During the year I try to collect as many Christmas stories from Church history as possible to share in this blog. I found a few, but not enough to last a week or more. Because of this, I’m saving those stories for next year, and instead will share interesting facts about Christmas in general.
What was the first artificial Christmas tree made of?
a. Plastic needles
c. Paper needles
b. The St. George Tabernacle
Macfarlane’s choir performed in 1879 at the first Catholic high mass performed in southern Utah in the St. George Tabernacle to an overflow audience estimated by some to have been three thousand, most of whom were LDS. This came about through John’s acquaintance with Father Lawrence Scanlon of the Catholic Diocese. Scanlon was sent to Silver Reef to attend the needs of the Catholic people in that community. Macfarlane was swerving as a surveyor in the area and became acquainted with the priest. On one occasion John asked Scanlon why he did not celebrate a High Mass. The priest explained that he did not have a choir nor a place in which to hold the service. John offered his choir and also obtained permission form Erastus Snow, his ecclesiastical leader, for the use of the St. George Tabernacle. Permission was granted, plus an offer to Father Scanlon to use the “Big House,” Snows large residence in St. George, to host officials from the Catholic Church in Salt Lake City who would be in attendance. The local choir spent many hours learning to sing the Latin mass.
Lesson Committee, Museum Memories (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 2009), 373-374.