This is my last Christmas post. True: there are so many more memories to ponder. But, it is time for me to get back to my own Christmas preparations. There is always next year.
Remember these little fellows?
This Christmas post is about Midnight Mass at our St. Anthony's Church just at the edge of the Village. I still call it the "new Church" even though I was about 12 when it replaced the old nearly subterranian church I knew as a small child.
For midnight Mass, the new Church was brilliant with light and holiday attired parishioners. Entering, they came in carrying with them the sharp tang of the evening cold, and perhaps whispers of snow flying about hats and coat shoulders. I have always felt that this Church was quite unique in its beauty, but never so much as at Christmas. The blue ceiling, the unique lights, and more, were unlike other churches in the area.
Most beautiful of all, though, was the Nativity scene. Up on the altar, it covered nearly a quarter of the right side. A huge scene, it was surrounded and topped with pine branches, and even small trees.
Warm and inviting it symbolized not only the love of our tiny God made man, but the love that each of our families had for the others in our Village. I never thought about it that way until now.
Light- color- the fragrance of pine throughout the Church, and- finally-
In all my growing up when I think of being at worship celebrations at St. Anthony's I hear the
wonder of the voice of Agnes Martin. Soaring, clear, sweet as an angel, that was her voice. If liturgical music is a ministry, which it is, then she was the high priestess of her time. We are so fortunate to have this photo of Mrs. Martin (mother to my Fuller classmate: Beverlyann Martin) and our intrepid organist Mrs. Clara Carvalho high up in their choir perch.
I remember the way we all sang in with the carols. Standing next to my friend Terry: how she loved the gloooooooooria.....in excelsis Deo. We would compete with the warbling of our young voices.
There is much reaching back into nostalgia these days. We are not the only ones, to be sure.
Is it because of the fear, the uncertainty of our days now that we harken back to times of warmth,
of closeness, of family and faith? It was a time of tradition, of a slower, sweeter pace. Media did not bombard us on every side. There was time to think, to ponder, to appreciate
the voice of angels.
the voice of angels.