Christmas can never be cancelled even in the most unfavourable of conditions: Bishop Davies

Christmas can never be cancelled even in the most unfavourable of conditions, the Bishop of Shrewsbury said in his Christmas homily.

During midnight Mass at Shrewsbury Cathedral, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies acknowledged that it is “easy to focus on the dark shadows” of 2020.

But he reminded the congregation that Christmas leads the faithful back to the “point of light” that shines in all our darkness, the child born for us all.

“Christmas can never be cancelled,” Bishop Davies said, “for its light is not dependent on favourable conditions for even the darkness makes its light shine the more brightly”.

Besides the coronavirus pandemic, the Bishop also lamented attempts over the passing year to extend abortion and the renewed efforts to legalise assisted suicide as assaults upon the sanctity of human life.

He reminded the faithful that the modern nursing and medical profession was inspired by Christian belief in the value and inviolability of innocent human life and for the care of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

The dedicated service and self-sacrifice shown by medical professionals in helping the victims of Covid-19 stood in a stark contrast to the “culture of death and despair,” the Bishop said.

He encouraged people either attending the Christmas Mass in person or viewing by live-stream to heed the words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, of December 8, and to share with St Joseph the responsibility for “every poor, needy, suffering or dying person, every stranger, every prisoner, every infirm person” in whom the Child Jesus can be recognised.

Also echoing the hopes of Pope Francis, the Bishop said that “a new vision of fraternity and social friendship” which recognises how all the lives of all people are bound together is the antidote to “present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others”.

“This is surely a happy lesson to be drawn from the trauma of the past year,” the Bishop said.

Bishop Davies said: “At the cradle of Bethlehem, we have learnt to value the life and dignity of every human being, especially the weakest and most vulnerable. The recognition of the sanctity of human life and the cherishing of the frailest – both notions utterly unthinkable to the ancient mind – would become the light which forged our civilisation; the vision, which first inspired our medical and nursing professions and has guided our best efforts in response to the recent pandemic.

“For we heard the voice of the same Child of Bethlehem say, ‘Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me’. And we now see the stark contrast between a culture of death and despair, which readily discards human life, and that spirit of charity and self-giving service Christ’s coming inspired: a contrast between darkness and light.”

He said: “How precarious Christian civilisation can appear in the face of an ever-growing assault upon the value of human life whether in the extension of the legalised killing of the unborn; or in the increasing threat to the elderly and vulnerable by euthanasia under the guise of ‘assisted suicide’.”

The bishop added: “Amid every lengthening shadow, may we never lose the light of the Child who was born for us, who allows us to glimpse who we really are and discover our deepest identity as children of God. At this Christmas of 2020 and in the face of the challenges of a New Year to come, may we return to the light which first dawned in Bethlehem, the same light which shines for us at every ‘Christ’s Mass’.”

Christmas Schedule

Christmas Schedule 2020
Thursday 24th December
Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
8.15am Divine Office of Prime with Chant of the Martyrology for Christmas
9am Low Mass of the Vigil
4.30pm First Vespers of the Nativity
6pm Matins of the Nativity
9pm Procession to the Crib and ‘Midnight’ Sung Mass
10.30pm Procession to the Crib and ‘Midnight’ Sung Mass
To balance social distancing and anticipated demand, there will be two Midnight Masses.
The first at 9pm is now fully booked, the second is at 10.30pm.
Pre-bookings are required.
Maximum capacity is 80 seats at each Mass
Friday 25th December
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
8.30am Low Mass (Missa secunda or the Dawn Mass)
10.30am Sung Mass (Missa tertia or Mass during the Day)
5.30pm Vespers and Benediction
Saturday 26th December
St Stephen’s Day
10am Low Mass
Sunday 27th December
Sunday within the Octave
8.30am Low Mass
10.30am Sung Mass and blessing of wine in honour of St. John
Thursday 31 December
9pm Adoration and & singing of the Te Deum
in thanksgiving for the past year (Plenary Indulgence attached).
Friday 1st January
10am Singing of the Veni Creator Followed by Low Mass
(Plenary Indulgence attached).

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

This is the patronal feast of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and a Plenary Indulgence available under usual conditions
(Confession, Communion & prayer for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff).

At the Shrine, this special feast day will be celebrated thus:

5.15pm: Second Vespers of the feast
followed by Benediction and renewal of the Consecration of the ICKSP to the Immaculate Conception

6.30pm: Sung Mass & Compline

Resumption of Public Worship [updated]

Following the statement of H.M. Government, public worship will resume on Wednesday 2nd December and therefore we will once again gather for Holy Mass!

The Liverpool City Region has been placed in Tier 2. Meaning that whilst we can finally come back to Mass, we must abide by the government guidelines, these being not to socialise with people from outside of our own household/support bubble while in the church. This is much the same as things had been before lockdown with some relaxation of the rules around external socialising. Face covering rules remain except where exemptions apply.

Our schedule for the week commencing Sunday 28th November is thus:

November list

In November, we remember and pray for our departed loved ones. If you wish to have your deceased family members remembered at daily Mass for the month of November, please include their details below.

Christmas Cards

Wish a Happy Christmas and Blessed New Year to your family and friends.

Use the form below to order your selection of our Christmas Cards, specially designed for you this year. All benefits towards the Shrine.

Please click on the card you would like to choose, and specify how many cards you would like to order in the field below.

Proposed offering: £1 each card.
Free postage.

To send your donation:
– by bank transfer, using the following bank details:
Sort Code: 40-45-14
Acc number: 01805061
For the credit of ICKSP / SSPPP
– by Cash / Cheque (made payable to ICKSP / SSPPP), when collecting them at the Shrine (during private prayer opening times, 5-7 pm)

Schedule during the Second Lockdown

Following the announce of the government to impose a second lockdown, we are rearranging our schedule to offer you everything which is possible to help you crossing this new challenge we are facing.

From Thursday 5th November our schedule will be:

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