Illustrated Catholic Family Annual – The Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass on the night from 24 to 25 December 2007 in Mountain Plot Laz in Nüziders, Austria; photographed on 25 December 2007 by Stevoeg; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

The snow lies thick on the convent-roof,
   And the midnight moon looks cold ;
But the stars shine out with a joyous light,
   As they shone on that night of old.

And the angels come, and the angels go,
   Shooting past the tall church-spire,
“While the troops who throng to the midnight Mass
   Still think they are stars of fire.

The nuns have watched, with their voiceless prayer,
   Since the bells rang the Vesper chime;
They may not sleep, and they will not rest,
   At this blessed Christmas time.

And the bolls ring out so sweet and low,
   The bells of the Midnight Mass,
And the pleasant angels stop and smile
   At the music as they pass.

It is the blessed Christ His Mass,
   For the blessed Christ is born
Anew in the hearts of His faithful ones
   On every Christmas morn.

So the faithful watch, and the faithful pray,
   Till the midnight hour is rung,
And then, with Kyrie and Gloria,
   The Christ His Mass is sung.

And then all down the cloister dim
   They go, the Christ to see,
As he lieth, a Babe, in His Mother’s arms,
   And smileth so tenderly.

We did not hear the angels sing,
   But we felt that they were there ;
For gushings strange, such as music brings,
   Came over us at prayer.

We had a hundred things to say,
   And a hundred loves to give ;
Fain would we never go away,
   But with that sweet Christ live.

That little crib is so dear to see,
   The little Christ so bright,
We wish that the morn would never come
   That ends our Christmas night.

MLA Citation

  • “The Midnight Mass”. Illustrated Catholic Family Annual, 1880. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 January 2017. Web. 23 November 2020. <>