I LOVE THIS LITTLE SPACE EACH YEAR. A quiet waiting before crossing the garden for the Midnight Mass. The preparations have been made. Now to celebrate the Feast and thank God. We’ve celebrated services already today in company with several hundred people of all ages. Snow and ice have not prevailed. It has been a joy to meet with the newly-weds of the past few years, and with the baptised – babes in arms only moments ago, and somehow already turned into enthusiastic and ultra-mobile toddlers.

From earliest childhood, I recall, Christmas Eve was always a night when my ears were most particularly attuned to LISTENING … so the Mass tonight will be preceded by William Stafford’s evocative poem of that name:


My father could hear a little animal step,
or a moth in the dark against the screen,
and every far sound called the listening out
into places where the rest of us had never been.

More spoke to him from the soft wild night
than came to our porch for us on the wind;
we would watch him look up and his face go keen
till the walls of the world flared, widened.

My father heard so much that we still stand
inviting the quiet by turning the face,
waiting for a time when something in the night
will touch us too from that other place.

William Stafford


JOY TO YOU TONIGHT. Together with Peace in your listening. xx