Polish Christmas

Manger at St. Helen Church in Chicago Polonia (c) AGR Imaging

Poles call the Midnight Mass the Shepherd's Mass or Pasterka. Traditionally, the family's Wigilia celebration culminates when all go together to Mass. The Midnight Mass is usually preceded by communal singing of the beloved Polish Koledy. The Mass itself is a joyous and majestic liturgical event, because Bog Sie Rodzi--God is Born, as the great Polish Carol says. It is also traditional for families to visit the Crèche to pray together to the Infant Jesus. This is particularly emphasized in families with young children. Following Mass, many families return home for a snack and more celebration.

St. Helen Church Prepared for Pasterka (c) AGR Graphics

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