Pastoral Notes 21st December 2014

The printers of our newsletter have a hard task at this time of year. Normally we follow through one Gospel each year – Matthew (A), Mark (B), Luke (C) – and John’s Gospel appears at different times over the three-year cycle.
But at Christmas Gospel passages are taken from Matthew, Luke and John. Matthew’s Gospel is read at a vigil Mass we mostly miss out, but Luke is read at the Night-time Masses and early morning/Dawn, while John’s Gospel appears in all its majesty on Christmas Day. It recalls practises in Rome where the Pope might celebrate the several Christmas Masses at different churches in the city, and going on to include Epiphany on 6th January. St Mary Major is the site of the Night Mass, St Peter’s Basilica for the Daytime Mass, and in between, St Anastasius (an early martyr) for the Dawn Mass!