Christmas in Queens

Outside our church in Forest Hills last night:

Midnight Mass was full of wonder and joy. A church built for 900 at midnight had about 1200. Many unfamiliar faces. A surprising number of children.

It began at midnight, sharp. Processional: “Once, in Royal David’s City.” Segue into “O Come All Ye Faithful,” complete with trumpet, as a priest laid the baby Jesus in the manger. 50 altar servers (maybe more?). Red cassocks. Torches. Candles. Incense. Three priests. One deacon.

Recessional: “Hallelujah Chorus,” followed by “Joy to the World.”

It concluded about 1:30.


Merry Christmas. I’m going back to bed.

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4 responses to “Christmas in Queens”

  1. In my parish, the Midnight Mass is not SRO. We have a 4:00 Mass with pageant which packs them in, filling the aisles and vestibule (in a church built for 600), an overflow Mass in the Parish Center which gets another 400, SRO at 6:00 p.m. Then there are no more than 500 at midnight. The 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Masses are fairly lightly attended, and the 11:00 has about 600.

  2. Nature – that is our parish experience as well – 4:00 Mass SRO with the narthex filled and an overflow SRO Mass at the local high school; 7:00 Mass that is full but everyone has a seat and a half-full sanctuary at midnight. Used to be I had to get to Midnight Mass at least an hour ahead – gave me time for a full Rosary and prayer – now I can walk in 15 minutes before and have no problem finding a seat.

    Not sure what I think of this focus on Vigil Masses as opposed to the Midnight Mass. I understand (sort of) not wanting to keep the kids up until midnight and Christmas morning Mass cutting into present time but come on! This is the Feast of the Nativity – can’t we put aside the world for an hour to celebrate the Reason for the Season?

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