Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Midnight Mass 2009 Opening/Closing


I am very pleased to welcome you to Westminster Cathedral, in the heart of London, where, in a few moments, we will be beginning our celebration of Midnight Mass.

We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, born of Mary, in the stable in Bethlehem.

During this Mass our prayer is one of thanksgiving for the unswerving love of God, who comes to be with us, who chooses to share our human condition for that is the truth made real in the birth of Jesus. He, alone and uniquely of all human beings, is truly both God and man.

During this Mass we also pray for the gift of peace for our troubled world. The town of Bethlehem will be uppermost in my prayer as I think of all the difficulties faced by its people and the harsh security conditions imposed upon them. We pray, too, for all those serving in our armed forces, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. May this night be peaceful and quiet for them, and indeed for us all.


Our celebration of Mass has ended and the congregation will soon be spilling out of the Cathedral onto Victoria Street setting off on journeys home, no doubt mingling with others who are also celebrating Christmas. As we go we take in our hearts the wonderful message of this Feast: that God so loves our world that he sent his only Son to be our Saviour. This is the true source of our peace and our happiness.

May I wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas. May the day ahead, and those which follow, be marked by the peace which the Christ-child brings, which is more profound, and more lasting than any happiness we can achieve or purchase for ourselves.

May God bless you and your families now and in the coming New Year.

Latest news
  • Call to protect status of Jerusalem holy sitesCall to protect status of Jerusalem holy sites

    The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols have called on the Israeli Government to protect the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem. In a joint letter to the Israeli Ambassador to London, Mark Regev, the two fa...

  • Cardinal invites young people to be 'digital apostles'

    Cardinal Vincent met with a group of young people from around the diocese on Tuesday, 27 February to listen to their hopes and desires for their own lives and for the Church. 

  • Slaves on Our Streets

    As part of the The Evening Standard’s special investigation into the issue of modern slavery in autumn 2017, Cardinal Vincent convened a round table of experts from business, media, law, finance, philanthropy, and law enforcement and victim supp...