Christmas in Upper Bavaria
In the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, many church services are broadcast live on the Internet, and the archdiocese also provides templates for celebrating church services at home. To contain the corona pandemic, strict hygiene requirements such as minimum distances and mask requirements as well as the ban on community singing apply to all face-to-face events. Due to the nocturnal curfew, the services on Christmas Eve will be brought forward as far as possible so that the faithful can be home again at 9 p.m. in accordance with the state requirements.
Due to the hygiene requirements, many parishes work with registration procedures – Protestant and Catholic. It is recommended to find out about the prerequisites for participation and, if necessary, registration options in good time via the parish showcases and websites or by calling the parish offices. For the church services in Munich’s Liebfrauendom, this means that, according to current planning, only 130 people can take part. Registration is mandatory and can be done online here from December 17th to 23rd.
Christmas masses for children, families and seniors
The design of the traditional children’s masses with nativity plays and child-friendly texts and songs will also be adapted to the current pandemic requirements this year. In some cases the parishes hold several children’s masses on the afternoon of December 24th, and some parishes celebrate the children’s masses outdoors. Some parishes plan interactive online meetings.
Ecumenical Christmas Eve with Bedford-Strohm and Marx
The ecumenical Christmas service with Protestant regional bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and Cardinal Reinhard Marx on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. will take place in the youth church “Vom Gute Hirten” in Munich-Haidhausen and will be broadcast live on the Internet. The faithful are cordially invited to join the service on the website of the Archdiocese of Munich or that of the Evangelical Church of Bavaria. The motto of the celebration is “Do not be afraid!” and is musically performed by a quartet of soloists from the Protestant St. Matthew’s Church and an ensemble of cathedral brass.
Christmas mass on Christmas Eve
The earlier Christmas mass with the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Munich Frauenkirche. This service can also be seen here live on the Internet and is also broadcast in sign language. The vocal ensemble of the cathedral choir, soloists of the Capella Cathedralis and the cathedral blowers perform the Christmas mass under the direction of cathedral chapel master Lucia Hilz with the Missa Carminum by Max Eham. Other parishes also offer live streams on the Internet.
Evangelical Bishop: Parallels to the First Holy Night
The Protestant regional bishop for Munich and Upper Bavaria Christian Kopp sees parallels between this year’s Christmas and the first Christmas night 2,000 years ago. “Improvisation was the main part of the first Christmas night. There was also an unusual hospitality: The birthplace of the Christ child was rough, but the young couple had found a place. Improvisation and good ideas will shape Christmas 2020 in all parishes,” said Kopp.
In the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew in Munich, children’s and Christmas masses take place every full hour on Christmas Eve from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The festive service on Christmas Day will be broadcast at 10 a.m. on BR TV.
Barn service from the diocese of Eichstätt
The youth centers Eglasmühle and Nürnberg-Süd in the diocese of Eichstätt are offering an online service in a barn church under the title “Let’s celebrate Christmas”. Already at Pentecost and Easter they designed a church service in video format especially for young people. This time they are shooting in a barn church, just in time for Christmas. The Christmas video service can be seen on Thursday, December 24th, from 3 p.m. on the Youtube channel of the Diocese of Eichstätt and on this website.