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CHRISTMAS

Federico Barrocci, Prado museum, Madrid

A Christmas Story 1955 by Carmel Sheeran, Galway

I hadn’t been home for Christmas for nigh on fifteen years

THE ORATORY LARNE CHRISTMAS EVE 2020

The fragrance of Christmas pudding still lingers in the warm kitchen. The fire glowed in the black, shining range. Dad in his armchair on one side of it, and Mam opposite him. My brothers and myself sat at the large kitchen table.  I hadn’t been home for Christmas for nigh on fifteen years, and I was so happy to be with the family.

Dad said to Oliver, “ Give us a few tunes on your mouth organ. Ollie always has his mouth-organ near at hand, so he started off the singsong with “Jingle Bells”. We all sang lustily “ away in a manger” and “ home on the range”, and other favourites. Then Eddie went upstairs and returned with his guitar. He strummed in tune with Oliver. We had a rest from all the singing and listened to the lads play jigs and reels. I saw Dad reach for the old tin tea caddy, which he placed between his knees. He played drums on it, with two spoons.

Its made Christmas for all of us, to have you home..”

When the recital ended, Dad looked across at me and said “ Give us a bar of “Silent night” Carmel.  I was blessed with a sweet singing voice, so i started to sing. As I got to the second verse, I looked across at Dad, to see tears running down his weather beaten  face. When I finished singing that much loved carol, He said “ Your gifted agirl”, and  its made Christmas for all of us, to have you home”. Mam decided to ease Dads emotions by saying “We’ll have a nice cup of tea after all that singing”. She lifted the big black kettle neared the heat, and soon had it singing it own song.

It’s been over fifty years since that wonderful Christmas day, when we were all together and I’ve never forgotten it.

PAT SAYS

I’m always sad at how the real meaning of Christmas has disappeared and been replaced by materialism, gluttony, etc.

More and more, I’ve drawn back from these frantic modern Christmasses and concentrated on two central aspects for me:

THE CHRISTMAS VIGIL MASS

To put Jesus at the centre of Christmas

CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH WITH THOSE WE LOVE.

To extend the love of Jesus to others.

Wishing you all, blog readers, friends and foes, every blessing for Christmas and for 2023

Pat

THE ORATORY SITTING ROOM – HOUSE BUILT 1904

99 replies on “CHRISTMAS”

Thankis for seeking me out at Christmas time Pat with love beyond all telling. That is the true essence of Christmas. I am raising a ‘baby Powers ‘ to you and yours when my own bishop and family couldn’t give a shite.

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5:19 you are awake early. Take it easy on the baby powers, from the sounds of it he is not “your” Bishop and they are not “your” family, that was their choice, stop living in the past you are not going that way. Live your best life and enjoy your best Christmas & New Year. The future is bright and the future is yours.

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Luther @11.49am At least the person sounded nice and happy. Your post sounded fckin depressing.

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2:50 I’d say Luther burned his rose tinted glasses after his last encounter with the RCC, Father!!

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5.19: I guess the whiskey has blocked out all goodwill, decency and kindness. Another day when you can’t be human…Make the best of your day and don’t always be a victim.

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6:29 Agreed, my family and I and our friends enjoyed some beautiful and meaningful celebrations devoid of the financially & sexually compromised clerical hypocrites & their cohorts who fill their troughs from ill gotten gains.

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Many happy returns Seamusviii. May the Lord bless you from Zion, He who made both Heaven & Earth, May He protect you from all evil, and may he bring us all to life everlasting.

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Yes, + Pat, the simpler the Christmas, the better. I don’t lay much store by the veracity and fact of the Christmas story anymore, as I move away from a literal seeing of our journey through this world and life. For me, the bible, while attempting to provide some sense of ourselves and our world, is most certainly an attempt by one community to create a framework story to support it without much truth or fact behind it. Just as much of the Christian, and indeed any religious, theology / narrative does. However, out of the Christmas story there are threads to be taken away which can encourage us – simplicity, life, wonder, charity, hope etc. That is what I take from Christmas, rather than the Christian salvation narrative which, frankly, does not really hang together, is so evidently contrived, and just plain silly in some respects. As for Christmas lunch / dinner – yes, it is about being together and enjoying each other and good things, and is to be celebrated ! Enjoy your day, + Pat, as well as all your readers.

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For Christians all over the world, Jesus is at the heart of this great feast. God-with-Us in Jesus, his Son. A remarkable new dawn – and though we tell this ancient story of great truth every year, it never ceases to stir our hearts. We find something new and inspiring every year. A great light, a promise fulfilled, hope eternal given to all once again. The prophet Zephaniah speaks about “the loving kindness of the heart of our God, visiting us like the dawn from on high, giving light to those in darkness, to those who dwell in the shadow of death and guiding us in the way of peace.”..This sentiment is a hope-filled thought for prayer today. Every blessing from God be upon you, Pat and Ed and both your families.

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Pat say a prayer for me today please. I went out shopping yesterday and accidentally left the cooker on and blew the kitchen up. At my brothers house but he has 5 children and my head is banging.

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We were evacuated yesterday and haven’t been allowed back because the neighbours never got their gas boiler serviced in 4 years and it also exploded; all my childrens presents were burnt

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10:49 that’s what can happen when one turns on the cooker only once a year.

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Merry Christmas Bishop Pat and best wishes to you and yours for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year! ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’

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Sincere thanks to Michael Flatley and his family who called to the centre yesterday with a generous donation. Much appreciated.

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Why is RN giving off about hot young men masturbating on Xmas morning instead of spending quality time with his family? Did Mary tell him to do this?

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11:42 Never underestimate the Mary’s. We will never know all of their secretive priorities and agendas, some perhaps but not all.

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Pat, you know 11.42 is trolling.
I have no time for that pratt, Robert Nugent, but why are you allowing this troll a free run?

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I am dreading this day, my family are big headed melters and I hate having to endure them over Turkey and ham. Thank god for wine

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You have not earned the right to sit at MY table, take your prejudice and your issues back to source.says:

11:52 Grow a pair, not only are you a wimp, you are allowing your wimpish disposition to turn yourself into a wino.

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I am in Qatar and I’m sorry to say it’s all Turkeya dn no Ham….muslim country and all that. No pork. On my last visit home I smuggled a few packets of bacon and sausages back and I have them in the freezer but it’ll be a nightmare if anyone finds out.

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4:47 Don’t worry about it, as we all saw with the World Cup business, they hardly kosher themselves.

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My daughter lived in Kuwait for about 14 years. How they loved bacon butties when back home on hols. But they did get regular supplies of pork & alcohol over there, via the ……….”say no more.”
They also brewed/distilled alcohol! Apparantly it was common for ex pat’s living there to have their bathrooms set up for this. No extra heat needed in that climate! Seems everyone, including cops, just turned a blind eye.
She now works in Spain. I visit regularly, and really enjoy her local pubs there, especially when grandchildren insist on buying my beer!
Just had a Christmas Messenger video chat with them all and off now for a hot Powers: they sent that and lots of real ale, Hobgoblin for Christmas, so some of that too. Also had A1 Christmas dinner earlier with all the trimmings brought round by lovely young teacher neighbours.
Truly fortunate, and appreciate it.
Hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas

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My aunt collapsed in sainsburys yesterday and people were just walking past her as if she wasn’t there. Why are people so selfish at this time of year?

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My aunt died today in the Royal, I would like to say thank you to anyone who did help us. I hope those that walked on or stepped over her have a horrible Christmas. Please keep her in your prayers Bishop Buckley.

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I have been in a and e for 17 hours, I am sick of the nhs I will be going private as soon as I leave this hell hole

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12:06 17 hours in A&E is nothing – if you were here in the Republic of Ireland, 5 days on a trolley in A&E is now common practice.

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We don’t do Christmas anymore, we donate to charity as we have all we need, shout out to Sonia, you are more than welcome in my house.

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Pat pray for me, my wife has hit the bottle again she has at least two bottles of vodka in the last 24hours and is passed out on the floor where all the Christmas Presents are. I couldn’t move her so I just put a blanket over her and told the kids that she just tired and sleepy. How am I going to cook a Christmas dinner without poisoning the family.

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It’s a really hard time of year for people and they hit the drink. My husband went to the pub yesterday and has not came back. He lost his mum on xmas, 17 years ago and this time of year is always hard for him.

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My wife and I had an early Christmas sitting. To our left were 4 Priests. Dressed in gear of course. Only the finest of wine was on the table, they were all drinking and very merry. One was driving also. I rang the PSNI and told them. Merry Xmas

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My wife and I were enjoying a pre-Christmas lunch yesterday in Newry, a carvery and very delicious it was too. In walked two priests as bold as brass to dine and the waiters were falling over them like they were muscle bound Gods. We got ignored as all their needs got catered for, Champagne if you please for both and the best of everything for them. My wife said they were probably dining out on the Trocaire box money. I could just about hear them muttering about church gossip, strange goings-on, the next daisy-chain orgy, and no doubt and probably ridiculing their parishioners. Some foolish people stopped to chat with them and offer to buy them more drinks, I said to my wife how gullible these people are. We couldnt believe how they could walk casually into a packed hotel wearing their collars in this climate. They both had several glasses of Champagne so why would you drive after that? We waited deliberately and my wife observed them getting into their car as bold as brass. We took their registration. My wife also wanted to see what type of car it was. Predictably it was the latest flash Audi. What a disgrace!

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1.21: Though you’re jesting and fooling, would be lovely of your Christmas tree fell on you, you dopes. No doubt the pissoir water was adequate for your taste!!

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@1:21pm
FFS! ya pair of brgrudgers, those priests were entitled to the best, good luck to them. They deserve the best having to put up with arseholes like you get a grip! and mind yar business🙄

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Merry Christmas to you keyhole Kate. What did you have to eat and drink? Do please tell.
Try and cheer up for Christmas. Put the jealousy to one side for one day.

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Pat love make the most of that cosy house, Christmas has been ruined this year for me. Woke up and the ceiling in the kitchen had collapsed and there was a burst pipe and the place is ruined. Don’t even have insurance we are just devastated.

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But new houses will one day become old houses. I live in a new house, no fire in it, it’s cold, I have room for a swimming pool and pony but it lacks character.

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I got an awful lot of abuse for my drinking habits over the last few years but there is no point in me getting sober this side of Christmas, I will try in the next year. My head is banging I tore through a litre of whisky yesterday. Merry Christmas everyone and our Pat.

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Good afternoon all.
I see I still manage to amuse you all.
Seasons greetings and best wishes for the new year.

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It’s reassuring to me that other people are in the same predicament as me, with an alcoholic spouse. This is my first year rid of him, last year was the final straw, wakening up on Christmas Day saturated in urine because he couldn’t control his bladder. I implore you all to get rid of them unless they seek help.

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Hi Bishop Pat I got a new phone from Santa and I really like your blog from carter and mummy told me to message you a happy Christmas bye

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Pat how are your dogs keeping? I got a rescue just in time for Christmas but the wee bastard is so hyper and has trailed the Christmas tree down 3 times. I didn’t realise how much hard work they can be.

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Happy Christmas everyone. I don’t know about you lot, but I’m totally exhausted. I can not wait to get to bed, I doubt I will even be in the mood for some Christmas love making.

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I am not a ‘dirty bitch’ Mr Anon. I am a happily married woman and it is a natural human instinct and need for intimacy. Your comment is misogynistic at best.

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Was at midnight mass last night in St Malachey’s in Belfast city centre. Full house and lovely mass with great priest leading it. He was saying he was only 4 months in the parish. Long may he continue. I noticed as well great community spirit in the place , very welcoming which is great to see.

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My goodness, so much tragedy on Christmas Day. Blessed are we who sail through the day. I was fortunate to take my heart attack last week.

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Ulster Protestants don’t like religious Christmas cards. A bit too Catholic for them. They like ones with robins and trees and maybe churches in the snow.

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Sir David explores the macroscopic world of bugs and finds out how its residents outwit their enemies to survive. We didn’t realise he’d been to the Roman church offices!

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I have a house. I invited 4 guests in 3 hours ago and now I’m getting a bit fed up with the behaviour of one of them who has obviously had way too much to drink, is behaving obnoxiously and is wanting a fight with the neighbours next door. The other 3 at the party clearly want rid of the troublesome guest but he’s refusing to leave, telling us that he’s our best friend forever while guzzling my most expensive whiskey and eating the choice tidbits. What should I do Pat?

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3:30pm Put on yar hob nailed boots & swing yar leg as high as it will go ya big eejit and don’t let it happen again next year. Book a cruise or something.

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Fr McGrattan has the look of a future bishop about him. Also his association with QUB won’t do him any harm, C B Daly, P J Walsh, Tony Farquhar were all in post there, one way or other.

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Sure he couldn’t even stand up to Poppy in st Patrick’s before crying for a move out, how the hell could he ever handle other, more fierce personalities than Poppys

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Did you get a chance to watch midnight mass from Armagh yet Pat. It’s available on the rte player for 30 days. Have a look, see what you’re missing out on.

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After this morning’s mass (TLM – SSPX) my partner and I went to the pub for a pre Christmas tipple and had a couple of partridges for Christmas dinner, covered in bacon. Tonight we’ll be inviting some friends over for some Christmas fun, with lots of booze.
A good time had by all.

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Tough couple of days. Said 4 Masses, get to keep all the offerings, over £2k. Had several bottles of red wine, lots of expensive food and lots of sleep in my water bed paid for by the Parish. Glad the volunteer housekeeper is in tomorrow to do my washing and ironing. Night all!

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It was once suggested many moons ago, that the weather made people cry. We now know that it’s emotion.

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Any resolutions for the forthcoming year? Mine is to be more kind, drink less alcohol, exercise more and get a new job.

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Oh Pat I miss my mother so much at this time of year. We never had much but we had each other, when I look back at the photos, there were empty cans of beer around, ash trays full, kids would have had the place in a tip. But we were happy.

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Merry Christmas y’all – the vodka is going down a treat, better slow it down though, not sure if ambulance service still on strike.

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Pat, let’s rejoice, as a gay man, isn’t it amazing we can spend this night with our husbands or partners?
Rather than alone.
Happy Christmas and enjoy your time with Eduardo, I wish I could spend this night with my ‘partner’
X

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