Reuters image above from the pope’s 11PM “Midnight Mass” last year. The pope is moving back to midnight this year.
Zenit’s liturgy column addresses the question of many Catholics: When can you have a Midnight Mass?
In practice, the leeway given pastors to switch off readings makes midnight an option. In one parish, the “Mass in the Night” was observed at 9:30PM. Midnight at my last parish was never quite full, but we had the best music of the seven celebrations.
I’ve found that the earliest Christmas Eve Mass tends to be the best-attended in most parishes. Does it make sense to use the actual Vigil readings, especially for the usual numbers of children present? My new parish does use the Vigil readings, but colleagues and priests I know usually opt for Midnight readings.
What’s been your experience, your preferred custom, and your Mass of attendance this year?