What happens at a Christmas Mass that doesn’t happen at a normal Mass?
In certain ways it is a normal Mass. The only real difference I can think of offhand is the blessing of the creche.
However, there may be some changes due to the solemnity being celebrated:
. Especially on Christmas Eve or for a Midnight Mass there may be choir preludes before Mass.
. Use of incense even if the parish doesn’t normally use it.
. More festive music; if there are multiple choirs in the parish they may combine for one of the Masses; my parish adds musicians such as trumpeters for midnight Mass.
. Bigger crowds, including people who may not be totally familiar with the responses and prayers.
. Some parishes have children “perform” – a skit, a song, etc. – as part of the family Mass on Christmas eve.
Also, sometimes there are more readings.
And sometimes, candy canes for the children at the end of Mass - have seen both our pastor and our bishop do this.
Nope, three readings and a psalm, same as any Sunday.
Before the Mass, the Christmas kalends may be sung or read.
Also, the Christmas Proclamation is read.
And a very full church! We always have to place benches along the sides of the church for the overflow congregation.
I forgot that one! I love it!!
Our basilica holds 500 people and a couple years ago the police arrived and made those whom were standing, leave, because of potential fire hazards. Last year, we had to arrive 2 hours before mass if we wanted a place.
Was not Midnight Mass SUPPOSE to begin at Twelve Midnight? I have been to a Christmas Mass that began at 11 P.M. and ended shortly after Midnight.
Longer hymns sung
Church more decorated
Bigger crowds at my parish many Catholics who come on Christmas fill up the entire sanctuary.
In part it depends on whether you translate the name of the Mass as the Mass at Midnight or the Mass During the Night. This article explains a bit more: catholicchronicle.org/index.php/Fr.-Charles-Singler/why-is-midnight-mass-earlier-on-christmas.html
Good article. So midnight (12:00am) is just the traditional time that kind of evolved. All that is required is that the Mass is middle-ish of the night, or night time.
One thing we do is adoration of the child Jesus.
Thank you, SuscipeMeDomine. The article was very informative and very easy to comprehend.
Most Christmas Masses I’ve attended in recent years had no more and no less than a regular Sunday Mass. What you saw (decorations) and heard (readings & carols) were the clue that it was Christmas.
That is just another name for the Christmas kalends.
Another thing that I’ve never heard at any parish where I’ve attended Christmas Mass. I’ve got to travel more extensively to find these little liturgical gems.
I think this is done only at Midnight Mass (someone correct me if I’m wrong). My parish hadn’t been doing it and I talked with the pastor about it. (“It’s so cool, can’t we do it, please, please, please.”) And now we do.
I’m pretty sure it’s only at Midnight Mass but that’s the one I always go to and I have never heard it.
Though less frequently found, there is also an Epiphany kalends.