Fr Michael’s words at end of Mass Saturday 5th/Sunday 6th December regarding Christmas Masses

By next weekend non-essential businesses will be open again (though a haircut or a coffee out can be essential for people like me!!) – a vaccine is on its way – it’s a bit like Easter Sunday, Lent is over and we feel we can take up the bad habits we tried to subdue over Lent – only this time we are asked to be careful – caution is a word I hear a lot these days – washing hands, wearing a mask, keeping our distance is still the norm for us for a while and especially in the run up to Christmas and indeed into the New Year.

So, what about Christmas Masses.

I do not think there will be massive crowds coming to Mass at Christmas. Those who have been attending Mass via radio or webcam will not come into crowds in Church at Christmas. Those travelling home to visit family for Christmas may also feel the need to stay at home with their family, especially if there is/are vulnerable members of their family within their bubble.

While people like to attend Mass for Christmas, and full Churches are usually the norm in our Parish, people know that celebrating Christmas this year will be very different – and that may mean not attending Church in person.

I personally do not like people applying for tickets – Church should be different to other business premises where people have to book or make appointments. This is echoed in a hymn I am particularly fond of – All are welcome in this place. However a free for all runs the risk of having too many and if you pardon the pun, I’d hate to be the person or ask someone else to say to someone, sorry, there is no room for you in the inn/Church. But I do not think that will be a problem.

Giving Parishioners plenty of choice for Mass over the Christmas Season is important. While individuals and families like to attend on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day the Christmas Season extends into the following week, what the Church calls the Octave of Christmas and maybe individuals/families

(especially if they have been nervous about attending Church or coming into crowds or do not normally attend but do so at Christmas) could be encouraged to attend Mass at home on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day via webcam and attend Mass physically during the Octave.

So, I am asking families to think hard and to talk about what you will be doing regarding Mass this Christmas. I will leave in the Churches a list of the Masses for Christmas and these words and the list will be available on the Parish website after Mass tomorrow/today.

Keep safe and well and look after each other.


Christmas Masses

Christmas Eve

St Mary’s Church 5pm

Church of the Immaculate Conception 7pm*

St Malachy’s Church 9pm


Christmas Day

St Matthew’s Church 9.30am

Church of the Immaculate Conception 11am*

Masses within the Octave of Christmas

Saturday 26th 7pm Church of the Immaculate Conception*

Sunday 27th 11am St Mary’s Church

Tuesday 29th 7pm Church of the Immaculate Conception*

Wednesday 30th 10am St Mary’s Church

Thursday 31st 7pm St Malachy’s Church

Friday 1st 12noon Church of the Immaculate Conception*

Saturday 2nd 7pm Church of the Immaculate Conception*

Sunday 3rd 11am St Matthew’s Church

*available on webcam