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'When is Midnight Mass?'

A Jesuit discusses 'Five Myths about Christmas.'

8:14 AM, Dec 24, 2011 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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The Washington Post's "5 Myths" series continued this week with a holiday-themed "5 Myths about Christmas" as elaborated by James Martin, S.J. (a prolific fellow, though not to be confused with my late friend Father James Martin). For starters, Martin rightly reminds us that for Catholics, Christmas is not the most important holy day—that would be Easter. "Anyone can be born, but not everyone can rise from the dead," he explains. Second, there is no consensus on the details of Jesus' birth (hmm, this reminds me of another savior).

The third item on Martin's list is whether or not Jesus had brothers or sisters. I'm not even going near that one. But funniest of all is myth five: "Midnight Mass is at midnight." Indeed, my family will be attending a "vigil" Mass at 4 p.m. Martin then quotes a parent who told him, "We like to get Mass out of the way so that we can focus on the gifts." Nice.

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