Let them know it’s Christmas

Lately I have been thinking about the song, “Do they know it’s Christmas” written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and performed in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 by Band Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof and Ure and consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time. Like many in the 80s I found it to be a feel-good song at Christmas, making us feel that we were doing our part. Now looking back, I can see where the song was very much centered on a western European mindset. This song led me to a reflection, especially this year when some of our traditions are not able to be carried out as they usually are.

Though, with good intentions, ‘Do They know it’s Christmas’ expresses a presumption that Christmas is and should be celebrated with the customs and traditions set forth by the western euro/anglo world. In speaking with some African friends about the song, their response was, ‘of course we knew it was Christmas!’ Though poverty and famine definitely have an effect on the way Christmas is celebrated, it doesn’t take away from the fact that God’s Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. One of the lyrics says, “And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time…” to which one of my friends replied, “there is never snow in Africa at Christmas.” or the much of the tropics and southern hemisphere for that matter, but snow (though seasonal weather for European and northern US and Canada) is not a requirement for Christmas.

As much of the world faces Christmas in the time of a pandemic, we can choose to bemoan the traditions and customs that are not possible, or we can seize the opportunity to return our focus to the foundational truth that we celebrate at Christmas. Having celebrated Easter during the Massachusetts ‘Stay at Home’ order, our parish is again facing a different celebration than we are accustomed to at Christmas. Though as it was at Easter, the Holy Day does not change, because what we celebrate is a divine act that had happened in time, and continuously bestows God’s Grace on us. Will we know its Christmas time at all? You bet we will! We will know it in our homes, patients in quarantine will know it, health care workers will know it, as nothing, not even a pandemic can take away from the fact the God sent His only begotten Son into our world to save us, and I encourage all to let the world know that it is Christmas this year for “A Savior is born to us, Christ the Lord!”

May this Christmas season be a time of blessing for health and peace to all, and may the New Year continue to pour forth God’s blessings upon our world.

Our Christmas Eve Mass will be on YouTube and BATV only. CLICK HERE to view that Mass, beginning at 2pm on Christmas Eve.

Our Christmas Day Masses will be:

8am at Saint Andrew Church
9am at Saint Mary Church
10am at Saint Theresa Church

CLICK HERE to signup to attend a Christmas Day Mass.

May you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

– Father Paul J. Aveni, Pastor