The feast of the Nativity of our Lord finds its center in the assembly gathered around Word and Sacrament.  Indeed, the word ‘Christmas’ means the “mass to celebrate the birth of the Christ”.

Every year folks miss the Christ-mass because “our family is celebrating Christmas at grandma’s house on Christmas Eve this year.”  Every year December is filled with specials and movies about the “meaning of Christmas.”  Clearly the family gathering is an extension of the Christmas celebration.  Certainly the impact of God becoming human is many faceted and multi-layered.  But the primary celebration of Christmas is what happens in the assembly.  THE celebration of Christmas is the Christ-Mass.

A parish should offer multiple celebrations.  This enables folks to be part of the assembly regardless of their individual schedules.  But another suggestion would be to put together a list of all the times that the congregations in your cluster area celebrate the Christ Mass.  A bulletin flyer could be created which announces those times to all worshippers in all the congregations.  Those congregations that only have 7:30 Christmas Eve service could alert folks to the midnight Mass or the Christmas Day Eucharist at other congregations.  [Yes, we would have to overcome our fear of folks not coming to “our” service, or “finding something better.]