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Christ’s Mass.

December 22, 2009

I’m a little too busy at the moment to post much on this blog, but I will use it to wish all who read it a very blessed Christmas.

When I was Rector of St Michael & All Saints in Edinburgh, I saw a big notice outside a local Evangelical Church saying “Put the CHRIST into Christmas”. Being me, I immediately went to a printer, and had him produce and even bigger notice, saying “Put the MASS into Christmas”. Childish, I know – but I did have a point. But then, so did the Evangelicals.

Christ without the Mass is (to me) unthinkable; but the Mass without Christ is a blasphemy. We need Christ and the Mass, Christmas, because they are inseparable. I can make this clearer by translating both words: the Messiah and the Meal are inseparable. Jesus fulfilled the Messianic expectations of the Jews, but in a totally unexpected way – no triumphalism, no force, no exclusions. Just loving self-sacrifice. And no more need for an elaborate sacrificial system to placate God; just a willingness to come to supper and eat with Him, remembering and re-presenting His self-giving on Calvary for our liberation.

That’s what we do every day at Mass, and it is only a special experience of that daily privilege that we will celebrate at Christmas.

In St Michael & All Saints, after the consecration of the elements at the Midnight Mass, instead of the usual acclamations, we sang the last verse of the hymn “O come, all ye faithful”:
“Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning”
And the Deacon carried the Bambino to the Crib. Liturgically, quite disgraceful, but very satisfying!

May Christmas be a wonderful time again for you and your loved ones.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. ambly permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:20 pm

    May God bless you and your people this Christmastide.

  2. John permalink
    December 23, 2009 4:46 pm

    Blessing Father, to you and your parish this Christmas and throughout the new year! John

  3. ron permalink
    December 23, 2009 6:37 pm

    Sometimes liturgical disgraces are just the right thing. Blessings.

  4. December 24, 2009 1:46 am

    I understand it is (or was) the done thing in the Liberal Catholic liturgy.

  5. Paul Cavendish permalink
    December 27, 2009 10:54 pm

    A very blessed Nativity Octave to you Fr., and you all at St. Clement.

    And blessed Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John and the Holy Innocents!

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