Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas and Church

I would be in an alternate universe if my church wasn't going to hold services on Christmas Day due to its falling on a Sunday. That's because I'm Catholic, and Christmas is a Holy Day of Obligation. The official name of the holiday is Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.

This means that, regardless of what day of the week Christmas falls upon, Catholics are expected to attend Mass. I don't remember a Christmas that I didn't go to church. Before we packed up the car for Grandma's, everyone in the family had "heard Mass." Granted, ever since I was a teeny-bopper, I've attended the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass rather than Christmas Day services. But Christmas Day in every Catholic Church always has a full schedule of Masses, just as any Sunday does, and even today those Masses are all packed to the rafters.

The argument that Christmas is a family day is certainly valid. But where did our family come from? And have we ever received a more precious gift than our loved ones? The more I think about it, the more I think that Christmas Day is the perfect day to stop by church and pray our thanks.