Every year on Christmas Eve, my family goes to the late Mass that Malvern holds.
My family and I spend the majority of our Christmas Eve at my cousin’s house, but we leave a little early so that we can get to our favorite part of the day, Mass.
For me, this isn’t only my favorite part of the day. It’s my favorite mass of the year.
After the chaos of a family gathering, it’s refreshing to take in peaceful, silent landscape of the dimly lit Malvern chapel to prepare for one of the most important days on the Christian Calendar.
It feels great to ground yourself before Christmas and realize that the holiday is more than just a day for children to receive gifts from a large jolly man who crawls down your chimney in a red suit. It’s a celebration of the birth of our Lord.
When I first went to the Mass, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was going to be like any other mass, but the experience was different than I expected. It had a quality that I rarely see in a Mass: pure serenity.
Maybe it was because of the small amount of people in the pews, the importance of the day, or just me, but there was something about the whole thing that made me feel content and very relaxed.
I listened to the readings and gospel in silence and reflected on everything in my life in a way that I enjoyed immensely.
After the Mass itself, the friars stand outside at the entrance to the chapel wishing everyone a good night. They talk to everyone that walks out, usually holding a substantial conversation with all of the attendees. The atmosphere afterwards is a very nice one because everyone is both excited and calm. They all have smiles on their faces and are having enjoyable talks with the people standing right beside them.
I truly love everything about the Mass. It is a wonderful thing to attend and I hope you give it a try this year.
Also, there are two benefits of the late night Mass that only add to its appeal.
The first is that you don’t have to go to church the next day, so you can bask in the glory of your presents all day without being interrupted by an hour of church.
The second and possibly the best reason to go on this list is that it makes everyone in your family tired. When my family returns home, my siblings pass out much quicker than they ever have on Christmas Eve. Usually, the three of them are running down the hallways saying they can’t fall asleep because there are this many hours until Christmas or bothering me and telling me that I should stay up with them, but now, they pass out within an hour of getting home. It’s pretty fantastic if I say so myself.
In my opinion, this is a wonderful occasion for so many reasons, and I urge you to consider trying it out like I did. Like I said earlier, it’s my favorite Mass of the year.