Your Invitation to Celebrate Christmas at St Mary's Cathedral

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
18 Dec 2015

As we enter the final week of Advent, Catholics from the Archdiocese of Sydney are invited to include a visit to St Mary's Cathedral in their Christmas celebrations.

The Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE attracts thousands of visitors to the Cathedral each night

A Christmas Celebration
This evening, Friday 18 December, the celebrations commence with A Christmas Celebration, the Cathedral's main carols event, beginning at 7.30pm.  The St Mary's Cathedral Choir and Chamber Orchestra will perform congregation carols and music by JS Bach, Handel, James MacMillan and John Rutter. 
Hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, there will also be seasonal readings, both sacred and secular, by civic and community leaders, with the Archbishop giving a Christmas reflection.

The presenting partner for the evening is WN Bull Funerals which has been serving Sydney for more than 120 years and has a close association with the Cathedral.

It is a ticketed event, with tickets available for purchase from the Box Office at City Recital Hall, (02) 8256 2222, or online at  A selected number of tickets will also be available at the door.

Free Carol Service
The St Mary's Cathedral Choir will also lead a Carols service this Sunday, 20 December at 5pm (followed by the 6pm Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.)  Everyone is welcome.

Interfaith Remembrance Service
Catholic Cemeteries are delighted to once again hold their Christmas Remembrance Service on Sunday, 20 December 2015 from 7.30pm.  Last year, the moving service was attended by over 800 families and friends last year to remember loved ones who are not with us during the Christmas period.

The interfaith service will be led by Bishop Terence Brady and feature beautiful singing by Artes Christi. 

St Mary's Cathedral Choir will feature at a number of the Christmas liturgies

Bereavement support will be available on the night. After the service, attendees will move outside to watch the stunning Lights of Christmas show.

Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE
Another feature of Christmas celebrations at St Mary's Cathedral are the Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE, which will continue up to and including Christmas night, 25 December.  From 7.30pm every night there is entertainment from a range of choirs, which precede the light show, which runs from 8.30pm to midnight each night.

Light a candle for Christmas
In addition to marvelling at the lights projected onto the Cathedral facade, visitors are invited inside the Cathedral to "light a candle for Christmas" and enter into a time of prayer.  Groups from across the Church in Sydney will be present inside the Cathedral to welcome visitors, lead them in music and create an atmosphere of prayer.

Christmas Mass times
The high point of Christmas celebrations will, of course, be the Christmas liturgies.

On Christmas Eve, Thursday 24 December, the liturgy begins at 5.00pm with the First Vespers of Christmas led by the Cathedral Choir.  The Christmas Vigil Mass follows this at 6.00pm.

Carols from the St Mary's Singers will begin at 7.30pm, followed by a Choral Vigil Mass commencing at 8.00pm.

At 11.15pm on Christmas Eve, the St Mary's Cathedral Choir will lead the congregation in Carols prior to the Midnight Mass to be celebrated by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.

On Christmas Day, Friday 25 December, there will be numerous opportunities to attend Mass, with Christmas Masses at 7.00am, 9.00am, a solemn Choral Mass with the Cathedral Choir at 10.30am and a 6.00pm Mass.