Christ Church Cathedral celebrates Noche Buena with song, Scripture

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Several Indianapolis churches are giving the gift of song and Scripture ahead of Christmas Day.

Some may be familiar with what’s known as Midnight Mass, but some churches are starting service earlier and a little differently.

Many in the Latin or Hispanic communities celebrate Christmas Eve or Noche Buena. So coming together for services is how some choose to spread Christ’s message. As for Christ Church Cathedral, it’s hoping to help build bridges to bring people together.

“I think the message is clear we are going to celebrate we are going to rejoice because Jesus is born,” said the Rev. Jean Beniste, the Latin ministry canon.

Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle regularly holds services in Spanish. But, the Christmas Eve service is a bit different. An Hispanic choir will sing carols in Spanish, followed by a Spanish-language Mass.

“There’s not only people speaking Spanish or other languages, it is that we embrace all the diversity that we have in our society,” Beniste said.

Christ Church Cathedral was decked out for Christmas complete with baby Jesus in a manger. But, the message is where church leaders want the focus.

“It is an opportunity for us to come to celebrate,” he said. “And to break all those barriers that caused division in our society.”

Too often, he said, our differences separate us and, while the words are in Spanish, he sees it more as a multicultural service.

“When we look at our program, all of those people, they don’t have a face but they symbolize everyone.”

The multicultural service, church leaders said, is a chance to also set aside the challenges of last year and make room for the good in the new year.

“It gives us a moment to really connect with the truth that is a God of love,” said the Rev. Mary Slenski, Christ Church Cathedral’s senior pastor.