Christmas 2016

Christmas Services at St. Edward's Parish banner 2016


Christmas Carol sheet music

Advent is a season of the virtue of hope, hope in God’s promises, welcoming the Saviour as individual disciples and as a community of disciples. This is a time of watchful prayer.

Thursday 1st December 7.00-8.00pm Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Tuesday 6th December 7.00-8.00pm Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament
Thursday 8th December 6pm Carols by Candlelight (St Edward’s School)
Tuesday 13th December 6pm Carols by Candlelight (St Thomas More School)

Thursday 15th December  Day of Prayer starting with Mass 8am through to 7.30pm Service of Reconciliation at St. Edward’s Church. Priests will be available for individual confessions.
Thursday 22nd December, 7.00pm – 8.00pm Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament



Christmas altar at St. Edward's Church 2008 St. Edward’s, Kettering
Christmas Eve

  • 6.00pm Children’s Family Mass
  • 8.00pm Polish Mass
  • 10.30pm Christmas Carols before ‘Midnight’ Mass starting at 11.00pm

Christmas Day

  • 8.00am Mass
  • 10.30am Mass
  • 12 noon Mass
  • 1.00pm Polish Mass
  • (NO evening Mass)


Boxing Day

  • 10.30am Mass
  • 1.00pm Polish Mass
  • 6.00pm Vigil Mass for Sunday

Christmas crib outside of St. Edward's church, Kettering, 2008

St. Nicholas Owen, Burton Latimer

Christmas Eve
8.30pm Christmas Carols and 9.00pm Mass

Holy Trinity, Desborough

Christmas Day
9.00am Mass

St. Bernadette’s, Rothwell

Christmas Day
10.30am Mass

Mary Did You Know sung by Peter Hollens


THE BIRTH OF JESUS (Revised Standard Version)

Mary holding baby Jesus. Detail from the Nativity Window of St. Mark's Anglican Church, Vero Beach, Florida by Conrad Pickel Studio Inc In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:1-20

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And, you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
(Matthew 2: 1-12)



Download some nativity colouring sheets for your children, or visit the art sites listed to show them some of the beautiful paintings that the birth of Jesus has inspired over the years.

Nativity Story Birth to Cross by Jacqui Cornelisse

Nativity Colouring Sheets and Christmas Activities

Website with Religious Art
Long Article in Wikipedia about the Nativity in Art



Christmas Carols have been sung for centuries. Actually begun as a tradition of songs of joy during the pagan Winter Solstice, the custom was adopted and adapted by the early church. In AD 129 the “Angel’s Hymn” was sung at a Christmas service in Rome and carols in Latin began to be written across Europe. It was the resurgence of the celebration of Christmas begun in the 13th century by such people as St. Francis of Assisi that saw the use of carols / canticles in the native tongue of the people (rather than Latin). When Cromwell came to power in 1647 Carols and the celebration of Christmas were banned in England. Carols however were sung in secret and survived in oral tradition. It was during the Victorian period that Carols again became popular in the UK and were sung in the street and people’s houses, as well as at church, they are a beautiful way for us to share the story of the birth of Jesus.

The Piano Guys and Placido Domingo 2015

In 2008*, Silent Night was voted the UK’s favourite Christmas Carol. The words were written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Fr. Joseph Mohr. Myth says that on Christmas Eve in 1818 the organ at St. Nicholas’ Church, Oberndorf had broken, Fr. Mohr asked his friend Franz Xavier Gruber, the local schoolmaster to write a melody for the words so that it could be sung to guitar accompaniment in time for Midnight Mass. The Christmas carol spread throughout the world.
During the First World War, On Christmas Day 1914, Silent Night / Stille Nacht were sung simultaneously by both English and German troops during the famous Christmas Day Truce. It is believed that Silent Night has now been translated into approximately 300 different languages. In 2018 a 200 years World Peace Carol Silent Night celebration will be taking place.

Silent night, holy nightSilent night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Websites to check out:


Bethlehemian Rhapsody

Sometimes, however, it can be great to celebrate with something slightly less traditional: check out this 2009 video written by Mark Bradford and directed by Darla Robinson (



Crib at St. Edward's Church, 1955
Setting up a Nativity crib (also known throughout the world as crèche / manger /stable) can be a special part of the Christmas festivities. This 3D tableau, depicting the birth of Jesus, contains the Holy Family, an ox, a sheep, donkey, shepherds and angels and the three wise men (although often they aren’t added to the scene until Epiphany – January 6th). It is believed that St. Francis of Assisi started the tradition (although he may not have been the originator) in 1223, by constructing a living Christmas Crib in a cave in the town of Greccio and holding Christmas Eve Mass there. By the end of the 13th century figurines were being used in static sets. Nowadays they can be seen all around the world in homes and churches.
In St. Edward’s parish archive there are several pictures of crib scenes from across the decades. These pictures date from the 1930s and 1950s. The crib is located outside St. Edward’s church and helps us to share our joy in the love of God and the birth of Jesus Christ with the community of Kettering.

The Crib outside of St. Edward’s Church, 1955

Crib outside St. Edward's church, Kettering, 1938 Crib outside St. Edward's Church, 1958 The Crib outside of St. Edward's Church, 1952
The Crib outside of St. Edward’s Church, 1938 The Crib outside of St. Edward’s Church, 1958 The Crib outside of St. Edward’s Church, 1952

For more information about Cribs and Christmas Customs see:



Wishing you a Christmas Full of Blessings


*Poll carried out to mark the launch of the DVD, ‘Barbie in A Christmas Carol’.
Detail from the Nativity Window of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Vero Beach, Florida by Conrad Pickel Studio Inc from