Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Blessed Christmas At St. Stanislaus!

I hope all of you had a Blessed and Merry Christmas - though, as we are still in the Octave of Christmas, it's really still Christmas!

The Christmas Masses at my parish of St. Stanislaus were wonderful. Firstly, the church itself was beautifully decorated by my parishioners, as you can see here:

And the liturgies themselves were glorious! The 6:00 PM Mass is the "Children's" Mass, and we had a children's choir from our parish school sing. Among other things, they sang the French carol "Sing We Now of Christmas", and did so very well. The Ordinary of the Mass was Chant - anytime someone tries to claim that Gregorian chant is "too difficult", just point out to them that I regularly teach 8-year-olds to sing it quite nicely!

Midnight Mass was also beautiful. We celebrated the liturgy with full solemnity - Sung Mass, choir, brass, and incense. I even broke out my biretta for the occasion:

I was particularly happy that we did the Kyrie from Mass V, as it really conveys the exuberant joy of Christmas, with its melismas. If you've never heard it, go here and take a listen! The choir did a good job on it, and the congregation made a pretty decent attempt of it as well!

Incensing the Altar at the Offertory

I also chanted the gospel at Midnight Mass and at the Mass of Christmas morning. Here's a photo of me incensing the Gospel at the morning Mass:

The choir, servers, and everyone else, did a wonderful job. I'm also particularly grateful to my Music Director, Gavin, for a tremendous effort and first rate organ playing!

Jesus Christus Natus Est!