Christmas Eve 2017 #7

Today was Christmas Eve but it wasn’t like the Christmas Eves I celebrated in other countries over the years. From a liturgical point of view, it was a bifurcated day where we celebrated mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in morning and the Christmas Eve mass in the evening of the same day. And then because Christmas is not a recognized or celebrated holiday here, all the normal things for a normal Sunday occurred, too.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

At 8:00 o’clock in the morning, I met with a couple. The husband is recovering from surgery and is also negotiating an arrangement to extend his visa to stay in Cambodia. I was helping them with that.

Then at 10:00 AM we had the Fourth Sunday of Advent mass at St. Joseph Church.

On the way to St. Joseph Church, I was surprised to see so many tourist buses lined up near the Royal Palace. Usually on a Sunday morning there are four or five, but today there were fifteen to twenty. Maybe it’s the European “snowbirds” coming south for a Christmas vacation in a warmer clime.


At St. Joseph Church, final preparations were being made for the Khmer Christmas celebration later in the evening.


After the 10:00 AM mass, we replaced the Advent decorations with Christmas decorations. Here Fr. Bob and Chang work on some wall hangings.
Chang got the task of unpacking the figures for the nativity scene. We couldn’t find the bag of straw for the stable so a white cloth had to do.

Christmas Eve

At 5:00 PM we had mass for Christmas Eve with Fr. Bob presiding.
The Khmer Christmas Eve mass was at 6:00 PM so their blaring PA system wouldn’t affect us, and afterwards their Christmas celebration began and would continue till about midnight.

At 7:00 PM, I had a meeting with a representative from a donor in Japan. She is leaving tomorrow for Tokyo and has been the last two days in the provinces so after an evening mass on Christmas Eve was the only time we could meet to plan a new proposal for funding.