alluded to it being such) close to St. Peter’s where someone had written “Porta Sancta” on one of the terribly beaten up doors. Basically, from what I got out of it, Jesus, as holy as he is, chose to enter in through our ghetto in order to be with us and to redeem us.

    Oh, and I forgot, we sang O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin at first. There was lots of congregational participation and no one threw a nutty. This Mass probably had the most Latin I’ve ever heard in a NO Mass.

  6. TXKathi says:

    Father spoke during the first part of his homily, as he does each year he’s been with us, on the fact that Jesus really WAS born on December 25 & that the fairy tale that the Church created the celebration of the Lord’s nativity to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of the winter solstice is a myth. He had a plethora of quotes from early Church fathers & others (Tertullian & Origen) to support this, as well as citing the fact that the Blessed Mother, like all mothers, would absolutely have known the birthdate of her only child.

  7. FrPaul says:

    Today, December 26, is most historic in the Americas. On this day, 480 years ago, the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was translated from the private chapel of the Bishop of Mexico to a small, public chapel, in accord with Our Lady’s request. Of course, since that date, subsequent chapels have replaced that tiny chapel which had been composed of adobe bricks. In only 20 years we will celebrate the 500 anniversary so important to the Americas and to the world.

  8. Charivari Rob says:

    Good news?

    Safe and easy drive from Boston to Manhattan on Saturday. Found a parking spot on the same block as our destination! Thanks to alternate side parking rules being suspended Monday for the observed holiday, I could leave the car in that spot ’til Thursday if I wanted!!! What can I say? It’s a New York thing.

    Nice time with our niece and younger cousins, and catching up with sundry others via phone.

    Mass? Bookended the day with two beautiful Masses.

    Midnight Mass (down at Holy Innocents) was nice. Solid homily, though nothing I’d cast as particularly standout or memorable. I was more mindful of the taxi having gotten there in enough time before Mass to center myself and pray. I had ended up going by myself and it became an opportunity to start closing out a rough (calendar) year on a good noet. I was able to pray for the dead and the living, those whose lives affect me and those whose lives I affect (like, ummm… the people my taxi driver nearly ran down getting me there).

    6 pm Mass at the parish – this was together as family. Great homily! Father definitely wasn’t mailing it in for last Mass in a grueling 24 hours. He preached on faith, hope & love, on Christmas & Easter, and most brilliantly on the Light of the World. How (on the “dark and stormy nights”), the darkness doesn’t (and can’t) enter the house to smother the light but even the tiniest sliver of light through the keyhole starts to disperse the darkness. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end of it! It carried me back more than 20 years to the greatest (and one of the most loved) of my college professors, as I recalled a thing or two I learned from him. I made sure to thank Father at the door on my way out.

  9. CatholicinCA says:

    I thought our pastor made a wonderful comparison between Saint Damian of Molokai and our Blessed Lord. He started by sharing how St. Damian, though dedicated and loving towards the lepers of Molokai, never really could reach them and have them accept him as their own, until one day when he began his homily not with his usual “My brothers and sisters” but with “My fellow lepers.” Father mentioned that this was much like what our God did by becoming incarnate; He became one of us in every way except sin so that we could fully embrace Him and know that He fully understood our predicament. It was very powerful.

  10. mhittle says:

    Good news? I wish. I’m back in the Midwest this week from Washington, DC, where I started a job eight months ago. My Christmas Mass was a midnight Mass. Per my family’s tradition, we went to the local Carmelite Monastery, where the sisters (all seven of them!) open their chapel to the public – they sit behind the altar and are, literally, behind bars.

    Unfortunately, over the past several years, word has leaked out about the Mass, which used to be small, quiet, and beautiful. Now, instead of it being a solemn occasion, it’s a jumble of sweatpants-wearing Christmas-and-Easter Mass-goers, some of whom were sleeping in their chairs. They just want to get church out of the way so they can open presents late on Christmas morning.

    The Mass was the Ordinary Form, but a couple parts of the Mass (Gloria and Sanctus) were sung in Latin chant. I was taken aback and so pleased when I heard the opening organ notes for the Gloria. Having served the Extraordinary Form weekly for four years throughout high school (I’m 25 now), I knew the chants without looking at the handout.

    The sermon was good – about “doing the work of Christmas” after Christmas. The sisters have a brief meet-and-greet after Mass, so I approached the priest in the receiving room with my family and complimented him on his sermon, as well as including the Latin parts of the Mass. This is how the conversation went:

    Me: Great sermon, Father!
    Father: Thank you.
    Me: And I really appreciated the Latin- not many priests attempt that.
    Father: You were probably the only one. And only I could understand it.
    Me: Actually, Father, I knew it by heart. I served the Extraordinary Form for four years.
    Father: That’s unfortunate. [walks away]

    Other than that little exchange, my Christmas has been relaxing and joyful, thank God. It’s a bit sad, though, that the worst part of my Christmas day was my chat with a priest.

  11. mhittle says:

    Sorry, upon a second reading, that was a little less “sermon notes” and a little more “rant.”

  12. SWP says:

    I have never been to Mass on the 25th, so I look forward to the vigil Mass every year. Light breaking through darkness is so much more easily appreciated at midnight– and that holds true at the Easter Vigil too!

    That was the basic message of the homily. God loves us so much he wants to spend eternity with each one of us and therefore sent his Son to save each and every one of us from our own sinfulness. That’s the joy of Christmas: that it is possible to be saved! If we knew what a gift God gave us in the Incarnation, we would not hesitate to come to Mass every Sunday.

    And he made a special invite to those who have been away for long to consider getting to know God again as one who loves no matter what sin has kept us apart from Him each week.

  13. Mindyleigh says:

    Here is a link to my post about our Christmas Mass in the Dominican Rite today, which was held in the Cathedral instead of in the parish center! So that was good news. :-)

    http://thedevoutlife.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-mass-in-dominican-rite.html

  14. J Kusske says:

    I posted this in another thread, but the local parish in Seattle where I’m visiting had a quite good Christmas Eve mass (“Midnight Mass” at 10:00) under the helm of reverent young new pastor. It was advertised as a “Latin mass” though it was mainly in English. I think he’s weaning them onto fuller fare over time as my father relates they were formerly a howling wilderness and he couldn’t go to mass there, and was very glad to see things better this time. There were only male acolytes, a nice little choir doing Christmas carols and the chanted mass parts (mostly in Latin), and nice touches like kneeling for the mention of the Incarnation in the Credo. I did my part by singing the mass parts and the bass harmonies to the Christmas carols. It was also great to take part in a mass using the new translation for the first real time (I just got back to the US from China in time for Christmas). My father and I thanked him afterwards and he told him “brick by brick”, which he seemed to understand–he’s probably a fellow reader of this blog!

  15. Tim says:

    What struck me most about the sermon at Midnight Mass was the reflection on being excluded — like the Holy Family with nowhere to stay in Bethlehem. Father recalled last Christmas when our Archbishop Léonard arrived to celebrate Christmas Mass for those incarcerated in a Brussels prison. The prison guards, no doubt influenced by the media campaign against the archbishop, refused to guarantee his safety and he could not say Mass for the prisoners. Last year it was very cold and we had a lot of snow in Brussels and our archbishop travels by public transport and on foot wherever possible. I thought of him trudging home in the snow and of the prisoners deprived of the joy of a Christmas Mass with their bishop. And I gave thanks for the one who was excluded — Archbishop Léonard.

  16. acroat says:

    Got to EF Mass just at the right time-I was first in line for confession & just minutes after a long line formed! Very blessed & spoiled by our pastor…

  17. Kent says:

    Good News? Hmmmm? We arrived 1/2 hour early for the 5:oo PM Children’s Mass but couldn’t find a seat in the main sanctuary although there were vacancies; they were being saving for late arriving family members. So we had to sit in the gathering area with no direct eye contact with the action on the altar other than a video monitor. They had a little concert before Mass with the children singing some secular Christmas songs. It sounded great. Actually, you couldn’t hear the little kids since they were lip syncing to a recording. But they all looked really cute and I’m sure made their parents and grandparents so proud. They turned the lights down in the gathering area were we sat. I guess they were trying to cut energy costs or something. It really didn’t matter since there were no music books or new translation cards available where we were anyway (BTW, I’m tired of hearing our priest congratulate or chastise us on our getting the responses correct or messing them up). And you couldn’t hear the song annoucer anyway. They had four microphones but you could only hear the lady playing the keyboard. At communion time we processed from our little refuge to a place were you could actually see the altar and received from an EMHC. I had serious concerns as to whether we had actually fulfilled our Christmas Day Mass obligation since this was the only time I felt like we were actually in the church. Other than receiving communion, the experience was no different than watching Mass on TV. The sermon was ho-hum. Good news? Hmmmmm? I was able to watch a live feed of a candle light midnight Mass offered by a priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter on livemass.net.

  18. MominTexas says:

    It was odd our church was only 1/3 full- we belong to the campus ministry, and the kids were all home with their families! So I was awed by that and the fact that our 2 year old was not having to be squashed between us (she is NOT a lap sitter/does better with some room). It was nice no one had to stand, usually the church is PACKED (5 masses every Sunday). We just had one nice 10am Christmas Day mass, it was lovely and smelled great :D

  19. irishgirl says:

    I’d have to go back to a recording of the sermon I heard yesterday (there’s an internet radio station which records the sermons given by the priests who serve our little TLM chapel). It was good,, anyway. They almost always start with a story-this sermon’s story was about a Korean War soldier who came home on leave for Christmas. He had a rather ingenious method for surprising his children: he hid under a sheet by the tree with all the presents. And when the children came downstairs as they always did at Christmas, they noticed the sheet-and when their father came out from underneath it, they were overjoyed to see him!
    I thought I was going to spend my time after Mass alone (the family I spent Thanksgiving with were going to the in-laws), but instead I went with our organist and her husband to a Chinese restaurant for dinner! Nice buffet-as usual, I ate a bit much. But I was happy that they invited me to come along with them!
    Then I went to the Adoration Chapel to spend a couple hours with Our Lord.

  20. bootstrap says:

    We’re visiting family and we all went to the 9am Mass on Christmas. We got there early anticipating a croud but the sanctuary did not completely fill. The priest, took time to welcome everyone and give Christmas wishes after he opened with the sign of the cross. He also announced that will will be using the reading for midnight mass.

    There were no translation cards available. Many people were using the old responses and there were no announcements or explanations. My 7 year old daughter asked why they were not using “the new words.”. I think the priest was using the new translation when he was not ad libbing.

    The homily was shot – about 2 minutes. The sentences were short and direct statements that my 7 year old was able to understand easily. “Christ is born. The light has come in to the world. God is with us.”. I’m told this is normal for this celebrant.

    After Mass, I suppressed the urge to tell him “say the black, do the red.” and just said “Merry Christmas Father.” Unfortunately, I did not get a STB,DTR polo shirt for Christmas. I think I’ll look for the after Christmas sale.

  21. Even with our glorious solemn high EF Mass–with the 3 priests and 14 MCs, altarboys and torchbearers in the opening procession as choir and people sang Adeste fidelis in Latin, Gregorian chant propers, full ordinary in sacred polyphony (di Lasso), Victoria and Palestrina motets–perhaps most impressive was the Christmas schedule of our priest, Fr. John Arthur Orr: celebrated the 5 pm children’s Mass and 7 pm Spanish Mass on Christmas Eve, served as MC for solemn OF midnight Mass celebrated by the cardinal resident in our diocese, celebrated the 11:30 am Christmas morning Mass in English, served as deacon for the 1:30 pm solemn high EF Mass, and finally celebrated the 6 pm Mass in English. Even in areas of the country like ours where a vibrant Church is bursting at the seams, probably very few priests are call upon to participate in 6 Masses in 25 hours. But he said he got 4 hours of sleep in there somewhere, and seemed fresh as the proverbial daisy in his energetic (and as always excellent and meaty) sermon Sunday afternoon.

  22. ipadre says:

    My message for Christmas Masses: “Do not be afraid” Our Lord came to us on the first Christmas and never left. He is here as our strength, our hope and our love.

    Good news for me! My cold/ flu is gone, my voice is almost restored and this afternoon, I fly to Rome to visit my seminarian.

    Merry Christmas Fr. Z and all!

  23. Faith says:

    Fr. Kevin, ocso, made us laugh. He wondered why Jesus was born amongst the dirty shepherds. Why didn’t He pick decent people, like “me, and you”?

  24. Cristero says:

    No sermon notes here. Was asked to give p seat for Schola at Midnight Mass. Drove around for an hour and a hlaf and then picked up family that was able to attend. Disgusted and tired of this tratment.

  25. mrsmontoya says:

    Our good new is we are all in Manhatten for the week, with visits to the Met and St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the to-do list. And on the plane out, the young man sitting next to us was reading the Douhy-Rheims Bible.

  26. Jayna says:

    If I’m remembering correctly, the priest gave the same homily he gave last year. Perhaps he thinks we all have short term memory loss. The whole thing was all pretty disappointing (they have a new pastor, so that could be the source of the liturgical downgrade).

    The good news is that I went to visit my other former parish after Mass to find that my priest there was decked out in all his finery – including a rather ornate alb I and a few other parishioners purchased for him nearly a year ago. That may not sound like much, but trust me, given the dynamics of that parish, it was.

  27. New Sister says:

    Our pastor warmly welcomed the C&E and non-Catholics at Holy Mass, and invited them home to the faith. He said that the Church is their “spiritual home, where Christ expects you and loves you.” Durng the final two Masses of Advent (Friday and Saturday), which were packed and had (I counted) 50 people in line for Confession at the end of Mass on both days, the same pator instructed us daily Mass-goers to pray for all those who would be visiting the parish during Christmas.

  28. kathygeorge says:

    I remember our homily very clearly. The priest donned a large elf hat, sat in a rocking chair in front of the altar, and read a book called “Mousekin” to the congregation. This was not a “children’s Mass.”

  29. pm125 says:

    Two churches:
    Vigil sermon to full pews described the humble estate of shepherds back when and mangers requiring the act of bending down to reach inside – that this is where we learn God’s love is for even sort of outcasts in sending angels to help them understand. He mentioned how the trappings of Christmas and the fancy dressing can obscure the meaning of the symbolism. About Christmas joy from within, not to be found in beautiful decorations, clothing, and presents.
    Midnight sermon (after 11:15 Carols from a great organist) on finding earthly peace amid conflict – mostly chastising for not getting along with one another syndrome.
    Good news:
    Finding an unexpected Christmas card in forgotten Sat. mail on Christmas morn trip outside for newspaper.
    Christmas Carols. Spent the afternoon burning down Advent candles listening to National Shrine D.C. Mass (beautiful choir too!) and organ music afterwards from Germany and Austria on EWTN.
    Then TV took a turn to the b. news dept. Cable music gave only Holiday Tunes as a selection. Time for a CD player or whatever the new generation of playing music choices is. (Gun $hy after records, stereos, 8 tracks, cassette tapes …)

  30. kat says:

    Sermon was about the three “comings” of Our Lord. 1st was His natural birth (Midnight Mass); 2nd was the coming into our souls (2nd Mass); and the 3rd is when He comes at the end of the world (3rd Mass). Same priest all 3 Masses. We sang the 1st and 3rd, and Father gave similar sermons at each, but focused on the coming that was being commemorated in that Mass. It was a similar sermon to last year’s but our priest is an awesome speaker so never boring. And we get them in our email box before the day is over : ) so can hear them again. The main focus of the sermon, however, is the love of God to come to us. Deus Caritas Est.

    We sang hymns and traditional religious carols at 11:30 before Midnight Mass; and Kyriale 9, Credo I along with hymns at Offertory and Communion. The 9:30 AM Mass we sang Kyriale 8 Credo 3. Few people there. Most went to Midnight Mass, and I think anyone left over went to 7AM 2nd Mass of Christmas! But Father loves the Gregorian Propers of the 3rd Mass, so always has us sing that High Mass too : )

    After all that, spent a relaxing time at home with our 6 children, my mom, one of my brothers, and one of my nephews. Nice Christmas.

  31. jenne says:

    Good news, we attempted evening mass but were late because of not being prepared so we decided instead of interrupting mass we will go to 10 pm (we would never made it through midnight at this point in our lives – 4 young children.) Loved the 10 pm mass (NO but was pleasantly suprised at singing two verses in latin for processional hymn – big deal at our parish!)
    Homily- I remember being told about how we walk in darkness. The saints are like the stars of the night pointing to Christ. The wise men followed the stars that they learned to pay attention to. Then he linked the coming of Christ as the light to him that we prepare for at the altar. He stressed the real presence of Christ and He still comes. His homily was much better, tying in our darkened nature to needing this gift of Jesus and the saints that show us the way. Was what I could remember having one very tired boy (which makes for a good challenge to maintain attention to Mass and the child.) Thank you for reminding me to pay attention

  32. jmvbxx says:

    I’m sorry to say that we did not have a good mass experience yesterday so please forgive the rant. I have yet to decide whether to speak with the rector or not.

    We often have invited priests come and perform mass because we have a large community with six masses usually held on Sundays and solemnities. Yesterday I attended the 8pm and there was a visiting priest presiding. Here’s a short list of the experience:

    1) during the homily he asked us to tell each other ‘You are a chosen son/daughter of God’. While I have no problem with the message .. I didn’t appreciated being forced to participate as the person beside repeated the priests message.
    2) during the Eucharistic Prayer he asked all of us to JOIN him and say: “Through him, and with him, and in him .. etc”
    3) we were ‘requested’ to hold hands (across the aisles even) during the Our Father
    4) after being asked to hold hands again after the sign of peace we were asked to JOIN him again for the prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: .. etc”

    His alterations to the Eucharist made me feel very uncomfortable and certainly can contribute to confusion on the part of the congregation as to who is really supposed to say what during the mass.

    In your opinions .. Should I speak with the parish priest? I’m worried I’ll come across as elitist or a know-it-all and have my concerns disregarded.

  33. West Coast Hope says:

    My heart hurts. In place of the Gloria, we were treated to two verses of Angels We Have Heard On High. The homily stressed the need to be nice as Jesus was nice. The celebrant reverted to the old translation just before Communion. Yes, I am joyful because it is Christmas and Christmas is about Jesus Christ, but my heart hurts.

  34. a catechist says:

    Mass with Bishop included a (young, permanent) deacon, several seminarians, and a whole lot of incense. Also, our professional choir sang before Mass as well as during.

    My kids were too squirrelly for me to catch much of the homily, but Bishop’s solid and I’m sure the homily was. When he introduced the seminarians, he put in a good plug for the future seminarians in the pews.

  35. xsosdid says:

    The good news is that I managed to fix the 6 core processor for my 15 year-old’s computer that my 18 year-old dropped, pin side down, on the floor! I had to straighten dozens of milimeters-long, solid gold pins. Finally, after squinting myself several new wrinkles, drinking several glasses of wine (a nice red, Argentine), at around midnight last evening, and after praying “Lord give success to the work of our hands” the processor seated onto the motherboard properly. The computer is back up and running after it’s Christmas day upgrade!
    The homily was mostly memorable for Father Peter’s wry humor. He meditated on God’s “soft sell” approach to His coming into the world. It was good enough that I wasn’t sitting there making up my own homily.

  36. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Oh good grief, the author of the Mousekin books was my aunt. *blush*

    I went to the 7am Mass Christmas. No music, I enjoyed the quiet. It was about 3/4 full. Father’s homily was very good after a humorous excursion down memory lane. How we receive the gift shows what we think of the gift giver. In Christ we are not given a baby surrounded by soldiers as a baby King would be but one surrounded by animals and shepherds, the gift of a loving Person.

  37. Penguins Hockey Fan says:

    Saturday afternoon, I watched the Steelers game with a friend. Upon arriving home, I gave the three year old (John Paul) his bath, gave him his dinner and he was in bed before 8PM. The newborn (Charles Anthony) was sleeping in his car seat, which he prefers to his crib. I gave the señora a good-bye beso, and headed off to St Boniface for the “Midnight Mass” held at 9PM. Carols began at 8:30. As usual, Father Myers hit the mark in the homily. Father Myers spoke about seeing Jesus with the eyes of the soul, and how it was good St. Joseph who first laid human eyes on the Savior. No one, not the Blessed Virgin Mary, not Abraham, not Moses, saw God incarnate before St. Joseph did. As usual, the music was superb. The church was not packed, but the Mass was well attended.

    I just cannot handle the “Children’s Mass” that takes place in most suburban parishes across the country on Christmas Eve anymore.

  38. merrydelval says:

    Prince of Peace in Taylors, SC (www.princeofpeacetaylors.net). We had the 4p and 6p Vigils which were maxed out with people (church seats 1200 and there were people standing outside). We sang the Simple English Propers, Christmas hymns, the new ICEL text of the Ordinary. Mass ad orientem and an army of altar boys. Communion at the rail under one species. 11am on Christmas Day was sparsely attended in comparison, but some drill.

    We also had the first Solemn HIgh Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Midnight Mass. The new parish priest served as Deacon and preached, and the curate celebrated the Mass, and the diocesan seminarian from the town served as Subdeacon. 16 year old Master of Ceremonies did a flawless job with another army of altar boys. Around 400 or so at Mass. The new parish priest announced that there would be an EF Mass every day at noon beginning on the Feast of the Epiphany, making it the only parish he was aware of on the Eastern seaboard with EF and OF every day.

    A good ChristMass indeed!

  39. benedetta says:

    Through the homily delivered at Christmas Day Mass, National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, we are able to consider that even with our attempts to quantify Christmas joy in the Octave of Christmas still the joy leads all the way through and with Calvary, the Cross and Resurrection and is eternal.

  40. benedetta says:

    Also the good news is that the first ever Christmas pudding here was a success (taking a cue from Fr. Z and other commenters) using a King Arthur Flour recipe with a little improvisation. The flame was not nearly as dramatic as Max’s.

  41. JKnott says:

    Father processed out with the servers just before our EF High Mass and recited The Roman Martyrology for December 25th in English standing before beautiful nativity that is at the right altar and then blessed it. This is his third year for offering the EF Mass for us every Saturday and Sunday at very convenient times. December 25th is also his birthday. He is 40!
    His homilies are wonderful. Attendance have been increasing quite well. Deo Gratias for all these blessings.

  42. KAS says:

    I had the nicest Christmas ever! My adult children, my first grandchild, my younger children and my husband all came to the same Mass and sat together. I could not have been happier or enjoyed Mass more!

    Top it off, I do like the new translation more and more as I get used to it. AND the music was all older traditional Christmas music, no heterodox or narcissistic lyrics, and only one liturgical abuse observed (it seems wrong for a female EMHC to take care of finishing off the Blood of Christ and purify the vessels!)– all in all very very good!

  43. oblomov says:

    Visiting family, and attended Midnight Mass in Bradford, PA, which started at midnight. The Priest, Fr Ray, is new to the Parish but gave an excellent, if long, sermon covering a variety of good topics, culminating in a strong explanation of how Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. He was reverent and did not ad lib. A most happy Christmas sermon, and a most happy Christmas generally.

  44. tealady24 says:

    Christmas Eve we found out our first grandchild will be a grand-daughter!!!!!
    Only four months along and we can’t wait for this little one to make her appearance!
    Christmas Day sermon was so-so; nothing I haven’t heard before, but there were some good points thrown in there about keeping Christmas holy and remembering it is a season and not a day.
    Next week it’s back to our beloved EF mass. And Mary, to start the year, what could be better?!

  45. Indulgentiam says:

    We had a Low Mass as our Priest who is still learning only knows this Form but believe me no one is complaining. He did beautifully! His Latin is slow and careful and oh so REVERENT. My son served. Every time i see him in his Cassock and Surplice i get a lump in my throat. The Lord is merciful and so very good. Father’s entire homily was excellent. i learned how Bethlehem means “house of bread” amazing how He is in every detail. How Our Lord was laid in a manger where usually food for animals was placed. Father repeated “Our Lord was laid in a manger as food for animals” and drew from St. Jerome to drive home his point. As we sat there contemplating such Love I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. oh almost forgot, everyone knelt what a pittance for so great a gift as the Mass.
    a holy and joyous Christmas to all !

  46. Catholictothecore says:

    Came down with a cold/flu just a few days before Christmas so couldn’t make it for the midnight mass for the first time in my life :( Went for the 9:00am mass on Christmas day instead. The homily by Father was a rant of sorts. He said we live in a narcissistic society where everyone just thinks about themselves. It’s always ME, ME, ME. It’s all about arrogance and selfishness. He just kind of let it all hang out…let me give it to them good. LOL. Father’s homilies are usually very inspiring, he just needs to rein it in a bit.

  47. ByzCath08 says:

    We attended the Vesper/Vigil Liturgy for the Feast of the Nativity at our Byzantine Parish. It was such a beautiful liturgy and Fr. gave an excellent homily. For Sunday, since we had already attended our Byzantine Liturgy on Christmas Eve, we took the opportunity to go the the EF at an Institute of Christ the King parish. Truly we are blessed to be Byzantine Catholics as well as having a fantastic priest serving the EF.

    Christ is Born!
    Glorify him!

  48. benedictgal says:

    My parochial vicar preached a magnificent homily during the 9AM Mass on Christmas Day. He talked about how God chose to redeem us through the family, the Holy Family. He said that God could have chosen any means He wanted to to enter into the world, but, He elected to become one of us and be a part of a family. He said that God still works through the family even in this ing day and age.

    He noted that during the season of Advent, he was given the grace to hear many confessions. The penitents shared their failings and their struggles. Even young people went to confession. He was edified by the teenagers who came to him for the sacrament because they made good confessions, good to the point that he had asked them if they had gone to Catholic school. The answer was “no”; the youngsters had credited their parents with teaching them about the sacrament. He said that these gave him hope, hope that the parents were handing on the faith to their children. He added that all of us are called to hand down the faith to the next generation.

    During the course of the homily, he also linked the manger to the cross. In the previous year, he reminded us that Bethlehem means “House of Bread”. The Child Jesus was laid in a manger, where ox and ass fed. During the Mass, this same Jesus becomes our supernatural food and drink, having been sacrificed on the wood of the Cross.

  49. Mary Jane says:

    Good news – EF Midnight Mass was beautiful! There were lots of newcomers, and a friend of mine overheard two new ladies say, as they left, “Wow.” Hopefully it was a good wow! Unfortunately I don’t remember much of the homily, because I began to not feel well and had to step outside for a bit (the choir loft was sweltering!). I do remember Father started off his homily explaining why we celebrate Christ’s birthday on December 25th.

  50. Rachel K says:

    This is our first Christmas with our beautiful baby, Samuel, who has Down Syndrome- he is the best thing that has happened to our family! Our priest preached to a very full church on Christmas morning- many non-Catholic spouses came with their families. Father talked about Jesus coming as a baby so we would not fear him and connected this with His Presence in the Blessed sacrament. A good sermon for those visiting our parish and for the regulars.