Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of St. Thomas the Apostle! He was one of the greatest missionaries in the Church, who evangelized Mesopotamia and Iran, and most notably India (and beyond). Please see the end of this update to learn more about this apostle and why his feast day falls right before Christmas.
Latin Masses This Week
***Please note, contrary to the St. Ann bulletin, Fr. Reid announced last Sunday there will be a 7am Latin Mass this Friday December 23.***
- Wednesday December 21, 6pm – St. Ann parish, feast of St. Thomas the Apostle
- Thursday December 22, 7pm – St. Thomas Aquinas, Greater Feria of Advent (no feast day)
- Friday December 23, 7am (St. Ann) and 12:30pm (St. Mark), Greater Feria of Advent (no feast day)
- Saturday December 24 – The fourth Saturday Respect Life Latin Mass is canceled due to Christmas
Learn more about the O’ Antiphons which are chanted from December 17 – 24: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2022/12/the-o-antiphons-history-theology-and.html
Christmas Latin Mass Schedule – Feast of the Nativity Sunday December 25
Christmas has 3 distinct Masses for the day, and priests are also allowed to offer 3 Masses to commemorate the birth of Our Savior. The first Mass is midnight, which marks Christ coming into the dark world at Bethlehem on December 25, 1 B.C.; Mass at dawn symbolizes the spiritual birth of Christ in our souls and Mass during the day represents eternal love of Christ for coming to us in the Incarnation. To learn more about the traditional customs surrounding Christmas please visit: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas1.html and https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas2.html
Midnight Latin Masses:
- St. Thomas Aquinas parish
- St. Ann parish
- St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country, Boone (2 hours northwest of Charlotte)
- Our Lady of the Angels, Marion (1.5 hours northwest of Charlotte)
- St. John the Baptist, Tryon (2 hours west of Charlotte)
- Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC (2 hours southwest of Charlotte)
Christmas Day Latin Masses
- 11:30am – St. Thomas Aquinas
- 1pm – Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro
- 1pm – Our Lady of the Lake, Chapin, SC (2 hours south of Charlotte)
- All other parishes: Please check the parish bulletin or call ahead to confirm.
**IMPORTANT SCHEDULING NOTE: There will not be a 12:30pm Latin Mass at St. Ann parish on Christmas Day – only Midnight Mass**
Dec. 23/24 – Fasting and Abstinence Note
Traditionally, Christmas Eve (the feast of Ss. Adam & Eve) was a day of fasting and abstinence, however that has been eliminated by the current code of canon law. However, for those who want to maintain this practice as a pious devotion, we share that in 1959, Pope St. John XXIII allowed the Christmas Eve fast/abstinence to be transferred to December 23. Hence if you’d like to follow this old practice, you are welcome to practice it on December 23 instead of the 24th. To learn more visit: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2011/12/anticipation-of-christmas-fast-to.html
December 21 – Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle
Wednesday December 21 is the traditional feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, who often gets overlooked due to the seemingly busy liturgical schedule (Marian feasts, Ember Days, etc.) and preparations for Christmas. Yet this saint is not the least by any means, as tradition holds that St. Thomas evangelized not only India, but Persia including baptizing the 3 Magi; and also much of the globe, and also – including the western hemisphere. Regarding India, according to Catholic historian Dr. Warren Carroll (founder of Christendom College), St. Thomas was among the greatest missionaries of the apostles, and his work evangelizing the south of India (of which the records are now lost) “may be the greatest lost epic in the history of the Church.” – Dr. Warren Carroll, The Founding of Christendom Vol. I
As custom each December 21, we share with you a great sermon by a traditional priest on this great saint: https://charlottelatinmass.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/20051218-saint-thomas-the-apostle-preaching-the-gospel-to-the-new-world.mp3
Dom Prosper Gueranger also has a reflection and notes that St. Thomas is placed on the calendar right before Christmas to help increase our faith in the Word Made Flesh, which he doubted after the resurrection:
This is the last feast the Church keeps before the great one of the Nativity of her Lord and Spouse. She interrupts the greater ferias in order to pay her tribute of honour to Thomas, the apostle of Christ, whose glorious martyrdom has consecrated this twenty-first day of December, and has procured for the Christian people a powerful patron, who will introduce them to the divine Babe of Bethlehem. To none of the apostles could this day have been so fittingly assigned as to St. Thomas. It was St. Thomas whom we needed; St. Thomas, whose festal patronage would aid us to believe and hope in that God whom we see not, and who comes to us in silence and humility in order to try our faith. St. Thomas was once guilty of doubting, when he ought to have believed, and learnt the necessity of faith only by the sad experience of incredulity: he comes then most appropriately to defend us, by the power of his example and prayers, against the temptations which proud human reason might excite within us.
Let us pray to him with confidence. In that heaven of light and vision, where his repentance and love have placed him, he will intercede for us, and gain for us that docility of mind and heart, which will enable us to see and recognize Him, who is the Expected of nations, and who, though the King of the world, will give no other signs of His majesty, than the swaddling-clothes and tears of a Babe.