Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Midnight Mass, A Christmas Offering

Give me a heart
of incense
smoke that rises
in hazy spirals
rippling like fragrant
satin ribbons-
My worshipful heart
carried in the smoky praise
Breathe me in
Let me fill whatever lungs
inhale Heaven's air-
I am only this

Midnight Mass
by Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia

To Jesus who bent down that I may rise-
Merry Christmas to my Savior!

It is Christmas Eve and I will be attending Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's in Anchorage, AK.

St. Pat's has Mass all evening but they only perfume the sanctuary with smoking censers of sacred incense at midnight.

That is the one for me.

It evokes childhood memories of counting the minutes until Jesus would be reborn for us all each Christmas. I always wanted to begin Christmas in church. I wanted Christ to find me there come early to the party. Waiting.

When Mass was over the smell of worship and welcome lingered on my hair and clothing all the way home. In all the ways that matter the Holy, Holy, Holy of it lingers still. The difference is that I am discontent to simply stand in the incense offered by other hands. I want to be that fragrant offering Heaven saves in bottles
to be released to the joy and excitation of praise from the Beasts around His throne.

Unbelievable as it seems, Eternity wants this. Heaven breaths on the offerings I have made to charity but it inhales my unadorned worship spoken in secret- just my heart to the One upon the throne and those who attend Him. All any of us have to give is what is in our hearts. All we have to celebrate began with Christ and His obedient offering.

Tonight as I stand in the smoky sanctuary I will be His gift rising from the ashes of His own sacrifice.*

I invite you to join me from right where you are.


Blessings for a Holy-Merry-Fragrant-Christmas!

* I will also have with me a special love offering in memory of and in celebration of the sons of three mothers who are my friends: Sally's son Justin, Melody's son Brent and Kelly's son Jason. Sons who are too loved to be forgotten.


  1. I grew up Catholic as well & remember midnight mass & incense & Holy, Holy, Holy, was my favorite song ( I can't really remember the chanting type ) Now, I find myself in a non-denominational church with a slight charismatic tendency. My pastor mentioned a verse in Revelation how our prayers are like incense to God this Sunday. I'm rambling a bit, but I know the most important things, like Jesus said, is to love God & then others! Christmas Blessings to you & yours; love, in Jesus, Cynthia

    1. Merry Christmas to you too! Pax vobiscum!


  2. I lost someone over the holiday and she was someone who "perfumed" my life. She always was like Jesus. I am going to buy some incense and celebrate her. Not a mass goer myself but this gave me a idea. I say lost but I know lost is not a forever kind of word when the Lord is involved. Thank you. Mark