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Washington DC Photo Gallery Midnight Mass at the...

Midnight Mass at the National Shrine

Pilgrims from across the Nation attended Midnight Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Cardinal Schotte, Special Envoy of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, was the Mass celebrant. "Dear brothers and sisters, today we should revive and strengthen our resolve to be faithful and to express unabashedly, our acceptance of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It belongs to our catholic faith; it is an essential part of our Catholic identity. We cannot call ourselves true sons and daughters of the Catholic Church if we do not commit ourselves to a true devotion to the Blessed Mother."

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The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. D.C welcomes all citizens to celebrate the birth of Christ.

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The Basilica, named as such by Pope John Paul II on October 12, 1990, is the largest Catholic church in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth largest Basilica in the world.

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This year's Christmas Mass was dedicated to the Soleminity of the Nativity of the Lord.

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Invoking God - Kyrie Eleison

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Introductory Rites - The Proclamation for Christmas - Roman Martyrology - Act of Pentinence - I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do; And I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

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Mixing Byzantine-Romanesque architecture with contemporary mosaics and sculpture, the National Shrine is a testament to the multicultural character of Catholicism.

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Above the Shrine's main altar is Christ in Majesty. The world's largest mosaic image of Christ is the centerpiece of the Great Upper Church. The icon is over 3,600 square feet and contains nearly 3 million tiles. Eminence inspires veneration. *

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Main Sanctuary - Celebration Alter -Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

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Cantor, Mark Owens, leads the congregation with heart warming Christmas Carols.

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Top view of the congration from the North transept.

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Top view of the congregation from the West transept.

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Top view of the congregation from the South transept.

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Top view of the congregation on the East transept.

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Alter Servers receive the blessing from the bishop before the Presentation of the Gifts.

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Alter Servers lead selected members of the congregation into the sanctuary for the Presentation of the Gifts

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