My former parish in Kansas City had a grueling Christmas schedule. I inherited four Christmas Eve Masses (two simultaneously on our campus with a total of 1300-plus between them), a Midnight Mass, and three on Christmas morning. A few years later, we trimmed Christmas Day down to two. But there seemed to be sufficient attendance at 6 & 8 pm, at midnight, as well as those two on Christmas morning.
I noticed on Facebook they celebrate five Christmas liturgies now. 1:30PM Christmas Eve–that was an eye-opener. 5:30PM with the school choir–that seems a good idea for drawing some parish families. That schedule might well have netted them three full Masses, and no need to send worshipers to the school hall.
What do you think of that 1:30 time though? Too much of a concession to modern American practices? Or is it good to let people get the Christmas “obligation” out of the way well before any festivities with loved ones and friends?
From a selfish view, that schedule would have worked well for me–lots of time for my family on Christmas Eve and morning. I remember one year when my wife and I snarled up wrapping presents (“I thought you were doing it!”) and we both ended up folding, taping, and tagging gifts until nearly 4am (after I got home from Midnight Mass) and then it was up at 6:30 to shower for the morning Masses. The new schedule seems human. But that 1:30 Mass: is it kosher?