Merry Christmas, everyone!
Today I traveled from Charlottesville to the D.C. area to celebrate Christmas with friends and friends of friends.
At the annual Christmas Eve get-together at the home of Warren Coats and Ito Briones in Bethesda, I was surprised to see my old friend, Rob Teir, and his husband, Johnny Smith, who live in Texas but came all the way to Maryland just for Warren and Ito's party. (At least that's what Rob told me; there may be more to the story than that.) Rob has recently opened up a law practice in Houston, which he seems to be enjoying very much.
(I have to apologize for my strange greeting. I found it hard to believe that Rob and Johnny were there, since just last week I received a Christmas card from them, postmarked Houston. So it was a weird impulse that caused me to walk up to Rob and say, "What are you doing here?")
The food was delightful, as was the company. Warren and Ito are always perfect hosts.
After I left the party, I drove to the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, where I arrived just in time for Midnight Mass (which started at 11:00 p.m., strangely enough, but since it ended at 12:30 a.m., I think that counts as "midnight"). An hour of lessons and carols was just ending, and the last organ piece played before Mass began was, again to my surprise, my favorite Polish carol, Dzisiaj w Betlejem. That's just something you don't hear outside of places like Milwaukee, Chicago, and Hamtramck.
I happened to have my video camera with me and captured the processional (preceded by a "Christmas Choral Introit" by Richard Proulx based on Luke 3:4 and Philippians 4:5), which was accompanied by the traditional carol, "O Come, All Ye Faithful." I also taped the recessional, which was accompanied by "Joy to the World."
Here's the video, which also includes a final blessing by Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington:
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas, everyone!
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