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Local History

Mass at Midnight 1900

Say Mass at Midnight

"For the first time in the history of the church, midnight mass is to be said in all the Catholic Churches of the world at the close of the present year, and this privilege will be repeated one year thereafter. The midnight mass on the night of December 31, 1899, according to Bishop John J. Glennon of Kansas City, coadjutor bishop of this diocese, is to usher in the beginning of the Holy year decreed by the pontiff, and not the new century.

"The manner in which the pope granted the midnight mass concession for December 31 of this year was in this wise:

"The international committee for the Solemn Homage asked for a decree granting permission for the celebration of midnight mass on the night of December 31, 1900, to usher in the new century, and to allow the Holy Communion to be received at that time. This request the pope granted and in addition decreed that the night of December 31, 1899, may be sanctified with the same privileges. This is the most remarkable permission of the entire reign of Leo XIII.

"Father Lilly of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of this city states that midnight mass will be celebrated at the church next Sunday night as allowed by the papal decree. Mass will begin at 12 o’clock sharp, celebrating the New Year.

"Father Lilly states that his understanding of the papal decree is that this mass is to celebrate the advent of the Holy year 1900, and not the new century. The new century, as understood by him, does not commence until January 1, 1901, and the midnight mass to be celebrated on the night of December 31, 1900, is not for the celebration of the opening of the new century..."

Leader-Democrat December 28, 1899

At the time of this article the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in the photo above, was located at North Campbell and what is now named Tampa Street.

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