Updated: 20/12/16 : 06:40:15
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'Midnight Mass' at 6.30 this weekend in Sligo

'MIDNIGHT MASS' will commence five and a half hours earlier in one Sligo town chapel this Christmas weekend.

The Parish Council at St Anne's brought its weekend Mass back to 6.30pm during the summer.

Now, for the first time, the earlier starting time will apply at a Christmas Mass in the town.

Confirming the change last weekend, local PP Fr Pat Lombard pointed out that other local chapels will later starting times on Saturday night.

Overall, the traditional Christmas Eve ceremonies has been moved back in two hours increments in recent decades.

Aging Population

Some churches, not all in Sligo, made those changes to avoid revellers coming in late and being noisy, disruptive.

The local change also reflects an aging population served by St Anne's, which was commissioned in summer 1958.

Patrons are reminded that, with Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, there will be no evening Mass on the 25th.

Saturday evening Masses first became widespread in Ireland at the time of Pope John Paul's visit to Knock in late 1979.