Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Eve Mass

Yesterday I talked about the Christmas Eve run and the mass just a little bit.  Today, I want to take a few moments to comment on the mass itself.  Why?  Because going to such a small church that  relies on those outside the community who visit for vacation but attend the church for at least some support, makes for an interesting spiritual experience when one takes the time to think about it.

The small group of people who are the regular community care a whole lot and give their all.  And on Christmas Eve they gave it their all and were willing to admit where they were having issues.

Take the music.  They had a three piece brass trio that played some songs before the mass.  Were they as fine as the brass quintet that played at the Maryland State Boychoir Nine Lessons and Carols?  Nope.  Not even close.  But they provided an important link in the joy of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

The had a choir that was okay, but the woman who was leading the choir through song on Christmas Eve made several observations.  The individuals who usually played the music and the director of the choir were all out of town for Christmas Eve.  That happens.  People have family and sometimes cannot arrange to stay.  But the group sang on.  And for part of the prelude the group sang a cappella. Then, they invited the congregation to song some familiar carols and the nice thing was that even in a Catholic church nearly everyone sang along.  My heart was touched as I'd been to a non-Catholic church on Christmas Eve the past two years (in addition to my normal mass attendance) and the difference in singing was notable.

The woman who led the responsorial psalm by herself gave it her all.  Everyone involved made absolutely sure that they tried as hard as they could.  They had pre-recorded music on the electronic keyboard but probably would have been better off just going a cappella the whole way.

But the key is they were all in.  And that is what church should be about.  All in for beliefs.  All in for community.  All in for the sense of what it can provide.

And that was beautiful.  It was just one example.  But it was a great example of those who are not perfect, who know they are not perfect, but who love what they are doing enough to do it anyway and to make sure that they do their best.  A lesson for me.  A lesson for all. 

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