Television and radio highlights

Television and radio highlights Dáithí Ó Sé host carols from St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.
Christmas Crackers
Keep Christ in Christmas, a Catholics Come Home special presentation EWTN Saturday December 18, 7pm also Thursday (night) December 23, 3.30am

A tour behind the scenes of the making of Santa’s Priority, a Christmas evangomercial and discover what a small group of Catholics are doing to combat the secular war on Christmas and to glorify Jesus, the reason for the season.

In Concert: Christmas in Vienna EWTN Saturday December 18, 9.30pm

Celebrate Christ’s birth with a special concert of international music by the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, Singing Academy, and world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir performing Christmas songs from around the world.

Vox Nostra with Vlad Smishkewych RTÉ Lyric FM Sunday December 19, 7.00am

The gift bag is full of early music this year – join Vlad for a pre-Christmas Vox Nostra with old favourites and new releases – yuletide carols and villancicos, Christmas sinfonias and concertos, and new early music releases for the festive season.

Sunday Morning Live BBC One Sunday December 19, 10.30am

Topical magazine show hosted by Sean Fletcher and Jacqui Joseph covering the week’s talking points and exploring the ethical and religious issues of the day.

Mass RTÉ One Sunday December 19, 11.00am

Fr Bill O’Shaughnessy celebrates Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent with members of the Tallaght community. Music is led by Arabella Voices.

Heaven Made BBC One Sunday December 19, 11.30am also BBC Two Christmas Eve 8.20am

Following the nuns and monks at three Benedictine abbeys in England and Ireland as they craft traditional gifts for the upcoming Christmas festivities. Includes Kylemore Abbey (Ep. 2).

Give Up Yer Aul Sins RTÉ One Sunday December 19, 11.50am also Christmas Day 8.55am

The Birth Of Jesus: Give Up Yer Aul Sins is an Academy Award® nominated short film, which humorously reenacts original recordings of Dublin schoolrooms in the 1960s.

Songs of Praise BBC One Sunday December 19, 1.15pm

Katherine Jenkins looks forward to Christmas with a host of festive favourite carols from Westminster Abbey, including Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful. There are special performances from the Abbey choir and from Gospel singer of the year Monique McKen with Tessera.

Christmas Concert from Knock EWTN Sunday December 19, 8pm also Christmas Day 9.30pm and St Stephen’s Day (night) 2am and Monday December 27, 10am

Experience the sights and sounds of Christmas from the Marian Shrine in Knock – concert of Christmas carols, sung by candlelight.

Have Yourself a Mary Little Christmas RTÉ One Monday December 20, 10.30pm

For 27 years, Mary Kennedy presented the annual Carols show on RTÉ One. Here, she re-visits some of her favourites from those shows, including performances by Enya, Johnny Logan, Sinead O’Connor, Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill, Donal Lunny, Ralph McTell, Imelda May, Loah and Lisa Hannigan and Eimear Quinn.

Reclaiming the carol EWTN Monday (night) December 20, 4am also Tuesday December 21, 11am

The late Charles Dickens returns to find that A Christmas Carol, and the holiday it celebrates, has become overshadowed by glitz and commercialism in this touching story about the true meaning of Christmas.

Luke: Meek scribe of Christ EWTN Tuesday December 21, 2.30pm also Christmas Eve (night) 2am

Dr Timothy O’Donnell explains St Luke’s focus on God’s mercy, his sensitivity toward women portrayed in the Gospel, the events in Jesus’ life, the Holy Spirit and how he writes in a historical context.

Scotland’s Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle BBC Two Wednesday December 22, 6.20am

Ben Fogle explores the ancient sea roads of the Inner Hebrides. He visits Iona, the cradle of Christianity, and learns how Columba’s legacy inspires people today.

The Universal Mass with the African Gospel Choir RTÉ Lyric FM Thursday December 23, 11am

A new sung Mass composed by J.J. O’Shea, who has invited various groups to perform it and give their own interpretation, drawing on their tradition, idiom and culture.

Heaven Made BBC Two Thursday December 23, 8.15am

Following the nuns and monks at three Benedictine abbeys in England and Ireland as they craft traditional gifts for the upcoming Christmas festivities. (Ep. 1).

Amazing Grace TG4 Thursday December 23, 10.30pm also BBC Two Christmas Eve 11pm

Aretha Franklin: A critically acclaimed must-see Gospel concert documentary recording a seminal performance in Aretha Franklin’s career in 1972, with a local Baptist choir and the Revd James Cleveland – a huge inspiration in her early musical career.

Carols from King’s BBC Four Thursday (night) December 23, 12.30am

On the sixtieth anniversary of this Christmas institution, Juliet Stevenson narrates the story of Carols from King’s, how it was first televised in 1954 and how each year the soloist is selected for the traditional opening of Once In Royal David’s City.

The Universal Mass with Emma Langford RTÉ Lyric FM Christmas Eve 11am

A new sung Mass, composed by J.J. O’Shea. The second setting is an accompanied Mass sung by award-winning singer Emma Langford in a setting for string quartet composed and arranged by guitarist and composer Paul de Grae.

Carols from King’s BBC Two Christmas Eve 6.15pm and Christmas Day 8.45am and BBC Four Thurs (night) 12.30am

Directed by Daniel Hyde, the world-famous choir sings carols old and new including The Holly and the Ivy, In the Stillness and O Holy Night.

Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve EWTN Christmas Eve 6.30 pm

Pope Francis presides over Christmas Eve Mass from St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican

Christmas Carols: Christmas In St Patrick’s RTÉ One Christmas Eve 8.15 pm and Christmas Day 9am

Dáithí Ó Sé hosts this festive show in St Patrick’s Cathedral, newly restored in time for its 800th anniversary. Performers and guests include Andrea Corr, Declan O’Rourke, Lisa O’Neill, the Choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Midnight Mass RTÉ One Christmas Eve 11pm

Mass of the Nativity presided over by Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin from the Church of St James, Grange, Co. Louth. Music led by Grange Parish Ensemble, with soloists Zoe Conway and John McIntyre.

Midnight Mass BBC One Christmas Eve 11.45pm

Celebrate the traditional first Mass of Christmas with a joyful service live from St Chad’s Cathedral in the heart of Birmingham.

A Christmas Leap of Faith RTÉ Radio One Christmas Day 8am

Michael Comyn offers a festive mix of warmth, music, inspiration and humour in the company of a variety of guests.

The Cork Nativity RTÉ One Christmas Day 9.55am

The people of Cork bring the Gospel story of the nativity to life in a variety of settings across the rebel county in this charming, multi award-winning short film.

Mass For Christmas Day RTÉ One Christmas Day 10am

Fr Tom McCarthy OP offers commentary and translation for this Eurovision Mass from la Chapelle du Christ-Souverain-Prêtre (the Chapel of Christ, the Sovereign Priest), La Clarté-Dieu, in Orsay, Northern France.

Urbi et Orbi RTÉ One Christmas Day 11am also EWTN 11am

Pope Francis delivers his traditional message and blessing “to the city and to the world” from St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

Aifreann Lá Nollag Raidio na Gaeltachta Lá Nollag 11.30am

Ó Séipéal Naomh Ainnín, An Cnoc, Indreabhán, Gaillimh. An tAthair Clement Mac Mánuis is é an sagart.2

The Archbishops’ Christmas Message RTÉ One Christmas Day 12.15pm

The Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates of All-Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop John McDowell, offer a Christmas message and blessing.

Angela’s Christmas RTÉ Two Christmas Day 6.15pm

Set in Ireland in the early 1900s, Angela’s Christmas is a funny, heart-warming and poignant story about the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas time.

Angela’s Christmas Wish RTÉ One Christmas Day 7.25pm

Angela’s Christmas Wish is a heart-warming story of a determined little girl who sets out on an adventure to reunite her family in time for Christmas. She and her family set out on a new Christmas adventure in their hometown of Limerick in the early 1900s.

Songs of Praise BBC One St Stephen’s Day 1.15pm

Daniel O’Donnel’s faith journey: Claire McCollum is in Ireland to meet the ever-popular Daniel O’Donnell as he celebrates his 60th birthday to find out how his strong Catholic faith motivates his life and his singing.