WAGGA’S practising Christians will have the choice of more than 20 church services to attend on Christmas Eve and a similar number on Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
When the rush to buy presents and food is over, people will have the opportunity to reflect on the reason for Christmas at services starting as early as 7pm on Thursday.
Worshippers will start singing carols in St Michael’s Cathedral at 11.30pm ahead of a midnight Mass.
St Paul’s Anglican Church on Fernleigh Road will have a family service at 7pm, while Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Bourke Street will have an outdoor children’s Mass on the Henschke Primary School oval, also starting at 7pm, and a 9pm Mass.
With the world still reeling from brutal terrorist attacks across the globe, and even the murder of a police worker in Sydney, this year, the region’s religious leaders are urging the community to move closer to God to keep the crisis in perspective.
“Christmas reminds us that God’s love, bundled up in the life of a vulnerable baby, overcomes any and all obstacles,” said the Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, The Right Reverend Stuart Robinson.
He said Christmas had the capacity to change the world more than any weapon, program or law court yet devised.
His theme was echoed by The Reverend Dr John Cohen in Wagga.
“The true meaning of Christmas is that God, who created all things including ourselves, sent his son to bring peace and love into our broken world,” Reverend Cohen said in his Christmas message.
The Catholic Bishop of Wagga, The Most Reverend Gerard Hanna, said the power of God’s love made a difference when it was received with gratitude and joy.
Many churches and religious orders are putting the spirit of Christmas into practice by putting on lunch.
Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity will provide lunch in the Henschke Primary School Hall on Friday, while the Wesley Uniting Church will host more than 90 people for its annual Christmas lunch in Tarcutta Street.
Church services on Friday begin as early as 7.30am at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Docker Street.
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