Different options for mass this Christmas

By Maurice Garvey

CHURCHES are offering all sorts of different options for Mass at Christmas, including a drive-in at Cherry Orchard and a Midnight Polish Mass in St Mary’s Priory Tallaght Village, but a key message is people can attend or enjoy a service throughout the 12-day holiday season, and not just on December 24/25.

Current Level 3 guidelines only allow a maximum of 50 people in places of worship, and this presents a dilemma for parishes across the county, who have to make their own decision on how to best cater for their community over Christmas, a time that normally sees a significant increase in footfall at local churches.

Tallaght Village stock shots 10 1

St Mary’s Priory in Tallaght Village

Some parishes are operating online services only, others a first come first served basis for Christmas Day and Eve, while others like St Jude’s in Templeogue, Lucan South and Bawnogue in Clondalkin, have decided to work on a draw basis, with parishioners applying to win a ticket to attend Christmas Mass.  

St Aengus in Tallaght “strongly encourage” families to tune in from the “domestic churches” of their living rooms while the Church of St Patrick, Esker, Dodsboro and Adamstown will have speakers in the school car park at 12 noon Masses.

At Cherry Orchard Church, there is the novel option of a ‘drive-in’ Mass on Christmas Eve, with seats inside the church booked out weeks ago.

Fr Michael Murtagh said: “For some reason, Christmas Day is not as popular as Christmas Eve in Cherry Orchard, where Christmas Eve is the big one.

People who have a car, can listen to speakers outside the church, or people can stand while observing social distancing for the 5.30pm or 7.30pm Christmas Eve Masses.”

Fr Michael Murtagh 1

Fr Michael Murtagh

As of Tuesday, there were still some places available for Christmas Day Mass, but Fr Murtagh said booking was essential, and encourages residents to visit their newly crafted crib.

Fr Pat McKinley, from the parishes of Jobstown, Springfield and Brookfield in Tallaght, said they are operating Christmas Day Mass on a “first come first served basis” but it was a difficult decision to make.

“The dilemma for any parish is turning anyone away who wants to attend Mass, in a way you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Fr McKinley.

“We were trying to figure out what to do with the feedback we got, some parishes are online only, others doing tickets. There is no right or fair way. Mass is at the centre of the Christian faith. We figured this was the most straight forward, see who shows up on the day, and that is the dilemma.”

Fr McKinley said they tried different things during previous lockdowns and noticed more people engaging with them, including many who hadn’t engaged with them before.

“It has been a difficult time for people. For people of faith, I know they have really struggled with mental health. You can’t be a Christian on your own.”

As with Fr Murtagh in Cherry Orchard, Fr McKinley, encourages residents to attend Mass on other days during the holidays to alleviate pressure.

“If you can go to Mass in the days before or after, that will minimize the numbers, because we will have to turn people away,” he said.

Click here to view the Church service times in your area: https://www.echo.ie/show/article/christmas-church-services-2020

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Swimming pool operators benefit from €2.5 million in national funding
Next Interview with Santa
  • Bus with no passengers or driver ends up in bush in Square Shopping Centre
  • Isaac from Kilnamanagh was presented with a Garda hat from the Community Policing Unit in Tallaght
  • Ducks spotted skating in Tymon Park
  • Exchange Hall fire
  • Thanks for all of your support this year

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.