The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."
In France, New Year's Eve is called "la Saint-Sylvestre" and is usually celebrated with a feast, called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre. The feast tends to include special items like champagne and foie gras, and the accompanying party can range from an intimate dinner with friends to une soirée dansante (ball). Some old Catholic tradition holds firm even in secular France. December the 31st in the traditional calendar is the feast of Pope Saint Sylvester (314-335).
In addition to all the parties and revelry, we hope that some if not all find their way to Mass for the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1st. Mass at the Oratory tomorrow is at 8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Both Masses are low with organ.