Say what you will about the Catholic faith: It has inspired, over the centuries, some haunting and beautiful Christmas melodies, and our city's faithful know how to do them justice. Here are four masses where you can sample the sounds:
St. Margaret of Scotland [map]
Best mass for music: 10 p.m., Christmas Eve (music starts at 9:30)
Components: Choir of 40 adults, woodwinds, strings, brass, piano, organ, percussion
Highlights: According to music director, Peter Hesed, "O Holy Night" will be a high point, and his version of "Joy to the World" will be among the most "rousing" folks have heard. Also listen for "Ave Maria" and the traditional Scottish lullaby, "Balulalow."
St. Alphonsus Liguori Rock [map]
Best mass for music: Midnight, Christmas Day (music starts at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve)
Components: Choir of about 25 adults, piano, keyboard, bass, drums, bass, possibly steel drums, tambourine
Highlights: They don't call this place "the Rock Church" for nothing. They do traditional tunes, of course, but they also add a healthy does of gospel songs, says Fr. Rick Potts. Choir director Danny Dumaine has even written his own version of "O Holy Night."
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.