So what Mass are you going to for Christmas? Let me make a suggestion: ‘anything but the 4:00 pm.’ Yep, I typed that…. I personally don’t get the fascination with the earliest possible Mass. We have the overflow Mass at Holy Cross Academy and it is also packed. Why not try the 6:30 HCA or 8:30 pm Church if you have to go to Mass on Christmas Eve?? Getting a seat will not require arriving an hour early.
And seriously, last year someone called the fire marshal to complain about overcrowding. This resulted in a visit from the fire marshal Christmas eve and already this month warning us of over crowding. There is a very real possibility that the fire marshal will be watching us like a hawk this year.
Christmas Eve — Doors open @ 3pm!!
Oh, and yes, in order to try to minimize the frustration of folks saving entire pews, the doors to the Church will open at 3:00 pm for the 4pm Mass. I know that the ‘seat-savers’ will fill the church in minutes, but that is better than one person holding 2 pews by arriving 2 hours early…. which I have seen in parishes that don’t have a specific times the doors open. If you insist that ‘early is the only way,’ then in the words of the Christmas carol… “God Bless You.”
Or even better… As a Christmas gift to yourself, come on Christmas morning. The Masses on Christmas morning are far more prayerful than the ones on Christmas eve!
But, you ask, what about our family traditions? I get it. 2 years ago, my unmarried siblings and parents moved the gift exchange to the AM of Dec 26th! This was a traumatic change that took years of negotiations. Now on Christmas day, after all the Masses, I go to my parents home and we have a few calm minutes of rest, food, and conversation before my parents house is taken over by 23 Grandchildren. It worked! Christmas is now much more peaceful and prayerful!
Pax et Bonum,