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O’Fallon church celebrates midnight Christmas mass in Latin

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O'FALLON, MO (KTVI) On the holiest of holy nights for Christians around the world, Catholics in O'Fallon, Missouri, return to their roots.  Latin is the language of midnight Mass at St. Barnabas Catholic Parish.
Father Raymond Hager is pastor at St. Barnabas."For centuries," said Hager, "it's the common language of the church.  It still is the official language of the church."
St. Barnabas is one of several churches in the St. Louis Archdiocese that periodically offer the Catholic Mass in Latin.  But St. Barnabas showcased Latin at the very popular midnight Mass.
Hager said, "The folks that come love the sense of the sacred that it offers.  They love the rubrics of the Mass, from the beginning to its end.  It expresses a profound reverence to God."
St. Barnabas choir members sing parts of the service in the centuries-old language that is foreign to them.  Dan Prize is a choir member.
"I kind of think it's easier to sing some things in Latin, than in English," said Dan.
His sister, Lauren, said, "Every piece of it, every part of it, is so rich in symbolism."
Michael Kramer is a cantor.
"I hope it lifts people up in their prayer," said Kramer.  "It's not there to entertain, it's there to lift people up towards higher things, toward God."
The Latin Mass is popular among the congregation as well.
Church member Larry Schlesinger said, "It's exactly the same as it was many, many years ago.  So there's a historical connection.  The other thing is the words don't change in their meaning."

Jeremy Weidig, another church member, explained it this way. 
"I have four children and I have invited them to come with me every Sunday to Mass.  And  we don't know a word of Latin." 
You can search a database to find mass schedules, including those in Latin.
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