The Eight Days of Christmas

This faith resource is developed by the Agency for Evangelisation as a way of nurturing and nourishing the domestic church and to help the faithful celebrate not one but eight Christmas Days.

The Church sets aside eight days for the celebration of the Solemnity of the Birth of Jesus Christ:

You may be attending Mass on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or one of the other days during the Christmas Octave when each Mass is a Christmas Mass.

You may be just calling in to church to visit the Crib and a few minutes of personal prayer, or perhaps to light a candle for someone you know, or for the many people across the world who are unable to attend Mass at Christmas.

You may be at home, not able to venture out, or just keeping safe, celebrating with family and carers.

Whatever your circumstances, we hope that these pages of readings, prayers and reflections will bring you joy, inspiration and comfort, and every blessing this Christmas.

Praying the Octave

For each day, bring yourself into the presence of Our Lord, in church or may be in a quiet ‘prayer corner’ at home, perhaps with a candle and a Crib. Start with the sign of the Cross, followed by …

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Short Reading from Scripture
  3. A reflection from Pope Francis’ Admirabile Signum
  4. A closing prayer
  5. A suggested activity

25 December 2020

Christmas Day, the Nativity of Our Lord


26 December 2020

Feast of St Stephen, the First Martyr


27 December 2020

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph


28 December 2020

The Holy Innocents


29 December 2020

St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr


30 December 2020

6th Day in Octave of Christmas


31 December 2020

7th Day in Octave of Christmas


1 January 2021

Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Solemnity

Message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols

“I invite you to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in your homes.

Please ensure that you have a crib in a prominent place in your home. Gather round it as we approach this great Feast and say some prayers with your family and in your ‘bubbles’.

Give your decorations a touch of the Christmas story: some joyful angels, a prominent star, gift parcels from the wise men.

Try to make this Advent and Christmas a family festival of the birth of Jesus, a time when faith finds fresh expression in your homes.

To do this will bring rich rewards.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
(Photo: © Mazur/