Liverpool Midnight Mass to be broadcast live

 BBC Radio 4 is to broadcast Midnight Mass live from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, this Christmas. The Mass, which will begin at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, next Wednesday, will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool. In a show of the unity for which the City is well known Church Leaders from other denominations will be speaking at the Mass. The Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool; Reverend Phil Jump, Baptist Regional Minister; Major Marian Drew, Commander of the Salvation Army North Western Division and Reverend James Booth, Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District will all contribute to the homily after the reading from St Luke's Gospel which tells of the humble birth of the Saviour into poverty and upheaval.

This year the Christmas message is proclaimed to an uncertain world. As Merseyside's Church Leaders will be united in that proclamation, so too will people be united across the world in facing the reality of economic difficulty and hardship. Archbishop Patrick Kelly says: 'fragmentation within families, cities, countries, continents, across the world is destructive and often the result of anxiety and growing need. This Christmas must be fittingly celebrated in days of anxiety and increasing economic difficulty for tens of thousands. As one way to offer authentic comfort and united reassurance it is wonderful to welcome my fellow Church leaders to the Midnight Mass to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Please pray that the deed and the message we will share in the name of Our Lord will bring light, joy and peace.'

As that message of peace and unity rings out through words and music from the Cathedral across the country and further afield it is hoped that those listening at home, maybe alone, will feel reassured in what may be for them troubled times.

The live broadcast of Midnight Mass on BBC Radio 4 begins at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, Wednesday 24 December 2008. Anyone wishing to be in the congregation at the Metropolitan Cathedral should be seated by 11pm.

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