Minuit Chrétiens, c'est l'heure solenelle...
That's the first line of the famous French carol, O Holy Night, one of my favorites. Far from being a solemn hour, last night's midnight Mass was very festive and sweet, full of candlelight and frankincense and the sound of hundreds of voices singing the good old hymns.
We didn't go to our own parish, but rather went to one of the big churches in our city. We got there at 11:50 and felt lucky to get a seat. The church looked so beautiful, the altar banked with poinsettias, each deep windowsill decorated with greenery, wreaths, red ribbons and candles. But best of all -- other than the choir up in the loft -- was the enormous creche displayed on the top step of the sanctuary, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus all softly lit inside, the shepherds climbing up the steps to meet the little King.
Gosh, it was so nice. Nice, in spite of the fact that the four of us were really, really sleepy. A beautiful Mass. The perfect way to welcome Jesus into our hearts for this happy season.
Merry Christmas to all of you who read here.
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