They have a wonderful creche, made from mosses and other natural elements; someone spent a long time crafting it.
As with the Mass on the feast of St. Nicholas, I couldn't understand much of what was being spoken and sung during Mass, but liturgy is liturgy, so I knew what was going on.
The church building is a marvel. It's octagonal inside, with a domed ceiling. Adorning all the walls and the ceiling are quite wonderful frescoes, depicting Biblical scenes, as well important events in the life of the Kosovo Albanian Catholics.
The choir, which consisted of young adults, sang beautifully, under the direction of a very energetic young religious Sister.
I guess that would make her a Nun Catholic.
As Mass was ending, the reverential atmosphere was shattered by a huge explosion, and then another, and another.
Had I not been expecting this, it would have been much more disconcerting than it turned out to be. It seems as though these good people really like to celebrate Christmas, and one of their traditions (besides the drinking of what I guess would be a kind of mulled wine -- though of course I did not try any!) is to have a rather ambitious fireworks display after Midnight Mass.
It was easy to tell which of our Soldiers had been Down Range in a place where explosions were NOT a good thing. I found myself very grateful not to have to hit the deck and hope nothing above me was going to come crashing down.
I'd never celebrated Christmas Eve in this fashion before!
Christmas blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ