Midnight Mass Reminiscences | Kimberley J. Payne


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Photograph by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Or, my two favorite late-night delights

No matter how we celebrated, we all the time loved a Dutch deal with referred to as Oliebol. Oliebol is a dough (much like a donut) that’s deep-fried and rolled in powdered sugar.

Nothing beat shouting out 10–9–8–7–6–5–4–3–2–1 at midnight with a mouth filled with Oliebol!

On Christmas Eve, we additionally stayed up late. Nevertheless, as a substitute of placing on our heat jammies to play our video games, we dressed up in our Christmas finest to attend Midnight Mass.

Midnight Mass was the one late night service of the 12 months. It began at midnight to honour the custom that Jesus was born in Bethlehem at midnight.

Typically, I hated being crammed into the small again seat of our little gray Datsun 510 however on chilly winter nights, I felt cozy and heat sitting shoulder to shoulder with my brothers.

We needed to depart a bit of early to beat the CEOs (Christmas and Easter Solely) and get a great seat. In any other case, we would find yourself within the choir part.

I liked this mass due to the thrill and pleasure that permeated the ceremony. The studying got here from the Christmas story within the Gospel of Luke when Child Jesus is born and the Angels herald the Good Information to the shepherds tending their flocks.

After midnight mass, we’d return house for Christmas breakfast. Mother set the eating room desk with a white linen tablecloth and the nice china. Dad lit the final of the appearance candles and led us in prayer earlier than sitting right down to take pleasure in a Dutch custom of uitsmijters — an open-faced sandwich with iceberg lettuce and black forest ham, topped with a fried egg, eaten with knife and fork.

We adopted this breakfast with the opening of 1 current earlier than retiring to mattress.

Despite the fact that, on this night time, I went to sleep manner later than my 8:00 p.m. bedtime, I had no downside waking early the subsequent morning!


(First featured on Medium platform December 3, 2021)


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