"Today is Christ born; today the Savior has appeared; today the Angels sing, the Archangels rejoice; today the righteous rejoice, saying: Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia!"
- Antiphon from I Vespers for the Nativity of the Lord
While most of the country has already taken down their Christmas tree, put away their decorations, and put another Christmas behind them, we Catholics do nothing of the sort. In fact for us Christmas only began on the 25th. While secular culture celebrates Christmas, it seems, from the day after Halloween until Christmas Day, the Church begins the celebration of the Christmas Season on Christmas Eve and it lasts until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on January 11th. The following clips are some highlights from St. André Bessette Parish's Christmas celebrations including my homily for Christmas Day.
Up first is a recording of me singing Minuit Chrétiens (Oh Holy Night) with the Parish Choir at Midnight Mass.
when ages beyond number had run their course
from the creation of the world,
when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,
and formed man in his own likeness;
when century upon century had passed
since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood,
as a sign of covenant and peace;
in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith,
came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses
in the Exodus from Egypt;
around the thousandth year since David was anointed King;
in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
in the year seven hundred and fifty-two
since the foundation of the City of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,
the whole world being at peace,
JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since his conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
and was made man:
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.