What Happens at Midnight Mass?

Midnight mass is divided into two distinct phases; the first part, called the Introductory Rites, ushers in the priest or deacon and contains readings and song from the Bible; additional hymns, a period of silence and blessing from the priest follow, and services end with communion, a prayer and offerings. The sequence and length of midnight mass services varies depending on denomination and church. In the Catholic religion, services include the Holy Communion, which involves the symbolic drinking of wine and consumption of bread, representing the Blood and Body of Christ.

Midnight mass exists in many religions, including Catholic, Lutheran and Christian religions. Each religion follows a unique structure for midnight mass, and some variations in service time and composition exist within religions. These masses serve as a calling, gathering faithful followers for a celebration of God. Services begin with an entrance of the priest or deacon, which includes a sung hymn. Upon reaching the alter, the priest or deacon signs the Cross, indicating the presence of Christ. A second hymn, Gloria in Excelsis follows, and a Collect wraps up the first phase. The priest then calls for silence, reads passages from the Bible and offers a Responsorial Psalm. Liturgy of the Eucharist follows, with offerings, prayer and Communion, while Concluding Rites complete services.