To accommodate larger than normal congregations over the Christmas period while at the same time ensuring social distancing, most of our parishes will be putting on extra Masses during the eight-day period between the great solemnities of Christmas 25th December (including Christmas Eve) and Mary, Mother of God on 1 January. Liturgically, this period is known as the “Christmas Octave”. Have a look at your parish’s website to find out how you can book for one of the Masses during the Christmas Octave.
All of the Masses celebrated during the Christmas Octave have the “Christmas feel” since many of the liturgical prayers of Christmas Day are repeated during the Octave. Carols will be played (although not sung by the congregation), there’ll be visits to the Crib and the homily will focus on the Christmas mystery.
Why is it important to celebrate Christmas during the Octave? Because Christmas is just too important to limit to a single day’s celebration! We spend four weeks of Advent preparing for the Christ child to be born. We therefore need time to simply enjoy the great mystery once arrived.
The Diocese of Leeds has also produced an information leaflet highlighting the importance of the Christmas Octave this year which can be accessed here.