Your Christmas Sermon Notes

Was there a good point you heard in the sermon for your Christmas Mass of obligation?

Let us know!

Today we had a Solemn Mass.   A shot from the pews.




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    He spoke of the Christmas gifts Almighty God has given to us, especially the Eucharist and Confession, and how we should be grateful, but we need to be the ones to “open those gifts” by frequently going to Confession, and taking the Eucharist.

    Hate to say it, but these zero-dark-thirty Masses on Christmas and Easter aren’t easy for me, so I was kinda sleepy through it.

  2. ChrisRawlings says:

    NO Mass.

    The Nativity story is real. It really happened. And even though the culture seems far from Gid, far from the reality if Christmas, and far from Christian faith and morals, we are living through the true story if the most important event in history, through the Incarnation. And therefore we ultimately have nothing to fear.

  3. ChrisRawlings says:

    *God, not “Gid.”

  4. Mike says:

    I was tired at today’s noon Mass and drifted a bit, but perked up when I heard Father cite Aristotle saying when we forgo spiritual pleasures we go over to physical ones, or words to that effect. Aquinas quotes this in the Summa. Love it that it made it to a homily in a parish!

  5. mburn16 says:

    True love requires the ability to let go and step back from direct control over another person or situation – so God’s love is demonstrated in freewill; Mary’s love for Jesus was demonstrated when he left to begin his ministry; and the love of other parents are demonstrated when they witness their children get engaged, marry, and move away. Not a bad sermon at all, though I think Father tries a little too hard to make his sermons relate directly to that specific week – he spent a lot of time talking about the return of younger people who are back in town visiting, and there was also something about Cuba….though I can’t for the life of me remember what his actual point was.

  6. cpttom says:

    Father today talked about how Christmas was about God’s gift to us which was to so love us so much as to create us, have us turn our backs on him in the Garden, and still send his only son as a baby to grow up as one of us to die for our sins and further give us the gift of Salvation. That Christmas celebrates this Limitless love of God our Father and that Christmas should be about this love and our sharing that love with those around us through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. That even though we may have a houseful of family and children who are noisy, God gave them to us to Love like he loves us and enjoy the blessed noise of our families on this blessed day.

  7. John the Mad says:

    Christmas mass of obligation? Sorry Father, I must have missed that one. Glad I did. Sounds rather dour (point taken though). As a member of the senior choir at St. Isaac Jogues in Pickering (Toronto archdiocese) I attended the midnight mass and the 11;30 mass. They were masses of great joy and renewal of the spirit. The obligation mass may have been one of the other six masses celebrated.

    We sang the propers and there was much Latin and many carols before mass. Our Pastor Fr. Paul Dobson , Father Michael Simoes, our associate pastor, and Deacon Rudy Ovcjac were robed in beautiful gold vestments complete with birettas. Bravo. Had it not been mass I would have taken a photo.

    Our 11:30 Christmas mass was celebrated by a visiting Jesuit from Regis College at U of T. His homily was excellent and focused on the Gospel reading. One thing that caught my attention was when he talked about the Trinity, observing the mess that we made of the world, deciding that they would insert (my word not his) the Incarnation into the world, resulting in the Nativity. I had never thought of the Trinity discussing matters that way before. He noted how different today’s Gospel narrative is from the more dramatic Nativity narratives.

    Merry Christmas Father Z and happy birthday Jesus.

  8. Not a sermon point, but a transcendental moment. I felt very moved to get my first look at our new bishop. I don’t know yet what kind of a shepherd he’ll make, but that was beside the point. Even the decades of feminist/liberal accretions in the liturgy were beside the point. There, in that moment, on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, was our new spiritual father, a successor to the Apostles, and this was the Barque of Peter. The Church is very much alive and always will be.

  9. lmgilbert says:

    Fr. Gerald, O.P. an elderly priest but full of life and good humor, was nevertheless not going to let the evangelistic opportunity of the Christmas Mass crowd slip him by. He started out with a two sentence nod to the sentimental aspects of Christmas: the babe in the creche, the beautiful music, etc. But what is it really about after all? It all has to do with the fact that long before the creation of the world God had decided to create man to share his life with Him. However, when created man decided to rebel against this plan. As a result, rebellion is in our blood. Fortunately, we are not in nature like the angels, so that there is no turning back from having made a bad decision. We live in the midst of great obscurity and many temptations, and at any moment can turn away from God, but we are not stuck with that decision. We can change our minds and turn back to God, who because of his great love for us- which he as shown us in sending his only begotten son to die for us- will certainly forgive us. All this preached by this 83 yr old with underlying sympathy, joy and good-humor and a twinkle never missing from his eye. The was the Mass before Dawn, described by Father as the orphan Mass in the parish, with no organist and no singing, but in the end Father wasn’t having it for he intoned” O Come All Ye Faithful” as he processed out, heartily accompanied by the faithful. With such priests, O Lord, replenish your Church!

  10. MattH says:

    Mass during the Day on Christmas
    Jesus came into the world on the first Christmas, and He comes to us now everyday in our daily duties. The chance to meet Him is hard to see, but it is in striving to live our vocation and do the right thing.

  11. moconnor says:

    This is probably one of the most beautiful Christmas pictures I have seen to date. Just curious, where was the schola situated? We have almost no spaces like this in the West Palm Beach area.

  12. moconnor says: where was the schola situated?

    In the choir loft.

  13. Mike says:

    The disobedience of the first created family merited expulsion from Paradise, whose doors were reopened in response to the perfect obedience of the Holy Family.

  14. johnmann says:


    Gay marriage and the secular media. I mean, I’m with father on these issues but hardly relevant to the feast.

  15. rcg says:

    We are an EF (FSSP) Parish: Fr commented that it was a shame the secular world had coopted Christmas as they have done as it causes people to be exhausted of celebration before it actually starts. We have the time of penance an preparation then an actual season of celebration and Joy. So it is up to us to keep the season as it really is celebrated and get the ‘extra miles’ out oft he celebration.

  16. Baritone says:

    We were also blessed to have a solemn Mass. Father began the homily by asking the question, “Why are we here today?” While at first one might answer, “Because it is a holy day of obligation” or “Because we want to attend Mass on Christmas” the point Father was making is that we are here because of the love of God. God was under no obligation to create us. In fact, He loves each of us individually even in that He created you and me rather than others who will never exist. Father went on to explain the level of dignity we were created with, being rational unlike plants and animals; that we have a supernatural end; and that that end is happiness and union with God in heaven for eternity.

  17. My homily was aimed at drawing all to seek the gaze of the newborn king.

    I began with the story of the Exodus: God’s People are brought out of Egypt with great acts of God’s power, they meet God at Sinai, and while Moses tarries upon the mountain, they ask Aaron for a god made of gold. Why did they do that?

    Then I developed the idea that we often prefer a safe, tamed “god” rather than an encounter with the true God; and I talked about how we approach Christmas the same way. A tame story, rather than an encounter with the real Jesus.

  18. CCS says:

    Two masses for me… NO vigil mass at the usual place. Father’s homily was a train wreck of badly told jokes, odd quotes and short stories that didn’t connect. Had the family with me so was mostly chasing the two little boys around the pew anyway, especially when the wife (pregnant with #3) had to excuse herself.

    Second mass was at midnight at the parish down the road a turn. This was only the third or fourth time I’ve been to mass in the EF. The difference was amazing, not just because their were fewer distractions with the kids home in bed ;). In fact, there were probably more distractions. Father may have used a little too much incense as indicated by fire alarm. Plus a young lady in the pew behind me fainted (she was fine afterwards).

    Regardless, the mass was beautiful. Was it a lot of work to follow along for someone who isn’t too familiar with the EF? Yes, but the funny thing is, it felt like man’s work. At our regular parish, everything is very plain and somewhat emasculated. There is no mystery. I could go on, and on, and on…

    From the sermon… Father preached on the wonder of the incarnation. The vigil mass is behind us, he said, where we were still waiting, anticipating, and hoping. The first mass of Christmas however, is a time to experience our newly incarnated God, to meet him with our praise and thanksgiving and marvel that our salvation has come to us in the form of a baby, and that we should rejoice. “Why are you not smiling, brethren?” Tomorrow is soon enough for pondering and parsing at the means by which God is accomplishing His plan. Tonight we simply share the joy of his parents.

  19. acroat says:

    Fr Francis posed a question if Jesus would feel welcome in our parish. He explained why he wouldn’t in liberal parish where the truth isn’t proclaimed. I wasn’t sure where he was going when he began talking about conservative parishes as we kneel for confession, many of us veil etc. He thought Our Lord would be very welcome at our parish as there are long lines for confession (which are available before every mass and often after mass) and people are trying to work on their faults to become holy. The homily was truly one of the best gifts received this Christmas (along with being remembered in a Christmas novena of masses offered by another dear priest who used to assist at our parish).

  20. Robbie says:

    Such a beautiful church. Was there a strong German influence in the area at the time of its construction?

  21. templariidvm says:

    We are “today’s” shepherds, taking the good news out into the world. It is our duty to proclaim what we see and know and to let our lives reflect that.

  22. Skeinster says:

    The one we had was very like the one Baritone heard- God was under no obligation
    to create us, so everything is a gift.
    Best part? All three of our priests at the altar at once.
    They have to cover some ground and hear confessions before and through
    all the Sunday Masses, so that hardly ever happens.

  23. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    The priest at our Christmas Day EF Mass told us that the rejection of Our Creator/Redeemer didn’t start on Good Friday: There was no room at the inn on Christmas Day.

    A former student of mine and a Baptist minister had this on his Facebook: “The greatest gift of all came ‘wrapped in swaddling clothes’, to be placed not under a tree, but on a tree to die for our sins.” (Emphasis added.)

    Both preachers rightly point out that before one can be a Christmas Christian, one must first be an Easter Christian, and celebrate Easter with even more passion, ceremony, and festivity — as do most Christians in the world.

  24. andia says:

    The one I heard was very disheartening, basically the message that came across was those who are always there are schmucks who are unwelcoming and responsible for driving new comers away. They need to be more welcoming and let the newcomers have the good seats, do what they want ( it was specifically mentioned that looking wrongly at those who talk during Mass is a sin) , ect. I was offended and I was a visitor! How sad for those parishoners.
    I chose that church -which is a good distance from my house, because I wanted a chance at either a Latin or Polish Mass – and this church is noted for both- instead I got told that regular Mass goers are basically schmucks. I think I’ll be praying for that priest.

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