Midnight Mass
December 16, 2008 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Manhattan Church filter: My partner's sister is coming for Christmas Eve, and would like to attend mass.

They were raised Catholic, so that would be preferable. We live on the Upper West Side.

Any service will do, I guess, but I'm looking for something truly magical for her.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I went to a Midnight Mass at St. Paul the Apostle (405 W 59th St) several years ago and I thought it was really a very neat experience.

I am not Catholic, though, so I don't know how "truly magical" it was in comparison to anything else.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2008

Seconding St. Paul's - it's really quite lovely.
posted by firei at 11:45 AM on December 16, 2008

Best answer: Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Ave is always lovely, though I'm sure their Christmas Eve service is packed. It's a really nice cathedral to visit anyway, if she's into that sort of thing. Not super close (50th & 5th).

The Church of the Blessed Sacrament is on 71st between Broadway and Columbus, so it is closer to you. They don't have a Christmas mass schedule posted yet but I'm sure you could call for it or pick up a copy of their bulletin. I have not been to that church personally so I can't vouch for how magical it might be, but the photos of the church look beautiful.
posted by bedhead at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2008

Best answer: Seconding Church of the Blessed Sacrament. It's the parish church of friends of mine, it is indeed beautiful, and the church is small so it will be intimate, unlike St. Patrick's.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2008

Don't go to the cathedral. It's just like every Catholic church in the entire country, just bigger and prettier.

Instead, I absolutely recommend Holy Savior at Park and 38th. The liturgy is very traditional there, celebrated in Latin ad orientem with nonpareil music, all the "smells and bells," etc., so not only will you have a beautiful, intimate church building, the worship itself is like nothing your family has likely experienced (unless they're in a tradition-friendly diocese where such things are becoming more common). If even their normal Sunday Masses are like this, I can guarantee you they're pulling out all the stops for the Mass of Nativity of the Lord.

I think their Mass schedule may be changing to accommodate a new Traditional Latin Mass, however, so check it out beforehand by calling the church.

I can assure you this will be exactly what you are looking for when you say 'something truly magical'.
posted by resurrexit at 12:23 PM on December 16, 2008

While resurrexit is right that Holy Saviour will be full smells and bells, and that the church is absolutely beautiful, be forewarned that it is very conservative.

YMMV, but my family (part very Catholic and moderately liberal, part non-Catholic and conservative) felt incredibly uncomfortable there during a service in November (even my dad did, and he is the incredible triple-whammy of being very Catholic, Southern, and politically conservative). The homilist (not sure if it was the pastor or a different priest) railed against the government of the State of New York for investigating allegations of abuse by priests in Catholic schools, and implied that the election of Barack Obama portended doom for the country and the world. Of course, this may not bother your guests, but I think it's good to know.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:37 PM on December 16, 2008

Also throwing in a plug for masstimes.org if you want schedules, locations, etc.
posted by jquinby at 12:46 PM on December 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all. The Church of the Blessed Sacrement is only a few blocks away, and looks perfect.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2008

« Older Install Mac OX X "Tiger" onto blue-and-white G3?   |   Help me interview my parents for posterity. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.