Laudetur Iesus Christus! As we approach the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ this Saturday, we wanted to share the Christmastide Latin Mass schedule for the area, including changes or cancellations.
First today, Thursday December 23, there will be the normal St. Thomas Aquinas High Mass tonight at 7pm.
Mass Cancellations This Week
- Friday December 24 – Vigil of Christmas (ancient feast of Ss. Adam & Eve): Both the 7am at St. Ann, and the 12:30pm St. Mark Friday Latin Masses are cancelled this day.
- Fasting Note: In the1962 Missal/Calendar, Christmas Eve was traditionally a day of fasting and abstinence (though now voluntary – except the abstinence due to it being Friday).
Christmas Schedule – Saturday December 25
- St. Ann, Charlotte – Midnight Latin Mass
- St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlotte – Midnight Latin Mass
- St. John the Baptist, Tryon, NC – Midnight Latin Mass (2 hours west of Charlotte)
- Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC – Midnight Latin Mass (2 hours southwest of Charlotte)
- St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country, Boone, NC – Midnight Latin Mass (2 hours northwest of Charlotte)
- Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro – 11am High (1.5 hours north of Charlotte)
Sunday December 26 will be a normal schedule (attending Mass on Christmas does not fulfill the Sunday obligation)
Mass Changes/Cancellations Next Week
- Wednesday December 29: There will not be a 6pm Latin Mass at St. Ann parish
- Thursday December 30: St. Thomas Aquinas parish will offer a special Latin Mass at 10am (the normal 7pm Mass is canceled for this day)
- Saturday January 1: St. Ann will offer a special 9am Mass for the Feast of the Circumcision; St. Thomas will offer its regular 10am High Mass for 1st Saturday
See the rest of the Christmastide schedule including Epiphany here: https://charlottelatinmass.org/mass-times/
Traditional Christmas Eve and Christmas Reflections
- Sermon on the Christmas Star: Around this time of year we hear often about the “Christmas Star” – but what is it exactly? This traditional sermon provides some background on the supernatural phenomenon seen by the Magi. The sermon is posted by Sensus Fidelium: https://youtu.be/IgNiEr_9yNQ
- Dr. Mike Foley’s reflection on the Christmas Eve Collect: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2020/12/the-key-to-season-collect-for-vigil.html
- The 3 Universal “Peaces”: Dom Prosper Gueranger noted in The Liturgical Year (on the feast of St. Ambrose, December 7), that St. Bonaventure taught that tradition holds there are 3 periods of time where the world will be at peace (the 3 silences). The first was after the Noe’s flood subsided when all of humanity was wiped out (except Noe’s family); the 2nd was during the birth of Christ (Pax Romana); and the 3rd shall be in the last days after the defeat of the anti-Christ. To read the brief except scroll down towards the bottom of this reflection: https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/december/december-7-st-ambrose-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church/
- The FSSP also provided a write up on the Universal Peace at Christ’s birth: (a friend notes Father’s dates may be slightly off): https://fssp.com/christmas-eve-prime-the-whole-world-at-peace/
- The Liturgical Year Reflections for Christmas Eve & Christmas: Dom Gueranger has some excellent reflections for Christmas Eve, the hours leading up to Midnight Mass, and for Christmas day. We link to them here:
- Christmas Eve https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/december/december-24-christmas-eve/
- The Hour before Midnight Mass: https://sensusfidelium.com/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/christmas/christmas-day-the-hour-before-the-midnight-service/
- Christmas Day (including the afternoon/evening of Christmas Eve): https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/christmas/
- When was Christ Born? This question occasionally arises this time of year. Some argue we don’t know the date or that its inaccurate. In this wonderful book, the Frenchman General Hugues de Nanteuil examines this question in his book, The Dates of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ (recommended by a traditional priest). He looks at all the historical evidence, the changing of the Julian calendar to Gregorian, Herod’s death, the debates about Josephus’ accuracy, and indeed demonstrates that Christ was born on December 25, 1 B.C. according to today’s calendar. A priest (who recommended this book) once echoed this with a simple question: Does not a mother always remember when her child was born – especially if the child was the Messiah? To learn more about the book visit: https://www.lulu.com/shop/general-hugues-de-nanteuil/the-dates-of-the-birth-and-death-of-jesus-christ/paperback/product-2661708.html?page=1&pageSize=4
The 3 Masses of Christmas
As Christmas approaches, there are 3 Latin Masses for Christmas: Midnight, Dawn, and Day. Each represent the three-fold Nativity of Christ and the Masses are all connected to each other, becoming a sort of a triduum (like Easter) or a trilogy. We provide some great information from Fisheaters.com and a 2016 talk given by Fr. Innocent Smith, OP of New York who based it off of St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings. NOTE: The below summary is just a layman’s effort and not authoritative or exhaustive. The 3 Masses are:
Midnight Mass: “The Angels’” Mass, symbolizing Christ’s eternal birth, which takes place before creation, hidden from Men. Thus Mass is offered in the hidden darkness at Midnight. According to tradition, Christ was born at Midnight.
Mass at Dawn: “The Shepherds’” Mass, symbolizing the spiritual birth of Christ into our hearts, where He, the Sun, is like “the morning star that rise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). Thus typically Mass is offered at dawn or early morning when daylight is breaking. The text of Mass focuses on the coming light of Christ that will shine on mankind.
Mass at Day: “The Kings’” Mass, symbolizing the temporal and bodily nativity of Christ, which He processes to us in a visible and bodily form, having put on the flesh. Thus Mass is offered in full daylight as He is now fully visible to men. The text of Mass (at least the Introit) focuses on Christ’s humanity. (N.B. Others like liturgist Dom Gueranger have a different order of the 3 Masses than St. Thomas)
Archbishop Vigano’s Christmas Message
Like every year, in the cycle of seasons and of history, the Holy Church celebrates the Birth according to the flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary. With the solemn words of the liturgy, the Birth of the Redeemer imposes itself on humanity by dividing time into a “before” and an “after.” Nothing will be the same as before: from that moment the Lord incarnates himself to carry out the work of Salvation and definitively snatches man, who fell in Adam, from the slavery of Satan. This, dear brothers and sisters, is our “Great Reset,” with which divine Providence restored the order broken by the ancient Serpent with the Original Sin of our First Parents; a Reset from which apostate angels and their leader Lucifer are excluded, but which has granted all men the grace to be able to benefit from the Sacrifice of God made man, and to regain the eternal life to which they were destined since the creation of Adam.
A Message from Archbishop Viganò for Christmas 2021: https://guildofblessedtitus.blogspot.com/2021/12/a-message-from-archbishop-vigano-for.html
On behalf of the entire Charlotte Latin Mass Community, we wish our readers a Blessed Christmas!