I am not a singer, but I do love music and when it comes to Christmas time the Christmas Carol I love the most is “O Holy Night.” It is not one that we sing very often as congregations, it seems to be more likely that someone with a wonderfully gifted voice sings it as a solo. This carol was composed by a French poet, Placide Cappeau, in 1847 and was known as “Cantique de Noel,” which translates into English as “O Holy Night.”
As I have thought about this carol I have realized that it is really the chorus that I like the most, the way it is sung and the words themselves.
“Fall on your knees
O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night divine.”
As we come close to the end of another year, and as I look back and think of the incredible contributions you have all made to our schools and colleges, our parishes and organizations I wish to thank you all. This has been a year of great grace, with amazing efforts made to mark the Year of Mercy, and to give thanks for God’s merciful acceptance of each one of us, and sharing God’s mercy with others. During the year we received Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). This is a powerful letter about family life, family life which is so important and necessary for our Church and our society.
That’s where “O Holy Night” comes in. I was saying in my Confirmation homily this year that I wanted every family in the diocese to be a family that prays together. I guess in some ways it is easy to think about “falling on our knees on the night when Christ was born” and seeing that it is indeed a holy night. Are we able to make every night a “holy night?’ Are we able to “fall on our knees” every day and night of the year?
As I give thanks to you all for your wonderfully generous ways of prayer and support for parishes, schools, organizations in the diocese my prayer and blessing for everyone is that we will all be deeply and richly blessed by the presence of Christ among us this Christmas and every day. Try to find time over Christmas to “fall on your knees” and experience the wonder and mystery of God among us, try to see every moment as a divine moment, and you will know the goodness and mercy of God.
With my thanks to everyone and with every blessing.