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Christmas celebrations at American Czestochowa

The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord is always celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in a very festive and reverent way. The beauty of this holiday is emphasized especially by the marvelous decorations at the Shrine – colorful Christmas lights, Live Nativity scene with animals, an indoor Neapolitan-style Nativity scene with moving statues and a beautifully decorated church with Christmas trees and flowers. 

Above all, however, our Shrine is a place of prayer and meeting with God. Two solemn Masses took place in our Church in celebration of Christmas. On December 24th, at 5:00 pm several thousand people have gathered for the Christmas Vigil Mass in English. The Liturgy was celebrated by Father Edward Volz OSPPE, Director of the Shrine. In his homily, Father Edward brought back the memories of the simple beginnings of the Shrine, telling how the first holidays in American Czestochowa in the 1950s looked like. The Mass was also attended by children dressed as shepherds, kings, angels, as well as Mary and Joseph. At the end of the Mass, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus), gave candy to all the children in the Church. Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine Choir sang beautifully during this celebration.

The solemn Mass in Polish took place at midnight. This Mass is traditionally called “Shepherd’s Mass”. The main celebrant of the liturgy was Fr. Tadeusz Lizinczyk OSPPE, Provincial of the Pauline Order in the USA. In his homily, Father Provincial pointed out that the birth of Jesus is for all of us a source of hope in our daily lives.

The singing of the vocal quartet added splendor to this beautiful liturgy, in which the Pauline Fathers and Brothers participated together with the all the faithful. After the Eucharist, everyone was invited to the Shrine Cafeteria to share the Christmas wafer (oplatek).

See more photos (by Marek Kotowski, Lukasz Chechla, Fr. Timothy Tarnacki):

Vigil Mass

Midnight Mass

See more photos (by Marek Kotowski, Lukasz Chechla, Fr. Timothy Tarnacki):

Vigil Mass

Midnight Mass

 

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