If you’re a parish minister, today will probably be a marathon for you. With the Fourth Sunday of Advent falling on the same day as Christmas Eve, many of us will be at church for three days straight with back to back Masses around the clock, once you count Saturday, today, and all the Christmas Day liturgies as well.
One year when this happened, I remember sitting alone in an empty choir room, eating a burger from Denny’s as my Christmas Eve meal because it was the only place open after the 8:00 PM Vigil Mass that was close enough so I could get back in time for the 10:30 PM choir warm up for Midnight Mass. It was a sad and depressing moment.
This weekend especially will be hard not only on you but also on your spouses, children, families, and friends waiting at home for you. So make a plan now to be gentle with yourself and as present as you can be to those who love you. Let the first gift of the Incarnation be for honoring your body’s need for food and rest and for creating time and space for you to enjoy your own silent night with those you love.