Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas {on the Feast of St. Stephen}

Visiting the Nativity Scene on Christmas Day at Sacred Heart Catholic Church;
Peter (11), Joseph (13) and Zachary (17)

The thought suddenly struck me during the Christmas Morning Mass: this is likely the last Christmas Mass our three boys will serve together at this Sacred Heart altar.  Strange, really strange.  For many years Zachary, Joseph and Peter have served Mass together on Sunday mornings and also at funerals, weddings, and many daily Masses, too.  But as Zachary heads off to university in the fall, his name will necessarily be dropped from the altar server roster.  At next year's Christmas Mass he'll be one with us in the congregation~ a visitor in his home parish. 

Following the Midnight Mass, at nearly 2AM; a parking lot pose
Ezra, Joseph, Peter, Chris, T, and Zachary

Zachary's university application process has allowed us to help him fine tune mini-essays on such topics as "What would you do with a $5,000 grant?" and "What would be on your list of once-in-a lifetime activities to accomplish?"  I was hoping for something along the lines of: "keep a clean bedroom" for the latter; but his answer concluded with a final goal of reaching heaven, so I can't really complain.

Joseph (thurifer), Peter (cross bearer), and Zachary (acolyte)
serving with our beloved pastor, Father Qui Thac, and two fine young candle bearers on Christmas morning.

Quite unlike the secular proclamation on A2 in today's paper misinforming us that "Christmas is over...", our universal Church celebrates Christmas from now until the Baptism of our Lord in January.  In the midst of this Christmas Season, we celebrate the feast days of heroes like St. Stephen, St. John, The Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Becket, The Holy Family, St. Sylvester, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Holy Day of Obligation, January 1st), St. Basil the Great, The Most Holy Name of Jesus, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. John Neumann, St. Andre Bessette, The Epiphany of Our Lord... 

The holy Octave of Christmas (8 days following Christmas) is just getting started, so don't give in to the temptation to put away the joy of Christmas too soon.  On that note, we wish you a very Merry Christmas; you are in our prayers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen and alleluiah! Peter Carrell served his first Christmas Mass this year. He was a candle bearer at midnight. Your post is beautiful, as usual. We have much to celebrate. We are looking forward to seeing you soon as we baptize Samuel. Peace be with you and your boys.