- enhanced by painted candles, given as a gift for Christmas.
I'm just about recovered from having only four hours sleep after Midnight Mass but must say a special thanks for the music over Christmas, which created a very prayerful atmosphere in the church. I was especially pleased that we had our highest turnout for Midnight Mass since my arrival three years ago when we re-introduced this traditional practice and did away with he early evening Mass on Christmas eve. This early Mass had a tradition of being very well attended but I couldn't help thinking that there was a strong element of "getting Mass out of the way" to leave Christmas free for seeing family, eating, visiting etc. In fact, somebody did actually say that to me. Coming to Mass together as family on Christmas day itself (whether at midnight or during the day) seems to me a much better way of spending time together. I'm at one with my Archbishop, Patrick Kelly, here who each year gives very strong encouragement to NOT have an early Mass but to encourage families - with children - to experience the wonder of Midnight Mass.