It was a jam-packed day at my parish, beginning with the 9 a.m. Mass, when our administrator, Father Passenant, blessed chalk and then climbed up a ladder to inscribe the traditional letters and date over the main entrance to our church.

At the 11:15 a.m. Mass, we had our customary procession of The Three Kings, who brought in their gifts during the offertory.  After a year’s absence, it was great to have them back! (Kudos to JoAnn Longobardi for some great snapshots, and a lot more besides! She made the kings look royally wonderful.)

And if that weren’t enough, I preached at three Masses and chanted the Epiphany Proclamation, announcing the dates of Easter and the moveable feasts. Considering that I only remembered last night that I had to do this today — Epiphany snuck up on me this year! — it wasn’t terrible.

Rounding things out for the day: I baptized two babies following the last Mass. We had been expecting four, but one family canceled, from an abundance of caution over COVID; another backed out because the godparents both came down with COVID.

But the Christmas atmosphere — lights, greenery, poinsettias, the crèche — made for a memorable and joyful celebration of the sacrament. It was a beautiful and festive day.

And Christmas isn’t over yet!