Several years ago I had to work on Christmas Eve, which is a common hangup when in ministry. But Betony and I still wanted to be home on Christmas, celebrating with her family. So we devised a plan to make the long late night drive awesome.
We began the 8 hour car ride at 9 that night. We packed some intentional surprises, like opening our stockings and favorite car-trip snacks. But the most memorable thing we did was celebrate Midnight Matins.
My best friends growing up were Catholic and they would go to their church service at the stroke of 12 AM. I always felt there was something intriguing about trudging through the cold as the clock struck with full-tolls for a late worship experience.
So Betony and I had our own Midnight Matins. When the digital car-clock hit 12 we played a CD of 10 songs. These songs corresponded with readings of scripture Betony would say aloud and she had pictures of ancient artwork she’d printed that embodied the different parts of the nativity story.
Here is our playlist of the Midnight Matins. As you can see we sometimes got creative with it. We hope it brings mystery and depth to your season as it still does for us.
Midnight Matins Playlist
Once in Royal David’s City • Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing • Vince Guaraldi Trio
Messiah, oratorio: For Unto Us a Child is Born • The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Peace on Earth • Disney Studio Chorus & Donald Novis
Mary • Patty Griffin
Dickens’ Dublin • Loreena McKennitt
Lo! How a Rose E’re Blooming • Linda Ronstadt
Ding Dong! Merrily on High • Chanticleer
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing • Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
We Three Kings • Sufjan Stevens
Magnificat • Mary Behan Miller