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The nine days before Christmas are marked in our liturgy with special prayers imploring Christ to come among us. Each day addresses him with a different title, drawn from the prophets. We begin with “O Wisdom” and conclude with “O Emmanuel.” The prayers of these days express more strongly the Advent attitude of thanksgiving combined with expectation. The Son of God has already come among us in the flesh; we wait for him to come again in glory.

This novena is celebrated in different ways around the world. The most striking example is the “Simbang Gabi”, the dawn Masses which have been part of Filipino life since 1587. Inspired by that, but recognising we are in a different culture, the Bishop will observe the novena this year by offering Mass each day at various times in the churches of the Cathedral parish. To join in at least one of these celebrations would be a good way, in the midst of the world’s distractions, to focus on what we are really preparing to celebrate at Christmas.



16th December – St Joseph’s Chapel, Perthville – 6.00pm
17th December – Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bathurst – 10.00am
18th December – Holy Family Chapel, Kelso – 11.30am
19th December – Assumption Church, West Bathurst – 12.30pm
(NB: The 2nd Rite of Reconciliation will be celebrated in the Cathedral that evening at 6.00pm)
20th December – St Catherine’s Aged Care Facility, Bathurst – 10.00am
21st December – St Patrick’s Church, Rockley – 7.30pm
22nd December – St Mary of the Cross Church, Wattle Flat – 6.30pm
23rd December – St Dympna’s Church, Burraga – 9.30am
24th December – Cathedral of St Michael and St John, Bathurst – Midnight