Christmas 2021: What Is Midnight Mass? Know All About Its History & Significance

Christmas 2021: What Is Midnight Mass? Know All About Its History & Significance

Christmas 2021: The month of December not just brings chilly weather but also tags along cheerful times and good vibes as we celebrate Christmas – the festival of birth and happiness as we near the close of a whirlwind year. 

Not just gifting, Christmas brings with it many other traditions and customs and Midnight Mass observed on Christmas eve is one such popular festive custom. It includes the celebration of the Holy Communion.

As we are hours away from December 25, here’s all you need to know about Midnight Mass:

What Is Midnight Mass?

Midnight mass is a tradition where Christians gather at a church for a service of worship in honour of Jesus on Christmas Eve. As clear by the name, Midnight Mass celebrations begin at 12:00 am on December 25.

Generally the celebrations start just before midnight, but some churches plan it a little early so that people can go back home easily.

For Catholics, the big Christmas Eve Midnight Mass is traditionally celebrated at the Vatican. People in large number visit St Peter’s Basilica to hear the Pope’s Christmas message.

Midnight Mass: History 

It is said that Midnight Mass services was started in the Western World from about 430 AD under Pope Sixtus III in the Basilica of St Mary Major. Midnight Mass became widely popular by the twelfth century.

The tradition was first initiated by a German woman Egeria who, during her pilgrimage to the Hold Land, noticed how in Bethlehem, the early Catholics of Jerusalem celebrated the Christmas mystery with a vigil during midnight.

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The tradition was then picked by the Western World in 440 under Pope St. Sixtus III who, because of the long-standing Christian belief that Christ was born at midnight, celebrated Mass at midnight that year – a custom that he followed year after year.

Midnight Mass: Significance

The hole purpose of celebrating Mass Midnight is said to be the ‘personal importance of forgiving’. The tradition is basically a mass vigil at night that involves joyfully waiting for the arrival of Jesus. Families gather at Churches to celebrate this joyous occasion every year.

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