Monday, December 25, 2006

Two and a Half Trips to Church

It's been a very long day, and it's not over yet. This morning it was the Fourth Sunday of Advent. It's separate from Christmas Eve, usually not the same day. But this year they're both December 24th. So the morning services were Advent, and the night ones were Christmas. I went to both.

Father Smith guessed correctly that there would be a hug turnout for 4th Advent, so those masses were in the Parish Center instead of the church, which had already been "greened" for Christmas.. After that I dropped off my friends, came home, went to Night at the Museum with John, bought a few presents at the mall, dropped one of them off, failed to drop the other one off, bought groceries with John (again), and then remembered that I never dropped off the gift card for an Angel Tree kid. So I went back to church, just as the 5 PM Christmas Eve family service was letting out, and left the belated gift with Father Smith. Home again, I cooked dinner, ran Norton Disk Doctor on my hard drive, did dishes, put 2/3rds of the aluminum tree together, and went back to church.

I love St. Michael's at night, especially on the two major holiday vigils, for Easter and Christmas.

There's a standing joke at St. Michael's is that "midnight mass" is at 10 PM. It starts with carols and readings for about 45 minutes, and then the mass itself starts. There are extra musicians, strings and tympani and brass. I was crucifer tonight, which means that I carry the cross on a pole in the procession. But first I put on the alb (white robe thing) and took a few pictures. We had to be quiet in the sacristy so as not to interfere with the music. Some of the acolytes, especially the younger ones, opted to hang out outside instead. Toni Sue and I went into the church proper and listened to the music until the time came for the mass itself.

The idea is that the mass runs until a bit after midnight, so that Communion takes place technically on Christmas. Yes, it's a very long Mass, but not as long as a couple of the Easter ones. So anyway, a little before 1 AM I was home, watching A Christmas Story yet again while putting a combination of vintage and repro ornaments on the tree, which John had finished setting up. Then I spent an hour doing my online Christmas presents. I did them all back to back, so if someone accidentally gets an ecard addressed to someone else, please let me know - and forgive me!

And now, at 4:02 AM, I finally get to start wrapping presents. Merry Christmas!


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Bea said...

It's cold and rainy here... so gloomy, exactly how I feel, actually. I opted not to drive with my husband and son to visit the family 2 hours away. I stayed home, will go to bed in a minute. Just checking my email. Your church service sounded lovely. I couldn't go to ours yesterday because... I was sick. So, here's to spending my days off... sick. Blah. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better? Merry Christmas .... can you believe the year has gone by so fast? bea

deslily said...

Merry Christmas!!

(i'm on my second time watching Christmas Story too! lol)

Carly said...

Merry Christmas Karen!

Always, Carly