December 24th -- Midnight Mass
I can't believe it's already Christmas Eve!!!!! I'm excited to say the least. There are a few small traditions my family always has on Christmas Eve: eating Chinese food for dinner, wrapping gifts, and going to midnight mass. We started integrating midnight mass into Christmas Eve when I was a freshman in highschool and I honestly can't believe that was my first year ever going.
Midnight mass is special because it's a different arrangement than all the other Christmas masses for the season. The mass at midnight begins the full story of Jesus' birth. At the beginning of every midnight mass the half hour before is spent listening to the churches choir sing classic Christmas carols. Once mass is ready to begin, the Knights of Columbus process up the aisle with instrumentalists playing trumpets and horns while the choir sings. A moment later the priests, deacons, eucharistic ministers, lector, and altar servers process up the aisle with our Monsignor holding a baby Jesus made of olive wood. Instead of going right to the altar, Monsignor lays baby Jesus in the rest of the nativity scene as the entire church sings Silent Night. I don't know if this same thing happens at every church for midnight mass, but this is my favorite part. It's so special and peaceful to watch the head of our church lay Jesus in the nativity scene with the entire church congregation uniting to sing the beautiful song that is Silent Night.
Tonight was a special midnight mass for me because I felt my grandpa's spirit very strongly there with my parents and I tonight. I felt an extra sense a peacefulness and calmness that I have so desperately needed lately -- maybe that sense of peace is his gift to me this holiday season.