Sao Paulo, Brazil (Wednesday, 12-30-2015, Gaudium Press) Thousands of people packed the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sao Paulo on the night of Christmas eve: they wished to celebrate the “The Light that shines in the darkness”, to honor the Infant Jesus by the Crib, venerate the Holy Family and renew their hope.
Mass was celebrated at midnight, presided by the Archbishop, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer and concelebrated by the Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Vieira dos Santos and the parish priest Fr. Luiz Eduardo Baranto, dozens of diocesan priests and religious priest of the Heralds of the Gospel.
Before Mass, at 11 pm, the Orchestra and Choir of the Heralds of the Gospel presented the famous Christmas Oratory by Heinrich Schutz translated into Portuguese. No doubt, the presentation pleased the audience.
Cardinal Scherer praised the interpretation and thanked the presence of this choir as well as the participation of the Heralds of the Gospel in the life of the Cathedral both in what music is concern as in the pastoral work especially with confessions.
The cardinal highlighted the “courage to translate and carry out the interpretation of one of the most famous Christmas Oratory done in a beautiful interpretation.
The homily: Family and Mercy
After the Christmas Concert the traditional midnight mass was celebrated.
In his homily the Archbishop mentioned that of the many beautiful things brought by Christmas this year we can highlight two: the family and mercy.
He recalled the attention that the Church gave to the issue of the family during the year 2015. For the Cardinal, Christmas is a family feast, because it celebrates facts related to family life:
“The birth, engagement, the waiting and the birth of the child, the joy and at the same time the worries. The child is presented in the temple of God. Parents who have to flee into exile because someone wants to kill the child Jesus … and we recognize Him as the Son of God made flesh. God who came into the world participated in a family and in family life. “
The Archbishop recalled that the theme of the Christmas Novena proposal by the Archdiocese for 2015 is “The family: here there is room for Jesus”. He explained that throughout the history of salvation, God is always on the side of the family as an instrument for His plan of Salvation:
“Also our families today are places where God dwells, where He manifests himself. The Son of God became Emmanuel, God is with us, yes, in a significant way He is with us in family life.”
“Christmas is the ultimate expression of God’s mercy towards all of us. Pope Francis said recently that the family is the place of God’s mercy, where it exerts its very particular mercy and where also all family members are invited to practice works of mercy” the Cardinal said.
“May the great mercy of God, manifested in Jesus of Nazareth, at his birth, for all humanity, be also received and exercised in all families” and “May the birth of Jesus bring today blessings, peace and mercy for all of us” Cardinal Scherer concluded.
At the end of the celebration, already on day 25th, The Mass having concluded, Archbishop Odilo, accompanied by all the concelebrants and the choir of the Heralds of the Gospel singing Christmas carols, went in procession to the Crib where he placed in the manger the image of the Child Jesus.
Then the faithful went to the Crib to offer their homage to the new born and His family (JSG) Gaudium Press