Well, while the liturgical calendar tells us we are still celebrating the season of Christmas, and some annoying Christmas music persists in lobbies and restaurants, it kinda feels over. Anyway, our Christmas Eve celebration is over for sure, and I wanted to make a post here to express some gratitude and enthusiasm for what happened and those who made it happen.
Let me say right up front, I am not thanking anyone by name. There are too many leaders, not to mention member-ministers, to even begin to try and do so here. Suffice it to say, you know who you are and you know you made it happen: on the parking lot, behind the scenes, behind the cameras, backstage, on the floor of the Cow Palace itself, in our children’s environment and elsewhere.
What happened was wondrous.
First of all, it snowed. I don’t know how many movies and TV shows I’ve seen where it snowed on Christmas Eve, but I can’t remember it ever actually happening to me. And this snow was perfect, just enough to dust everything in white, without causing any mobility issues or traffic problems. (The best thing you can do to dress up the Maryland State Fair is cover it in snow). It was beautiful, and everyone who arrived at the Fair Grounds in the snow knew it was special evening.
Everyone turned out to be more than ever. I have not received final numbers yet, but we had 3800 chairs (400 more than last year) and there was standing room only at the 4pm; have no idea what the numbers were at 5:45 but it was huge too…so you can at least begin to do the math for yourself.
The pre-show was splendid, with, for the first time ever, actual worship music. Also a first, was our children’s liturgy of the word, absolutely delightful in its own way. The Mass, the music, the message of miracles all quite special.
A moment before the end, as we paused in the glow of thousands of tapers, with the soft and heart aching strains of Silent Night settling on us, one of our camera people caught the scene. It was a scene of glory and peace, just as the angel had promised.
Thanks all who made it happen.