Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The Joys of a High Christmas
Fours weeks of preparation, 3 ember days of fasting and a vigil, really get you in the right mood for the solemn Mass of Christmas day. The preceding night , I had the great grace to spend at the Marian Valley Shrine, for the Midnight Mass and Carol service before hand. Needless to say, it was a great night both spiritually and liturgically. The quite solitude of the shrine's chapel (that is before people started showing up) really does allow deep mental prayer and not to mention an unhurried recitation of Compline. Consulting with Fr Prior before the ceremonies kicked off, gave me not only the surprise of learning about a few traditions of Christmas such as the Christmas Candle and the Christmas Proclamation, but also the joy of seeing and organizing a quasi choro Carol service. Unfortunately I was unable to get any photos of it so your going to have to trust me. Fr Prior, Br Luke, Chris , Greg and myself processed in to the church, lead by the processional cross, genuflected, bowed to our partners and proceeded to the seats on the sanctuary (they're actually pews and Fr Prior's Sedilia was turned to face across the sanctuary). All of us where in choir dress (I wore my Gothic surplice) and even cooler, Fr Prior wore his Mantle and White Biretta!. Unfortunately, we had to do a simple exit and a mad dash to the sacristy to vest and prepare for Mass, the Carols went a bit over time. The amazing Christmas Midnight Mass finished, Candy was give to the Kids (and those young at heart), presents exchanged and we headed home.
The Next day was a struggle to get out of bed, but it was worth it.
Nicholas Rynne, a seminarian for the diocese of Sydney, has fortunately been given the job of Subdeacon. For his first time at chanting and epistle , he did an awesome Job.
The Gospel for the Mass is the last Gospel, it sure is nice to hear that prophetic prologue chanted.
The offertory , the Deacon hands the Subdeacon the paten. People, once you go to a high mass, everything starts to makes sense, the low mass, the sung mass and the Novus Ordo, it all falls into place.
That moment, the moment , where we can gaze upon the very God take flesh, that happened all those years ago in Bethlehem. Well my loyal readers, have a Merry, happy and Holy Christmas, May he whom took on flesh, fill you with Joy. Stay tuned, hopefully I'll have photos of New years at Marian Valley for you all soon.