Christmas 2018 at the Hermitage

For our Christmas Eve celebration we planned a simpler walk in the dark.  Three flaming torch bearers led and held the procession of about 45 people around the front of the property and finally knocking on doors in the back courtyard seeking room for the Child to be born.  Our destination was the Elijah chapel where reable.  Following the formal announcement of Christ’s birth given in the Roman martyrology denoting all the historical circumstances around it, we processed into a chapel decorated mostly with candles and the crib.  Fr. Robert held it all together informally and with depth suggesting at the homily how we can become houses of bread  (Bethlehem)  through small ordinary selfless acts of charity.

Most people joined us for libation in the library decorated with branches, twinkling lights, and a live fire.  So many faithful old friends, some newly returned, and some we’d never met.

Gathering in our own little chapel for Mass again on Christmas afternoon only enhanced the prior celebration. There is no way we could have sponsored this grand event without the support and help of so many who gathered round.  What a privilege and blessing to be part of the impossible possible.  I marvel at how, despite ourselves, something about Christmas draws us together intimately—the sharing of flesh with our God, the inclusiveness of it all.

We get twelve days of Christmas liturgies in festively decorated chapel with greens and berries, candlelight and crib culminating with the Ephipany, the manifestation through the three kings, to the whole world the good news announced by angels. Fr. John Udris gave a pithy homily about what happened to the wise men and how it can happen to us. They had inspirations which they followed with appropriate action and as a result were given special graces: they rejoiced; they found ,they adored; they opened and they returned.

You may listen to Fr John’s beautiful reflection about what happened to the Three Wise Men and how the same can happen to us, by clicking below. 13 min.

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