This is an excerpt from an article I wrote more than three years ago, but it still captures, for me, the spirit of midnight mass at St. Mary’s Church, Secunderabad.
The night is usually cloudless and stars are visible in the sky. To me, it always seems that on this night, there is one star shining brighter than the rest. And every year it is cold. The men are handsomely dressed in suits and the women in sarees, salwaar kameezes, or dresses, covering themselves with shawls. Everyone wears something to keep warm. At St. Mary’s Parish, the midnight mass on Christmas Eve (actually midnight, come Christmas) is held outside, in the open air, in the parking lot every year.
Some four thousand people attend this mass every year. Special chairs are rented for the service; afterwards, everyone helps stack them back up so that people coming for masses on Christmas morning can park their cars.
It feels weird to be linking to an article that I wrote, but what the heck? I wrote it, albeit under a different name, and it captures the spirit of the season for me, so there you go. Read Starry, Starry Night .
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you. Enjoy the holiday season, wherever you are.