I was hoping this year to bring someone to my church for Midnight Mass. I wanted to share it, especially since it was my first TRUE Midnight Mass.
Other years and other parishes, it started at 10:30 or 11:30– not the same. And this was my first time celebrating as a choir member.
Our rehearsal on Wednesday was a full two hours, and WOW was it fun!!
We sang a record NINE songs in 1.5 hours, though not each in entirety.
I realized how deeply embedded these songs are within me, as I didn’t need to read the lyrics to most of them. They are just part of growing up Catholic or Christian.
Yesterday at work I prepared myself with a Venti Peppermint Mocha. I needed to stay awake. It worked!
Our service was truly unlike any other I’ve attended.
We began with a male member, Jim, singing a solo to “Joseph’s Lullabye,” while a younger member performed a beautiful dance to it.
Then the choir entered from the wings on either side, holding candles.
The lights were turned off.
Slowly we proceeded in to “Silent Night,” one of my favorites.
And I loved the symbolism– of Jesus’s birth. Jesus, the Light of the World, coming into our midst. I was happy to hold a candle, to directly participate in illustrating the love of God for humanity, that He sent his son to live among us, to indeed become human.
I felt a deep kinship with my fellow choir members.
I recognized faces from the pews on Sunday– even though they had a small child or are older themselves. Many would choose an earlier Mass.
There was another service option– this morning, Christmas Day.
But everyone I wanted to see was there. It was community.
And my wish was granted by my dear friend, Dulcinea. She came to see me and support me. She took pictures as I filed in. She photographed our performance, and best of all, got it on video!
Watching it, I saw reflected what I love about our choir. Rather than stoic and militant, we were alive with movement, joy, and familiarity.
We swayed, clapped, and looked at each other smiling. We cheered on our soloists! It was special.
This choir has given me something vital. A deep sense of belonging. A direct and FUN way to serve my parish while rejoicings simultaneously.
A new group of friends who share my religion and values.
One day, it’ll be me soloing!
We ended with “Joy to the World.”
Dear Lord, what a blessing!!
I feel cherished. I feel grateful. I feel loved.
Merry Christmas to all!