The Rapidian

St. Andrew's Cathedral - Midnight mass

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Church-goers attending the Christmas Eve midnight mass were met by a wall of choral music immediately upon entering the Cathedral of St. Andrew.

Soloist Diane Penning Koperski, The Saint Andrew Cathedral Choir and Schola of the Diocese of Grand Rapids led the crowd in famously familiar hymns, from Gloria to Joy to the World. Sandwiched in all the music was Bishop Walter A. Hurley's homily.

Immediately following the homily, the pews drained out as confirmed Catholics lined up to receive the Eucharist, a sacrament in which Catholics consume a wafer and red wine as repersentations of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The communion is particularly important in Catholicism because the Bible points out that there were thousands of years of prophesy leading up to Jesus' birth, and he is a literal transformation from God's word into a flesh-and-blood human being who then sacrificed himself to redeem humans from a pattern of depravity. It is an intrinsic belief in Catholicism that humans are not perfect because of Original Sin, a doctrine that holds that humanity is in a perpetual state of wrongdoing because the first humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God by consuming a forbidden fruit that gave them knowledge of good and evil.

Before the ceremony ended, the bishop was presented with a metal cross as a Christmas present.

The mass was televised live on FOX 17.

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