We spent Christmas with family in Atlanta this year (see my last post for more), and attended Christmas Eve Mass at Sacred Heart Basilica downtown. We've been to this church before--it's where our niece and nephew were both baptized--and I was surprised when we arrived this time around to see the title "Basilica" on their signage. Turns out that it was given this distinction only this past February. What an honor! This gem of a church deserves it. I've met the priests and the deacon here, and as far as I'm concerned they deserve it too (even though it has nothing to do with them, of course).
On Sacred Heart Basilica's website there are some fascinating descriptions of the objects and images in the church, like the stained-glass windows and the statues. On either side of the crucifix are symbols of Christ's passion and death. Above it, the Hand of God reaches down toward Earth. Click here to read about these, and much more about this beautiful house of God.
At the 4:00 Christmas Eve Mass, Baby Jesus still hadn't been placed in the manger.
The little ones were very squirmy during Mass, which is to be expected. We had almost forgotten how much of struggle it can be to bring small children to church. Fortunately, there were plenty of family members here who could pass them around. Once I heard our little nephew exclaim "I'm Okay!" when he slid off the pew or something.