God is with Us: Christmas at Home ResourcesWednesday 16th December 2020
Christmas is not just one day; it is a whole season from 25th December (Nativity of the Lord – 10th January (The Baptism of the Lord) or for some until 2nd Feb (The Presentation of the Lord).
The liturgical colour of the Christmas Season is white or gold.
This Christmas will be different, but perhaps we can use this time to really focus on the real meaning of Christmas; The birth of Jesus Christ.
Due to the pandemic, we have created a booklet of resources to help to sustain your prayer life through this time.
God with Us: Christmas at Home Resource
This is our main Christmas resource and encompasses many of the resources you see below.
Due to the current capacity restrictions in our churches, please check with your local parish about their arrangements for Christmas Masses. Some parishes may have a booking system so book early to avoid disappointment.
Bishop John has reminded us that we can attend any Mass to celebrate Christmas during the Christmas Octave (25th December 2020 – 1st January 2021).
The obligation to attend Mass is still lifted so, if you prefer you, can join in with Mass via livestream, again please contact your local parish for Mass times and how to watch the stream. The Christmas services from the Cathedral can be followed here
Lord’s Day at Home
To view the Lord’s Day at Home sheets for Christmas, please click here. These are particularly aimed at those who cannot follow the Mass online at home.
O God, who gladden us year by year
as we wait in hope for our redemption,
grant that, just as we joyfully welcome
your Only Begotten Son as our Redeemer,
we may also merit to face him confidently
when he comes again as our Judge.
Jesus, You are the light of the world which the darkness can never over power. Shine brightly through us today and always so we can bring hope to our world today. Father in heaven, guide us to Your perfect light, Your son Jesus Christ. Amen
O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature
and still more wonderfully restored it,
grant, we pray,
that we may share in the divinity of Christ,
who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
More printable Christmas prayers are available here.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.
The Season of Christmas; the Octave
“This year we must celebrate Christmas in a different way. Assuming that our churches will be open but still having a limited capacity, we will return to the ancient tradition of observing the Christmas Octave and I invite everyone, able to do so, to attend a Christmas Mass on at least one of the days during the Octave, from Christmas Eve through to New Year’s Day. Each parish will have its own arrangements for managing its capacity. During those days there are important Feasts which can be celebrated specifically in the light of Christmas.”
– Bishop John – Pastoral Letter – Feast of Christ the King 2020
Christmas is not just one day; it is a whole season from 25th December (Nativity of the Lord – 10th January (The Baptism of the Lord) or for some until 2nd Feb (The Presentation of the Lord). The liturgical colour of the Christmas Season is white or gold Here is some information on important celebrations during this time.
Friday 25th December 2020 – Christmas Day (Solemnity)
Next to the yearly celebrations of the paschal mystery, the Church considers nothing more important than the memorial of Christ’s birth and early manifestations. This is the purpose of the season of Christmas.
Saturday 26th December 2020 – St Stephen, the first Martyr (Feast)
Stephen is the first martyr. He was one of the deacons appointed by the Apostles to organize the distribution of food to the poor. He performed many miracles and confounded the Jews in disputation. They fabricated false charges against him. At his trial he preached the risen Christ to them, so they stoned him to death. He prayed for his persecutors as he was dying. One of them, Saul of Tarsus, who was looking after the cloaks of the stone-throwers, was later converted and became the great missionary St Paul.
Sunday 27th December 2021 – The Feast of the Holy Family
The gospel on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas, feast of the Holy Family, is about Jesus’ childhood and the other readings are about the virtues of family life.
Monday 28th December 2021 – The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Feast)
The Holy Innocents are the children who were slaughtered at the orders of King Herod, in the hope that by killing every boy born in Bethlehem at the same time as Jesus, he would succeed in killing the new-born King of the Jews.
Friday 1st January 2021 – Mary, Mother of God
On the octave of Christmas, solemnity of the Mary, Mother of God, the readings are about the Virgin Mother of God and the giving of the holy Name of Jesus.
Sunday 3rd January 2021 – 2nd Sunday of Christmas
On the second Sunday after Christmas, the readings are about the mystery of the Incarnation.
Wednesday 6th January 2021 – The Epiphany of the Lord
On the Epiphany, the Old Testament reading and the gospel continue the Roman tradition; the text for the reading from the apostolic letters is about the calling of all peoples to salvation. On this feast we celebrate the visit of the three magi who come to pay honour to the new-born king. They represent the whole world coming to adore Jesus.
Sunday 10th January 2021 – The Baptism of the Lord
On this day we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. Today we celebrate the fullest revelation that Christ is the Messiah and the Son of God – that moment when the voice of the Father from the cloud says of Jesus, “This is my Son, the Beloved.”
Tuesday 2nd February 2021 – The Presentation of the Lord
On this day, Mary and Joseph present the Baby Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem and we hear the prophecies of Simeon of Jesus. Candles may be blessed on this day to represent Jesus the Light of the World.
Midnight Mass will be streamed on 25th December from Clifton Cathedral – BBC One
The Christian Muslim Forum have created a short booklet, called An Inclusive Christmas, which you can view here. The booklet celebrates the way Christians and Muslims come together at this time of year and how traditions associated with the Christian festival have been adapted by other faith communities in this country.
Caritas Christmas Appeal 2020
The impact of COVID-19 has made 2020 a year like no other. A perfect storm of a global health pandemic and the start of a UK recession biting means raising funds to help tackle homelessness and help people in poverty is going to be harder than ever before. So, as Caritas approaches its Advent and Christmas fundraising appeal for this year, they have a simple message: in a world where you can be anything, #BeKind
Please donate to Caritas this Christmas to help make a real difference to people’s lives. Because when there’s no room at the inn for people today, Caritas has a range of support to help get people back into a home, back on their feet and feeling hope for their future.
For more information and to donate please visit https://www.caritassalford.org.uk/service-view/adventappeal-2020/
Caritas Services over Christmas
Caritas Salford’s services remain open over the Christmas period. You can find a list of opening times and contact details on their website. Don’t suffer alone this Christmas – there is help available.
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