Holidays past: When TV and radio carried Tucson's Christmas Eve church services

2013-12-23T00:00:00Z 2013-12-27T09:13:34Z Holidays past: When TV and radio carried Tucson's Christmas Eve church servicesArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Each day through Jan. 4, we will publish stories from the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen news archives. This is a condensed version of a Star story from Dec. 21, 1947.

Christmas Eve will find glitter and gifts and lighted trees in Tucson, but it will be the altars and lighted candles of the Old Pueblo’s churches that will emphasize the true meaning of the religious holiday.

Following half an hour of Christmas music at St. Augustine Cathedral, a solemn pontifical Mass will start at midnight, with Bishop Daniel J. Gercke celebrating and preaching the sermon.

KVOA will broadcast the Mass at midnight, with Charles Towner Jr. describing the impressive ritual. The 50-voice cathedral choir under the direction of Miss Isabel Baffert will wing the Yuletide religious music. The service will last two hours.

At historic San Xavier del Bac Mission, Rev. John Joseph will conduct high Mass at midnight. An Indian choir of 15 voices will sing.

At St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal, the festival of lessons and carols will begin at 9:30 p.m. and at 11:30 the midnight eucharist will be held, with Rev. George Ferguson delivering the message. The 11:30 service will be broadcast over radio station KCNA.

Christmas carols will be sung at 11:30 p.m. at St. Ambrose Catholic Church. At midnight Rev. Don H. Hughes will sing high Mass in the church proper, while Rev. Paul J. Rook will offer low Mass in the parish hall to accommodate the overflow crowd. The Tucson Rapid Transit Company will run a special bus over the regular Sunday route through the parish. It will arrive at 11:55 p.m.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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