On this special two hour programme we celebrate this special day with reflections, favourite Christmas carols and hymns, readings, poetry and our regular reflection on the Gospel of the day. We are joined on the programme by Martina O'Sullivan, with a reflection by Bishop Brendan Leahy and Sr Dympna Clancy and a special recording of the children of Abbeyfeale National School telling us the Christmas story.
You can listen back to the full Christmas Day programme podcast HERE.
The children from Abbeyfeale National School tell us the Christmas story in their own special way. You can listen to them excerpted from the main programme HERE.
Bishop Brendan Leahy's Christmas message excerpted from the programme HERE.
Sr Dympna Clancy's Christmas reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.
Our reflection on the Luke 2: 2-14 (the gospel for Midnight Mass) is available HERE.
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’
Reflections on the gospel:
Centre for Liturgy
A Childhood Christmas
by Patrick Kavanagh (1905-67)
My father played the melodeon
Outside at our gate
There were stars in the morning east
And they danced to his music.
Across the wild bogs his melodeon called
To Lennons and Callans.
As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry
I knew some strange thing had happened.
Outside in the cow-house my mother
Made the music of milking;
The light of her stable-lamp was a star
And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle.
A water-hen screeched in the bog,
Crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes,
Somebody wistfully twisted the bellows wheel.
My child poet picked out the letters
On the grey stone,
In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland,
The winking glitter of a frosty dawn.
Cassiopeia was over
Cassidy's hanging hill,
I looked and three whin bushes rode across
The horizon-the Three Wise Kings.
An old man passing said:
'Can't he make it talk' -
The melodeon. I hid in the doorway
And tightened the belt of my box-pleated coat.
I nicked six nicks on the door-post
With my penknife's big blade-
There was a little one for cutting tobacco.
And I was six Christmases of age.
My father played the melodeon,
My mother milked the cows,
And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned
On the Virgin Mary's blouse.
God of compassion, there is such a hole in my heart today!
Today should be a day of joy, but I feel only the emptiness and loss of someone so beloved. While the world celebrates around me, I remember Christmas celebrations of the past and I long to have my loved one wih me.
I bring my sorrows to you Lord, like some odd gift of the magi and dump them at your feet. In my blind tears I wonder if anyone can possibly understand the depth of my sadness.
Yes, you can.
You sent your son to be with us in our deepest sorrows and I know that even though I might not feel it at this minute, you are here with me, grieving with me, caring for me in my sadness and loving me. Dearest Lord, help me to turn to the one I miss so much today and speak. Help me heal the loss of our parting and help me not to regret the things I didn't say.
Sorrow tears at my heart, but today I ask that my loss soften my heart and make me more compassionate with everyone I meet.