The Shepherd’s Voice, Dec 17

I was going to use this space to share another reflection from a seminary professor, this time on the “O Antiphons” of Advent.  Everyone’s very familiar with them, since the form the basis for the classic hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”… but that’s going to have to get moved to my blog.  I need to use this space to remind you of something else.

There’s some confusion out there about how next Sunday works.  Is it the Fourth Sunday of Advent, or is it Christmas Eve?  Is it both?  More importantly, do I have to go to Mass twice?

(You’re not really freaking out over the possibility that you might have to go to Mass twice in one day, are you?  I mean, if you can think of a better or more appropriate way to commemorate the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I’d love to hear it.  And if He’s not central to your celebration of Christmas, then you’re not really celebrating Christmas, are you?  Anyway, enough of my ranting…)

Anyway, the rules are actually pretty clear.  First things first:  you have to go to Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, which means you go either Saturday night, or at one of the Masses on Sunday morning.  (Please note there will NOT be a Mass at noon next week.)  You also have to go to Mass for Christmas.  Again, you have options:  the 4:00 PM Mass in the church; the 4:10 in the social hall; the 6:30 in the church; the 10 PM in the church; or the 10 AM Christmas Day in the church.

So do you have to go to Mass twice in one day?  Only if you want to.  I even know some people who are working their schedule out so they don’t have to go to Mass at all on Sunday; instead, they’re going Saturday night and Monday morning.  The important thing is that they’re planning on going both times, though.

Christmas is a great feast, but to celebrate it well takes the proper preparation.  Make sure you’re ready and celebrate both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas itself.  See you at Mass!

Oremus pro invicem!

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