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Christ’s Mass.

2009 December 22
by Gordon Reid

I’m a little too busy at the moment to post much on this blog, but I will use it to wish all who read it a very blessed Christmas.

When I was Rector of St Michael & All Saints in Edinburgh, I saw a big notice outside a local Evangelical Church saying “Put the CHRIST into Christmas”. Being me, I immediately went to a printer, and had him produce and even bigger notice, saying “Put the MASS into Christmas”. Childish, I know – but I did have a point. But then, so did the Evangelicals.

Christ without the Mass is (to me) unthinkable; but the Mass without Christ is a blasphemy. We need Christ and the Mass, Christmas, because they are inseparable. I can make this clearer by translating both words: the Messiah and the Meal are inseparable. Jesus fulfilled the Messianic expectations of the Jews, but in a totally unexpected way – no triumphalism, no force, no exclusions. Just loving self-sacrifice. And no more need for an elaborate sacrificial system to placate God; just a willingness to come to supper and eat with Him, remembering and re-presenting His self-giving on Calvary for our liberation.

That’s what we do every day at Mass, and it is only a special experience of that daily privilege that we will celebrate at Christmas.

In St Michael & All Saints, after the consecration of the elements at the Midnight Mass, instead of the usual acclamations, we sang the last verse of the hymn “O come, all ye faithful”:
“Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning”
And the Deacon carried the Bambino to the Crib. Liturgically, quite disgraceful, but very satisfying!

May Christmas be a wonderful time again for you and your loved ones.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. ambly permalink
    December 22, 2009

    May God bless you and your people this Christmastide.

  2. John permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Blessing Father, to you and your parish this Christmas and throughout the new year! John

  3. ron permalink
    December 23, 2009

    Sometimes liturgical disgraces are just the right thing. Blessings.

  4. December 24, 2009

    I understand it is (or was) the done thing in the Liberal Catholic liturgy.

  5. Paul Cavendish permalink
    December 27, 2009

    A very blessed Nativity Octave to you Fr., and you all at St. Clement.

    And blessed Octaves of St. Stephen, St. John and the Holy Innocents!

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