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Brief: Midnight Mass Celebrated at St. Anne's

Dec. 24, 2006 — The celebration of Christmas was welcomed with carols, prayers and a lively sermon Sunday night at St. Annes Roman Catholic Chapel, perched on the hillside in Frenchtown.
The Rev. George Franklin officiated at the midnight Mass, preceded by the church choir presenting a 30-minute cavalcade of carols, including perennial favorites "In Old Judea," "The Birthday of a King" and "O Holy Night," with verses in both French and English.
The church was decorated for the season with a nativity scene and an image of the baby Jesus placed there at the beginning of the mass.
"This is the most beautiful day on earth," Franklin said as he began the mass. Throughout his homily, Franklin — who is also the principal of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School — spoke about the birth of new possibilities brought by Christmas and New Years Day.
"While it's great to have these days as part of the holidays, we should be mindful of the new possibilities that these two days present, the opportunity for a new beginning," Franklin said. Both holidays, he said, promote "possibility thinking": "Unfortunately, we as children of God rarely reflect on the possibilities that are being offered to us … we get stuck in our ways." The birth of Jesus Christ, he said, "took away all the things that said, 'Nothing is possible.'"
For the first part of the service, Franklin kept the faithful in suspense as he carried around a Christmas gift in a bag. After asking a volunteer from the congregation to open the bag, Franklin disclosed an "I-Can" — a container with pens, pencils and a pad "so that all the things I-Can do" will be noted. "All things are possible through the work of God!" Franklin exclaimed. "Now is the time to do all things you have wanted to do."
The Christmas midnight mass was broadcast live on WSTA Radio (1340 AM). A Christmas day mass was scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday.

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