No Christmas Masses at St Patrick’s Cathedral this year

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The extension of the red Covid-19 protection framework setting in Auckland until late December has led to a decision that no Christmas Masses would be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral this year. 

In a December 14 notice on the St Patrick’s website, the Dean of the Cathedral, Fr Chris Denham, expressed his sorrow, and wrote that “the numbers make it impossible to schedule enough Masses at a limit of 100 people, and we have no desire to choose amongst people and decide who can and who cannot come to church at Christmas”. 

At the red setting, gatherings, such as Masses, where a Vaccine Pass is used for entry, have a limit of 100 people in attendance.  

“Although we cannot gather to celebrate Christmas together, let us remember that we can still rejoice in the coming of the Lord as families and friends, and look forward to gathering in the cathedral in the New Year,” Fr Denham wrote. 

Weekday Masses, with a limit of 100, and with entry by My Vaccine Pass, have been celebrated on alternate days at the cathedral since December 13. The cathedral website (www.stpatricks.org.nz) should be checked for updated information. 

Auckland goes into the less restrictive orange setting on December 30, and Sunday Masses will resume at the cathedral on January 2, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, with a My Vaccine Pass required for entry.  

As NZ Catholic was going to press, the New Year schedule for the cathedral website stated that there will be no vigil Mass celebrated on December 31 for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1) because of “security concerns”. 

Other cathedral or pro-cathedral parishes throughout the country have varying approaches to the provision of Christmas Masses with and without vaccine passes under the orange setting.  

At the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hamilton, and at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Palmerston North, entry to all Masses on Christmas Day will require proof of vaccination. Provision has been made for one (Palmerston North) or two (Hamilton) open entry Masses, with limited numbers (maximum 50) at a nearby church at Christmas. Check these cathedral websites for Mass times and any registration requirements. 

At each of St Joseph’s Cathedral (Dunedin), St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral (Wellington) and St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral (Christchurch), one open entry Christmas Mass with maximum number 50 is scheduled for December 24/25. Check websites or with the parish concerned for Mass times and any registration requirements. All other Christmas Masses at this cathedral and these pro-cathedrals require proof of vaccination for entry.  

 

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