The Sounds of Christmas Mass in Baghdad

massblog1.jpgBy Johan Spanner
Listen to the audio below to hear hymns sung during Christmas morning mass in Baghdad. (Photo: Johan Spanner for The New York Times) Listen to hymn (mp3)

 BAGHDAD — The Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, led a Christmas morning mass today at the Virgin Mary convent church in Baghdad’s Karada neighborhood.

Listen to ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ (mp3)

The cardinal compared the situation in Iraq to the situation at Jesus’s birth: “Aren’t our hearts as cruel as the hearts of the people of Bethlehem at that time?”

Among those attending the mass was Ammar Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who is expected to succeed his father Abdul Aziz al-Hakim as the head of powerful Shiite political party known as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. Also in attendance was Iraq’s minister of human rights, Wijdan Mikhail, one of the few high-ranking Christians in the Iraqi government