Midnight Mass was a little controversial this year. Not because of worship, but because of an activity I chose to do.
Every Christmas, the first of three masses is celebrated at midnight. The main midnight mass in our community was candlelit.
Lately my fingers have itched to sketch scenes of the activities surrounding heart of our community, the Mass. Midnight Mass seemed like a good opportunity to collect some of those scenes.
I decided to bring my sketchbook along just in case I spotted some thing.
During Mass, I mentally captured one scene, lines of people with their candles aglow.
During Holy Communion, I couldn’t stay awake, so I decided to sketch a scene of what was before me.
It captured the kneeling worshipers, Father passing out the King of kings to each person, -each his own personal nativity- while an acolyte regaled in red stood over the scene with his torch, next to glowing Christmas trees.
At the time the choir was singing Victoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” – O great Mystery. It was a perfect contemplation of Holy Eucharist and the coming of Christ, bringing his light into our dark world.
The controversy was this, is it all right to sketch during worship?
After I told my family I had sketched during Mass, a heated discussion arose. After a few back and forths, the conclusion was this: it is appropriate, if you were there to do your job to capture the scene.
If you need to go to Mass, than do so without taking your hobby along with you. An adult should be able to attend and pay attention without needing a distraction.
However it would be completely appropriate to show up to one of those beautiful scenes in order to capture it through drawing and painting.
In that case, it would have to be made very clear that such was the case. That would prevent scandal and bad example for the people in our community, especially the children whom I teach.
Thus, out of making may be a bit of a mistake in drawing, I was able to figure out my boundaries for how I would do such a thing in the future.
I would go to a different Mass, and then come back, make my drawings or painting, and then leave immediately after I was finished so as to make it very clear the nature of my being there.
Thank-you for reading!
I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas and are preparing to have a blessed New Year. May the King and Kings and Light of Light reign in your heart!
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