As other Catholic churches drop the midnight mass from their Christmas schedule, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion is leading its comeback. Many churches stopped doing the service because of declining attendance. The tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus at midnight dates back to when the faithful would hold vigils before major feast days to spiritually prepare themselves. The midnight mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help does not date back that far but its rector, Father of Mercy John Broussard, says it has become an important night at the church.
The music played during the midnight mass also plays an important role during the service, which includes a procession of the statue of a baby Jesus taking his rightful spot in the nativity scene. Music director Nicholas Saldaña says it will balance traditional carols with English and Latin hymns.
For many in Door and Kewaunee counties, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help hosts the closest of the Green Bay diocese’s 12 midnight masses.