ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christmas Midnight Mass Reflections

Updated on December 24, 2016

Peace on Earth Good Will to Men! As I sat in church at St. Mary's a few Christmas Eves ago, I started reflecting on the years gone by and what Midnight Mass meant to me.

First of all, you have to understand that having a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was not the exception when I was a youngster; it was the rule. As a child I remember the five block walk to church in cold blustery weather most of the time. It was the 50's and our father did not drive let alone own an automobile. If you were lucky and early enough, you got seats in the pews and would sit and wait almost an hour for the mass to begin. If not, you stood almost crushed by the crowds around you who always attended the first Christmas Mass to welcome the Christ child for another year. I remember leaning against the wall to keep from falling over when I was lucky enough to get inside the church and not being in the vestibule.

Usually the choir would sing selections of religious Christmas caroles and you were lulled into a half sleep by the warmth of the church and all of the scent of the pine wreaths hung on the pillars around you. If you were standing it was hard not to swoon into the person next to you.

Finally, the Mass would start and you listened to a foreign language as the priest started the mass in Latin. The gospel was always long and the complete story of the journey that Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem to be counted like the cattle, what the Romans called a census. The story would continue on to the angels visiting the shepherds and their visit to the Christ Child.

Again, if you were lucky you got to sit while the priest gave his homily that was always long and very boring to a child. You were usually asleep by the time it was over and you got to stand again.

But, through all of this stringent discomfort, you didn't feel put upon and you endured it. You felt the exuberance of the Christmas season and the anticipation of everything being right with your world again. Everyone around you, whether they were paupers or rich men, extended the good will of the season and no one felt that they were less than anyone else.

When the Mass ended, usually to Joy to the World being sung, everyone would filter past the life size nativity displayed in one of the entrances and then out of the church to go on your way to your homes and another celebration would be over.

Not so for my brother and I. We would walk back home and then we would be given eggnog as a treat and if times were good, we might even be given a piece of chocolate candy from a box of chocolates made by the exclusive candy shops. Then we were sent to bed so that the adults could do what needed to be done for the awakening surprises in the morning.

Four years ago, I sat and reflected on all these memories and the ones when my children were growing up saddened by the loss of my youngest son that year. Then our family suffered the loss of my oldest step-daughter just before Christmas. But, even with these terrible tragedies of life, I feel the good will of my fellow participants in this the most holy night of the year, the night when Christ was born.

© 2012 Laura L Scotty

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)