Piece image

Snowballs at Midnight Mass

From: Andrew Witmer
Length: 04:33

Essayist Jonathan Malesic learns something new about Christmas after attending one of the only midnight Catholic masses ever to end in a snowball fight.

Malesic_small In this light-hearted and thoughtful piece, Jonathan Malesic describes how his ideas about celebrating Christmas were changed by a snowball fight after midnight mass in Buffalo, New York. This is an original piece.

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Piece Description

In this light-hearted and thoughtful piece, Jonathan Malesic describes how his ideas about celebrating Christmas were changed by a snowball fight after midnight mass in Buffalo, New York. This is an original piece.

3 Comments Atom Feed

User image

Review of Snowballs at Midnight Mass

A sweet and unabashedly spiritual piece.
I could see the church-goers as they were described, with satin jackets and brassy hair. I was pulled into the atmosphere of a cold and very snowy night and the sound of a snowball fight in the light from the open church door. Very nice.

User image

Review of Snowballs at Midnight Mass

What starts out as a light-hearted commentary about plugging a priest with a snowballs turns into a contemplative piece about religion. I was chuckling at the beginning and nodding in agreement at the end. PD's - next Christmas grab this one for your listeners.

User image

Review of Snowballs at Midnight Mass

Shades of Bill Cosby's infamous Old Weird Harold tale of a snowball's revenge. This time the snowball appears in the knave of a Catholic church somewhere in snowy buffalo. "God says yes to the fallen world." "Even the seven feet of snow deserved an amen." The humor fades to a contemplative reflection in the shadows of this God's church. A moment in time burned into a young man's mind. The religious element is there to fill in the picture, not to make a point or proselytize. The essay is plain, dry, no sounds or music. Plenty of opportunity to drop into a show with little effort.

Transcript

I suppose I?ll have another chance some day to hit a Catholic priest, decked out in his Christmas vestments, square across the head with a snowball. If so, I hope I don?t chicken out like last time, when I wrongly imagined that maintaining a dignified reserve was next to godliness.

I was visiting my parents in Buffalo, New York, when, on Christmas Eve three years ago, snow began to fall. And fall. And fall, until seven feet had piled up, and lots of plans had to be changed.

Looking out at the unplowed street, my father declared that we could not possibly drive ten miles downtown for midnight Mass at the cathedral, which we usually did. So I would miss out on the cathedral?s gothic majesty, the bishop?s eloquent preaching, and the brass quintet?without which it just doesn?t seem like Christmas. I would also miss out on seeing every pew filled with smiling, well-dressed, happy f...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

The total run-time of this first-person essay (read by the author) is 4 min. 33 sec.