Rocco Palmo notes the “strange but true” fact that “Midnight Mass” will begin at 10 p.m. in Rome this year—by directive of Pope Benedict himself.
This is a real head-scratcher for me. I have sympathy for overworked parish staffs who decide to schedule the Christmas Midnight Mass at an earlier hour. But what’s up at the Vatican that they can’t keep Midnight Mass at midnight?
And for those of you who do move the midnight hour back a bit, what time are you scheduling the Mass? Many places choose 11 p.m., so Mass ends at midnight. Many places, like the Vatican, choose 10 p.m. That seems like an odd choice. If the reason for an earlier time is convenience, why not 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.? Or even 9 p.m., if you’re thinking of attracting the post-dinner crowd? I can’t figure out the reason for a 10 p.m. Mass at all.
What time do you schedule Midnight Mass? And, if it’s not midnight, what is the pastoral background for your choice? Thanks for sharing.