Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas in Virginia 1909



The early Mass at the Church of the Assumption on Christmas Day was attended by the whole of the Catholics of the district. Some came a distance of 14 miles from Red Banks, Two Wells, Lower Light, and Penfield, and long before the large bell of the church rang forth the glad tidings that a Redeemer had been born, the congregation had assembled. At 6 o'clock Father Aylward commenced Mass.  He was in the confessional from 5 o'clock.  Everyone present approached Holy Communion.  It was most edifying to see such a large number at confession and Communion at such an early hour.

The church was neatly decorated with green boughs. Two artistic arches of pine and other green foliage were erected, one near the communion rail and the other entering the seats. The high altar had been adorned, as also the Virgin's altar, with flowers obtained specially for the Christmas Mass.  Miss Sheedy attended to the church decorations, assisted by a few other young ladies.

The choir sang special music. The "Adeste Fidele " and other Christmas hymns were well rendered, and Webb's Mass was sung in unison. Two parts were taken. The choir sang as one voice. The full strength of the choir, with, a lady member of St. Saviour's, Brompton, assisted. Miss Ryan was the organist. Miss Aherne and Miss Maloney's voices were well harmonised, while Mr. Ryan's tenor nicely blended.

Father Aylward after performing his duties at the Virginia Church, had to drive to Gawler, a distance of 13 miles, and say two Masses, with confessions and other sacred duties.  It was most trying on the rev. Father, but the weather was nice and cool, and the air very bracing, which added much to the festive and joyous character of Yuletide.

Southern Cross 8 Jan 1909

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas & New Year.

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