1) Did your family attend religious services together during the Christmas season?
As children we always went to midnight Mass. It was a beautiful service and very traditional and warming. As an adult I went with my husband to mainly Baptist churches. There were no midnight services or even services on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve unless Christmas landed on a Sunday. But the churches were all beautifully decorated. The Wednesday evening service before Christmas was usually a Christmas Service.
This year our Christmas service was the Sunday before Christmas...the choir put on a beautiful Cantata. Cantata's are the norm in the churches we've attended and we've always really enjoyed them...they are a beautiful way of showing Jesus' love for us by coming to earth as a baby and completing His time on earth by dying on the cross to save us from sin that we might have eternal life.
2) What were the customs and traditions involved?
My sister reminds me (I don't remember, normal for me) that after Midnight Mass we'd come home and mom would fix breakfast...then we'd go to bed and the next morning we'd open our Christmas gifts and see what Santa had brought. I can't imagine having 5 wound up kids in the middle of the night and getting them settled down.
I do remember one Christmas my brothers and sisters and I put on a nativity play in the living room with the tree as a background. I don't have any clue how old I was. I know I was under 12 years of age because it was at our old house, we moved when I was 12.
I do remember candlelight services in the churches when I was older....they were beautiful too. But the fire department stopped allowing them because of the fire danger...we went to little battery powered candles but it was just not the same.
Mary Post Warren
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