Christmas at St George’s Basilica is one of the great annual appointments for those who wish to celebrate this Christian liturgy with the solemnity and inspiration that it conveys.
Thus, at Christmas time, the Church celebrates the gift of Jesus with joy, sharing and renewal. As Christians, it is our responsibility to keep this true meaning of Christmas. We can begin to do it by giving due priority to the personal, spiritual dimension of Christmas as well as its liturgical celebration. St George’s Basilica offers its best in aid of both, not less through its special services and decorations.
Everything is focused on the Midnight Mass. The Christmas night congregation is already gathered in the church by 11.30pm, when the liturgy of the Word begins. The altar boy delivers the traditional priedka tal-Mlied.
On Christmas Day, as 10.30am approaches, the canons of the Chapter of the Basilica gather for the liturgy of the hours. They recite it inside the beautifully decorated major sacristy. This Pontifical High Mass is another appointment with beauty. The church is again illuminated. It is the bishop who presides the Christmas Day High Mass at 11.00am. There are other Masses at 12 noon, and other celebrations of the Mass at 5.00, 6.00 and 7.00pm. (See details below).
Christmas at St George’s includes the solemn celebration of Vespers in Gregorian chant and male choir singing a cappella both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Laudate Pueri Choir animates the liturgy throughout, under its director Can. George J. Frendo.
MASSES AND OTHER CHRISTMAS LITURGIES
4.30pm: First Solemn Vespers, Chapter and congregation, presided by Archpriest Mgr Joseph Curmi, in Gregorian chant and “a cappella”. Then Vigil Masses at 5.00pm, 6.00pm (9th Day of the Christmas Novena) and at 7.00pm.
11.00pm: Carol singing
11.30pm: Sung Psalms.
11.50pm: Priedka tal-Milied by altar boy Fulvio M. Valenti
12.00am: Midnight Mass by Basilica Chapter and clergy presided by Mgr Joseph Curmi, Archpriest.
Masses celebrated at 05.00am, 06.00am, 07.00am, 08.00am, 09.00am, 10.00am, 11.00am (Pontifical Concelebration by Basilica Chapter and clergy presided by HL Mgr Anton Teuma, Bishop of Gozo and Dean of the Chapter) and 12.00am.
04.30pm: Second Solemn Vespers, Chapter and congregation, in Gregorian Chant and “a cappella”.
Evening Masses are celebrated at 5.00pm, 6.00pm and 7.00pm.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is administered throughout the day in the sacristy.