Live-Blogging the Vatican's Midnight Mass

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1:05 am: It's been grand, but my bedtime (1:15) quickly approaches. Thanks for reading, and check back often for my regular blog and for upcoming live-blog events. To subscribe to the Noahblog update mailing list, please e-mail Have a happy and healthy Christmas, everybody!

12:54 am: That's a very pimp golden Crucifix. I learned this semester the difference between a Crucifix and an ordinary cross. It becomes a Crucifix when it has Jesus hanging off the front (typically Catholic imagery). The protestants generally stick to ordinary crosses without Jesus.

12:48 am: Classy that the Pope's microphone has a brand label on it. I can't read it, but that's some serious product placement.

12:36 am: The Apostles' Creed. They didn't announce it, but I recognized the text from a little flyer I picked up at the Bart station last week. It's a cute little mantra, concise and punchy. Not sure I'm a fan of the translation, though.

Also: The last post was at 12:34. 1-2-3-4. How cool is that?

12:34 am: Again, I love the font of the on-screen text. Very old-skool biblical. Also the star inside the "P" in St. Peter. Classy, NBC. It looks like the same font they've used since the Seventies.

12:31 am: The Master of Ceremonies has requested a moment of silence, to reflect on the Pope's words. That's a good idea. I'd like to have my own moments of silence, that I could take with me to conversations, to give people time to

digest my prophetic ideas. :-)

In other news, NBC, here's where you cut to commercial. (Not really...)

12:25 am: The mass reading: "Let us think of the children who are victims of pornography, and every other form of abuse."

To quote Pres. Bartlet, responding to "Today's children can buy pornography for $5 on the streetcorners. Don't you think that's too high a price to pay for free speech?" "No," Pres. Bartlet replied, "but it is too high a price to pay for pornography."

12:18 am: The little girl in the red coat looks about to fall asleep. I don't blame her. While it's a nice idea to hold it after Midnight just as Christmas is starting, and it's certainly a huge "Happy Birthday Jesus," I don't know if it was the most practical choice.

12:13 am: Look at the rows and rows of nuns in the audience. My mom: "You don't see nuns around here walking around with habits on."

12:11 am: The Pope's sitting there, looking slightly bored. Good thing he brought a book with him, but it's a little large to slyly read. Wait, the announcer just said that it has the whole story of Jesus in it.

12:07 am: The wide shots of St. Peter's Basilica are way impressive. It's truly huge, and the altar in the center is tall. We visited Rome when I was in 6th grade, and we got to go inside the Basilica. I really rememer walking along the rim of the rotunda, and the catacombs underneath. I also remember the bathrooms without toilets or seats. Have you ever tried peeing in a hole in the floor? (In retrospect, I guess it's a lot like a shower...)

12:01 am: Another reading, this one in English. It's nice that they include readings in different languages, I suppose to be in the vernacular of all the different countries to which the Mass is broadcast. I sure felt special when James Baron read that English. By my best estimation, (<3 Google), Mr. Baron is a teacher at Cloverdale Catholic School in Surrey, British Columbia.

11:53 pm: Lots of shots of children in the audience. I wonder how they fill the cathedral. Is it everyone waiting outside, or just the special ones? Do you have to be Catholic to get in? I went to a Mass once, up in Salem. I was surprised how much they "borrowed" from the Jewish service.

11:45 pm: "Cute shows," my mom says. The Pope has some very red shoes under his black robe. I guess in addition to speaking with God and all, he's a fashion leader in the Catholic community?

11:41 pm: I love the outfits. All the cardinals are in Fuscia, which looks like a new development. I could have sworn it used to be red. (Cardinal?) I wonder if it's the TV, or of the cardinals are actually eighties-awesome enough to rock the fuscia. It's vivid, too!

11:35 pm (Pacific time): We're watching the NBC telecast of the Vatican's pre-Christmas Midnight Mass, live on tape delay from Rome. They've just opened the show with some fancy-looking graphics, and outside shots of St. Peter's Basilica. Stick around for more.

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