In 1892, a French opera was performed celebrating Christmas in July. In 1935, the National Recreation Association promoted celebrating the Lord’s birth in July at girl’s camps around the U.S. In 1940, Hollywood released a comedy movie entitled “Christmas in July”. In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide. In 1945, the service began to be broadcast over radio (Livestream hadn’t been invented yet!). The U.S. Post Office and the Army and Navy threw a Christmas in July of 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. And since 1950, stores have advertised Christmas in July sales! All of this was done to shake folks out of their sleepiness and refocus them.
Now in 2021, the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Detroit is getting into the act. Today we celebrate the second of three Masses in our Teen Summer Series. We said “Aloha” last month, and today we say “Merry Christmas” in July. Next month is “Detroit Sports.” While everyone is welcome, we are celebrating our teens in a special way. All of this is done at the inspiration of one of our teens to shake us out of our sleepiness and help us focus on Jesus.
I encourage you to support our sponsors. A big thank you to our friends at Schena Roofing ( www.schenaroofing.com) who sponsored us last month, and to the Detroit chapter of the Young Catholic Professionals (www.ycpdetroit.org), who sponsor us today. They are a nonprofit whose mission is to challenge, train and inspire young adults working in various professions to work in witness to Christ. We are looking for a sponsor for next month (August 29) if you know of anyone who is interested; they can call Christine Broses at 313-883-2863.
We have encouraged folks to dress according to theme and to bring along a donation of canned goods to benefit our local food pantry, but the ones who truly benefit are any of us who begin to look at what we do in a fresh way. Jesus was born so we could hear the Good News, to give us our understanding and mission and to reconcile a broken world. He came to bring joy to the world. Hey, if my dog Annie can get into it, so can we! Let’s not take for granted what we have and what we have been called to do. Our Archbishop encourages us to get out of our “maintenance mode” and Unleash the Gospel. Let’s sing these hymns, open our gifts, and stir up our vocation. Christ is born……Merry Christmas, yes in July and in every month.