When I am asked, What is the best bit of Christmas for you, Father?" I am afraid my answer is always, "Getting to bed."
We don't have a "liturgical environment committee", so Christmas Eve was spent getting the Church ready for the Holy Feast. There were the normal half dozen people ringing the doorbell for last minute confessions.
At nine o'clock the door bell rang and member of the Polish community, asked why the church wasn't open, either I had forgotten they were going to use it, or they hadn't told. I couldn't help being a little angry that despite the fact they almost out number my community, none of them had helped get the Church ready, and yet they wanted to be the first to use it and expected it to be made ready for them.
We had Mass at midnight, I got to bed at two, couldn't sleep until about six. There was Mass at 9am and 10.30am, followed by another Mass for the Polish community, this one I was expecting. Lunch followed, cooked by Br Francis, we had another couple of priests who came to share our goose. Br Francis is really one of my favourite people, the Bishop asked me to give him a home a couple of years ago, I was a bit reticent, but as it was his Lordship... The good thing about Francis, apart from being gentle, kind and wise is that we hardly ever see one another, the ideal house guest. Lunch finished, lunch finished about four ...and then bed, so good.