A few comments on our parish’s Christmas schedule got me thinking.
Longtime CS readers will know I’m not a fan of Saturday night Masses. Like that vigorous promoter of conciliar liturgical reform, Cardinal Krol, I wish they would go away.
I’m not pleased that parishes offer a Christmas Eve-weighted liturgy schedule either. Christmas is important enough for a Vigil, yes. And I absolutely agree with my John, my long-time foil, that 3:30 is too darned early. Noon would be a catastrophe for preparation, though.
Here in Kansas City, like most of the US, the Mass attendance trend to the 24th is something too formidable to tackle in a single year. If we inched our early Mass to a later time, we would just have more people attend whatever time we chose on the afternoon or early evening of the 24th. The Catholics of southern Kansas City might like our liturgies enough to come at 5PM or even 6PM. But they would be joining with the people who normally come at those hours. I would need to rent a space with room for about 1500 people, minimum. But believe me, I have considered it.
If our liturgies were poor, SKC Catholics would just hop across the state line to the archdiocese where they can get early Masses every Saturday.
If we were serious about restoring some sensibility to Christmas Eve, it would take a bishop’s leadership. Any city or suburban parish that attempted to buck the trend on its own would need a considerably favorable word-of-mouth on the quality of its liturgy.
It’s been a few years since I stepped up on my Christmas Eve soapbox. But you’ve got me thinking …