There's something magical about Christmas Midnight Mass, and the Saint Augustine Orthodox Church puts on one of the best in the city. The Ambrosian Choristers specialize in liturgical music from the era of Gregorian chants onward, with a special emphasis on the great composers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. "I think people are stunned that such a small parish in the Baker neighborhood would put the effort and resources behind music of this quality," notes Father John A. Mangels, who will lead the traditional service. "The Mass is very ritualistic, filled with scriptural and what we would call 'patristic' allusions." The church contracts with a professional orchestra, as well, so the sounds of Schnabel's "Transeamus" and Franz Joseph Haydn's "St. Nicholas Mass" should soar as high as Santa's sleigh tonight.
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The music begins at 11:30 p.m., and members of all religious denominations are welcome. Saint Augustine is located at 55 West Third Avenue; free parking is available at the Mi Casa lot at Fourth Avenue and Acoma Street. Call 303-832-3657.
Thu., Dec. 24, 11:20 p.m., 2009