I hope your plans for Midnight Mass are coming along well. Christmas Eve still eclipses the traditional 12:00 festivities in most every Catholic parish. How are you finding the trend of Christmas Masses in your parish, or in your personal experience?
One of the things I miss in my old Kansas City parish is the annual “reunion” of out-of-town and occasional singers and musicians. It was the most fun I had in liturgical music in my six years there. Usually about a dozen singers, from teenage to retired, and all highly skilled and motivated to do well. For a thrown-together group I never had to worry about entrances. And the harmonies on the various songs was always rich and well-blended.
This year I get to do Midnight Mass again at my new parish. I already have a small passel of instrumentalists: violin, sax, and clarinet (bass or Bb–my choice). I have a few really good singers, all men so far. I have a really good singer I’m hoping to attract with a French-language version of “Cantique de Noel.” (I remember Liam mentioning the English translation we usually use is horrid.) We initiated a Howard Hughes gospel acclamation in 7/8 time last year. So my excitement for the Mass as well as the lessons and carols prior is building.
Any ideas anyone wish to share on what you’re doing for the late hour? The Christmas proclamation? A great setting of Psalm 96? The chant Puer Natus Est?