With another celebration of the Nativity of the Lord now in the books, the Christmas season continues. The evening began with a 6:00 Mass at Brother Francis Homeless Shelter. St. Patrick parish was kind enough once again this year to share some of their musicians for the Mass, and they did a lovely job. Other than around 20 people who came specifically to celebrate their Christmas Mass in this setting, the rest of the congregation was made up of clients who would spend the night in the shelter.
I had the opportunity to greet many of them prior to and after Mass. It was a humbling experience to listen to a few of their stories and to celebrate Mass with them. I could not help but think that it is precisely to these that Our Lord wishes to draw near to bring them reassurance of his love and care.
After a brief break, I made my way over to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Midnight Mass, and, yes, it was celebrated at Midnight. The Mass was televised, and I am very grateful to those who sponsored this year’s Mass as well as to KTUU who worked to make it all possible. Present also was the Anchorage Concert Chorus. Their brass and voices provided a nice selection of Christmas hymns prior to Mass and sang beautifully during the celebration.
And best of all, the church was packed; standing room only by the time we started. It is always a blessing to pray with the People of God on any occasion, but especially for one of the great Solemnities of the year.
On Sunday, I celebrated the Christmas Mass at Noon at the Cathedral, and once again the place was packed.
Let us remember, that Christmas is a season, not just a one day celebration, and the joy and hope of this feast is meant to be lived every day of the year.