Christmas Eve Mass
For the very first time, Holy Mass on Christmas Eve was celebrated at St. Anne’s Chapel in Fort St. Angelo, a location of immense significance to our Order. His Eminence Cardinal Prospero Grech O.S.A. was the main celebrant at the Liturgy which was concelebrated by Mons. Paul Vella, whilst Fra’ John E. Critien lead the congregation which packed the Chapel to capacity.
The Vice-President read the First Reading, whilst the Chancellor read the Second Reading. The good news from the Holy Gospel was proclaimed by Mons. Vella. A homily from His Eminence on the deep mystery of the Incarnation then ensued, followed by the Bidding Prayers which were read out by Karen Miller.
Appropriate Christmas Carols were joyously sung to the guitar accompaniment provided by the Hospitaller, Paul Sultana and Andrew Sultana.
At the conclusion of the moving celebration the President lead the gathering in the recital of the beautiful Prayer of the Order. In a subsequent brief address, the President remarked that the occasion was particularly special this year owing to the fact that Fra’ John had very recently been elected and appointed Grand Chancellor ad interim of the Order, whilst His Eminence also happened to be celebrating his own birthday.
The President finally called for special prayers for Fra’ John, for His Most Eminent Highness the Grand Master as well as for His Holiness the Pope at this very particular moment in time.
The many Members, Volunteers, family and friends in attendance were then hosted by Fra’ John to a hearty reception held at the nearby Palace, where mulled wine and a bountiful selection of eats were on offer and warm Christmas greetings were exchanged by all.
The Association made special arrangements for a number of electric cars to be available to ferry all those who found the ascent to and within the Fort, and the later inevitable descent, to be somewhat challenging. This in itself provided a good measure of entertainment all in keeping with the merry mood !