Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

It’s a couple of days late, but here’s my impressions of the Midnight Mass I went to at Melanie’s home parish, St. Louis, King of France, in Austin.  First, the church was beautifully decorated. It is a typical, early 70s brick box and they did a great job working with what they have. There was a total of seven Christmas trees in the sanctuary, three very tall ones on each side of the tabernacle and two smaller ones up front that had icons as ornaments. Over the altar, four lighted garlands met in the middle and spidered out to the corners. On the pews on the central aisle were tall candle torchieres.  The night began at 11 pm with Carols and Lessons, which is Nativity-related readings from Old and New Testaments interspersed with music. The songs were a mix of traditional carols sung by the whole congregation, more obscure songs sung only by the choir, and instrumentals performed by organ, string, and horns:

  • Chaconne from “Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland”
  • Adam lay ybounden
  • Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Ave Maria Von Arcadelt (Liszt)
  • O Thou Tellest (Handel)
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Three Kings (Peter Cornelius

That was then followed by a Procession to the Manger as Silent Night was sung, then a blessing of the manger. The procession included eight altar servers (in full cassock and surplice, including white gloves), two acolytes, two deacons, three concelebrants, a Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree assembly, and Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Mass and a few quibbles

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli