Catholic Free Press

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  • Dec
  • 20

Bishop to celebrate Midnight Mass

Posted By December 20, 2012 | 1:02 pm | Lead Story #2

Bishop McManus will spend much of Christmas in St. Paul Cathedral beginning with Midnight Mass and ending with the Bishop’s Christmas Dinner in the Cenacle.
Based on what was a record turnout for the Thanksgiving dinner this year, the Bishop’s Christmas Dinner at noon Tuesday may also set a record, according to  Robert Cronin of Catholic Charities, dinner coordinator.
The Christmas dinner, hosted by Bishop McManus and Catholic Charities, will be served in the Cenacle in the cathedral basement. Dinners also will be delivered to those who are homebound.
At Thanksgiving this year, nearly 200 people sat down with Bishop McManus to enjoy turkey and all the fixings, Mr. Cronin said. That was the largest group ever to attend the dinner.
More than 1,640 meals also were home-delivered, also a record, he said.
Buses will provide transportation to and from the cathedral for those who want to dine with Bishop McManus, the host along with Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities is looking  for more volunteers to deliver the meals to the homebound this year, Mr. Cronin said. Volunteers who want to help with home deliveries of dinners should report by 9:30 a.m. to the Catholic Charities main office at 10 Hammond St. Volunteers to help serve the dinners at the cathedral should report to the cathedral by 11:30 a.m. Volunteers who want more information may call 508-860-2232.
Those who wish to make donations to help defray the cost of the dinner may do so by sending contributions to Catholic Charities, 10 Hammond St., Worcester MA 01610.


Bishop McManus will be principal celebrant at the Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Paul Cathedral.
Preceding the Mass the Cathedral Choir will present a concert of sacred music beginning at 11:30 p.m. The Mass and concert will be broadcast on Charter TV 3 and on WTAG AM 580, WTAG FM 94.9 and, according to Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan director of communications.
On Dec. 24, the bishop will celebrate a Mass at 6:30 p.m. at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction in West Boylston. He also will celebrate the 10:15 a.m. Mass Christmas Day in the cathedral.
Bishop Reilly will celebrate the 9 a.m. Charter TV 3 Mass on Christmas Day.


St. Paul’s Adult Choir and St. Paul’s Children’s Choir are to present Lessons and Carols at 4 p.m. Dec. 30 in the cathedral.
Nine lessons from the Old and New Testaments,  from the story of creation to John 1, are read, with every third lesson referring to Christ’s birth, said Ray Yu, director of sacred music at the cathedral. As she is on maternity leave, Brett McGuire,  music director and organist at Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester, is organist and  choir director for the Lessons and Carols, she said.
After each lesson there are either choral anthems sung by one or both choirs and/or carols the congregation sings with the choirs. These include traditional Christmas hymns and choral compositions from several centuries.
“It’s really a beautiful service,” Ms. Yu said. “It’s a very traditional service that started in Oxford, England, and has been adopted and adapted by different churches. The congregation gets to be part of this experience and, in this particular one, they get to sing different parts with the choir, and the congregation becomes a choir of its own.”
Ms. Yu noted that on Dec. 30 the Church will still be in Christmas Season and this is a Christmas Lessons and Carols.
“Don’t just write Christmas off after Christmas Eve Mass or after Christmas Day,” she said.
This service is part of the Cathedral Music in Worcester concert series, Ms. Yu said. The next concert is at 4 p.m. Jan. 20 at St. Paul’s. It is a voice recital by Dr. Zhou, Tian-Xu, internationally acclaimed opera singer, conductor and educator. Accompanied by Mr. John Totter, Dr. Zhou will share music by Samuel Barber, Charles Ives, Maurice Ravel, Ned Rorem, as well as some Chinese art songs. For more information see