Its about 2am and I am just getting home from midnight mass at St. Marks Basilica. What a fabulous, glorious end to a wonderful day.
After my brief nap this morning (see previous blog), I went back to St. Georges for Christingle. I have included a picture of my 'souvenir' Christingle and provide you with this link to explain more on this tradition..... http://whychristmas.com/customs/christingles.shtml
Then I had dinner with some friends and off to St. Marks for mass. Although we arrived about 40 minutes before mass was to begin, it was already packed. The service was in 5 languages (Italian, English, German, French and Latin). But for a brief reading on the birth of Jesus, I didnt really understand the mass and how it related to the birth of Christ. But, sitting in the Basilica and looking at the magnificent art and artistry was more than enough. I kept thinking that I hope I can recreate this moment in time once I return to the US.
After the service and communion (which I did not do because they specifically asked for only Catholics), most went up to the manger to touch the replica of baby Jesus and cross themselves. They didnt have the entire manger scene, just the main character!
And, incredibly, the church was open for everyone to enjoy. For those of you who have been to St. Marks during 'business hours', you know that you are confined to a few places for visiting. But tonight, the entire church was open. To be able to walk around in places that I have only seen from a distance and to get an up close and personal view of it and the cardinal in all his gold regala was incredible. I am sad that I didnt have my camera with me in order to share with you, but suffice to say, it was a treat and a blessing!!!
Off to bed now. God Bless each and every one of you!