The Many Days of Christmas at St Mary's Cathedral

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Dec 2016

This Christmas, St Mary's Cathedral is already at the centre of some of the most beautiful Christmas celebrations Sydney has to offer.

As we enter the final week of Advent, all are invited to include a visit to the Cathedral and take part in the celebrations which include a magnificent light show, glorious choirs, prayers both majestic and simple, as well as Christmas carols.

A Christmas Celebration

Friday 15 December, at 11am and 7pm a beautiful performance will take place inside the Cathedral featuring the St Mary's Cathedral Choir and the Orchestra of the Antipodes. The beauty and wonder of Christmas will be celebrated through congregational carols, the music of JS Bach, Brahms, Handel and John Rutter as well as the beautiful poetry of TS Eliot and GK Chesterton.

Hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, there will be seasonal readings, both sacred and secular, by civic and community leaders, with the Archbishop giving a Christmas reflection.
More information and tickets are available at  A selected number of tickets will also be available at the door.

Free Carol Service

The St Mary's Cathedral Choir will lead a Carols service on Sunday, 18 December at 5pm (followed by the 6pm Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.)  Everyone is welcome to this traditional service of readings and carols, sung by the Cathedral Choir.

The Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE

A feature of the Christmas celebrations at St Mary's Cathedral is the captivating light projection on the façade of the Cathedral. The Lights of Christmas presented by PAYCE, 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.

Bring the whole family to enjoy the choirs then view the sound and light projections which feature the Fantasia style animations of the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker Suite.

Light a candle for Christmas

In addition to marvelling at the lights projected onto the Cathedral façade, 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 Remembrance Service

A special service to pray for and remember those who have died. Sunday 18 December at 7.30pm in the Cathedral.

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

The Christmas Story

Visit the art exhibition by Catholic school students in the Cathedral Crypt. Runs from now until 1 January 2017.

Christmas Crib

Children love to visit the life sized Christmas crib out the front of St Mary's Cathedral featuring the lit up star of Bethlehem, animals, angels, shepherds, Kings and the Holy Family.

Christmas Mass times

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

On Christmas Eve, Saturday 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, Sunday 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.