The following information about the application of the Papal dispensation for holding midnight Mass this year on the afternoon of Christmas Eve has been received from the dioceses.
WESTMINSTER The following notice has been received front Archbishop's House, Westminster: In those churches where the first Mass of Christmas is allowed on the afternoon of Christmas Eve the following conditions must be observed: 1. The celebrant of the one Mass allowed in each church, must observe the Eucharistic fast for four hours prior to it, and he may then say only two Masses on Christmas Day, observing the usual fast from midnight.
2. Holy Communion may be received by the faithful at the afternoon Mass provided they have been fasting for four hours, even though they have already received Communion that same morning. Those who do go to Communion at this Mass cannot receive Cornmunion again on Christmas morning.
3. Attendance at this first Mass of Christmas on Christmas Eve fulfils the obligation of hearing Mass on Christmas Day.
In Westminster Cathedral the first Mass of Christmas will be at about 1 p.m., coram cardinal'.
LIVERPOOL Permission to take advantage of the Papal privilege has been granted.
The Archbishop, in giving the permission says: We leave it to parish priests to determine how far the use of this privilege will be in the best interests of their people. If the afternoon Mass will facilitate the fulfilment of the Mass precept by even a few of the faithful it would seem advisable to make use of the opportunity offered, especially as in most parishes there will still remain a choice of several Masses on Christmas Day itself. Nor should the faithful be overlooked who will be happy to attend the afternoon Mass out of devotion or for reasonable convenience.
BIRMINGHAM The decision regarding the use of the privilege of celebrating afternoon midnight Mass is left to each parish priest.
CARDIFF No afternoon midnight Mass will be celebrated in the archdiocese.
SOUTHWARK Archbishop Amigo, Bishop of Southwark, has sent a notice to the clergy of the diocese stating that those parish priests who wish to have the first Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve may do so after applying to him for permission.
NOTTINGHAM Afternoon midnight Mass will be permitted in the Nottingham diocese.
We understand that advantage will not be taken of the permission granted by the Pope's Motu Proprio allowing the first Mass of Christmas to be said on Christmas Eve.
NORTHAMPTON Midnight Mass allowed this year at the traditional hour at night, provided the church in which Mass is to be offered conforms strictly to the blackout regulations.
Priests wishing to avail themselves of the afternoon Mass privilege should write to the Vicar Capitular.
MIDDLESBROUGH There will be no midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in the diocese of Middlesbrough.
SHREWSBURY Permission for an afternoon Mass has been granted. It will be used according to the judgment of the parish priests.