TV & Radio Pick of the Season

TV & Radio Pick of the Season Mary Kennedy will present ‘Christmas from Home’.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
BBC 2 Sat Dec 19, 9am

(1965) Max Von Sydow. From his lowly but venerated birth through his adult years as a teacher roving the Holy Land, Jesus attracts admirers and enemies unlike any man before. Sweeping cinematic retelling of the life of Jesus Christ.

In concert: The King’s Singers – Christmas
EWTN Sat (night) Dec 19, 1.30am and St Stephen’s Day 4.00pm

One of the world’s most celebrated ensembles performs traditional Christmas classics such as Stille Nacht, Veniveni Emmanuel and many others. No streaming, satellite only.

The Promise
EWTN Sat (night) Dec 19, 2.30am also Mon Dec 21, 5.30pm

A touching and insightful dramatisation, looking inside Gospel events relating to the Annunciation and birth of Christ.

RTÉ 1 Sun Dec 20, 11.00am

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Fr Michael Toomey celebrates Mass in the RTÉ Studios, Donnybrook, with musicians and parishioners from Holy Family Church, Ardfinnan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

Songs of Praise
BBC One Sun Dec 20, 1.15pm

From St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Aled Jones counts down the top ten carols, as voted for by viewers. With guests including Sir Cliff Richard, Katherine Jenkins, the Kingdom Choir, The Priests, the Choir of St Paul’s and opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

The Tullamore Nativity
RTÉ News Now Sun Dec 20, 2.15pm.

The people and churches of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, come together for a uniquely Irish telling of the Nativity story.

Angela’s Christmas
RTÉ Sun Dec 20, 7.30pm

Set in Ireland in the early 1900s, this 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.

Soul Noel: Gospel and Soul Stars Sing Christmas
BBC 4 Sun Dec 20, 11pm

A Christmas concert of classic festive carols with a gospel and soul twist, featuring Beverley Knight, Carleen Anderson, Ola Onabule, Bryn Christopher and the Golden Gate Quartet.

New! Reclaiming the Carol
EWTN Sun (night) Dec 20, 2.30am, also Tues Dec 22, 9.30am, and Mon Dec 28, 9 pm

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.

A Christmas History of Sacred Music
BBC 4 Wed Dec 23, 8pm and Wed (night) 2.25am

Simon Russell Beale takes a journey through Europe as he explores how the sound of Christmas has evolved in response to changing ideas about the Nativity. Music is performed by Harry Christophers and his choir, The Sixteen.

Katherine Jenkins Christmas Spectacular
ITV Christmas Eve 2.15 pm

Classical music superstar Katherine Jenkins presents a magical and unique Christmas musical from the iconic Royal Albert Hall, bringing joy and festive celebrations to audiences around the world this holiday season.

Carols From Kings
BBC 2 Christmas Eve 5.30pm and Christmas Day 6.55am

The world-famous King’s College Choir sing carols old and new, all filmed without a congregation and with the choir socially distanced to protect against coronavirus. With poems from Toni Morrison and Howard Thurman.

Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve in Rome
EWTN Christmas Eve 8.30pm

Pope Francis celebrates the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord from St Peter’s Basilica.

The Cork Nativity
RTÉ 1 Christmas Eve 8.00pm, and Christmas Day 9.55am

The people of Cork give life and voice to the 2,000 year old Gospel Nativity story, in a hope-filled celebration of their diversity, culture and spirit.

Christmas at Home
RTÉ 1 Christmas Eve 9.10pm and Christmas Day 7.20am

Mary Kennedy presents a celebration of Christmas with musicians and singers performing from across the country. Guests include the Maynooth University Chamber Orchestra, Schola Gregoriana, the National Seminary Choir, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Cor nanÓg.

Midnight Mass
RTÉ One Christmas Eve 11pm

Fr Tom Gilroy celebrates Mass from the Church of St Finian, Clonard, Co. Meath. With the Clonard Music Ensemble directed by Tally Claffey.

Carols at Christmas
ITV Christmas Eve 11.15pm

The popular musical duo Michael Ball and Alfie Boe host a traditional Christmas Eve celebration from Manchester.

Midnight Mass
BBC One Christmas Eve 11.45pm

The traditional Christmas Eve service live from the architecturally stunning Catholic cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Bristol. The liturgy is led by the Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang, and the preacher is Canon Bosco MacDonald. The cathedral’s Schola Cantorum, conducted by Richard Jeffrey-Gray, sing Christmas favourites.

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 duly socially distanced guests, including Alice Leahy, Ellen Coyne, the Rev. Chris Kennedy and members of The Mornington Singers .

Mass on Christmas Day
RTÉ 1 Christmas Day 10.00am (also RTÉ Radio One Extra and Longwave 252)

Live Eurovision Mass from the chapel of St Dominique Savio in Morges in the French-speaking canton of Switzerland. The celebrant is Fr Charlemagne Malonga Diawara-Doré and the preacher is Abbot Jean Burin des Roziers, with commentary and translation by Mary Kennedy.

Urbi et Orbi
EWTN Christmas Day 11am, RTÉ One 11.45am

Pope Francis offers ‘to the city and the world’ a message of prayer and hope, together with his traditional blessing, from St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, with commentary and translation by Fr Michael Collins.

The Archbishops’ Christmas Message
RTÉ One Christmas Day 12.10pm and RTÉ Radio One 1.05pm

The Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop John McDowell, offer a shared Christmas blessing, reflecting on a year in which faith has inspired many people to reach out to strangers and to discover hope and resilience during the pandemic.

The First Christmas
EWTN St Stephen’s Day 9am

A colourful, animated production, narrated by Christopher Plummer, that tells the traditional story of the birth of Jesus.

Angela’s Christmas Wish
RTE One St Stephen’s Day 1.25pm

Charming animation about a little girl, baby Jesus in the crib and her desire to have her father home for Christmas.

Hidden Figures
Channel 4 St Stephen’s Day 6.40pm

(2016)Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe. Fact-based drama about three extraordinary women, whose genius in mathematics and engineering made a significant contribution to the US space race. They cope with racism and sexism. Positive towards religious faith.

Songs of Praise
BBC One Sun Dec 27, 1.20pm

Mark De-Lisser joins soul legend Mica Paris as she shares her journey of faith from her Pentecostal upbringing, through global fame, family tragedy and her return to gospel music.

The Sound of Music
BBC One Sun Dec 29, 3.45pm, and BBC 4 Thurs Dec 31, 8pm

Classic film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in which a novice nun (Julie Andrews) leaves her convent to accept a position as governess to a large family.

Black Narcissus
BBC One Sun Dec 27, 9pm

New drama series. Sr Clodagh and her group of Anglo-Catholic nuns travel from Darjeeling on a mission to the palace of Mopu in the Himalayas. With the help of Mr Dean, the agent of General Toda Rai, they start to repair the palace and open a school. But the unsettling atmosphere of their surroundings, the distracting presence of Mr Dean and stories of the palace’s previous occupants weigh heavily on them all, reawakening memories in Clodagh that she thought she had suppressed.

Dementia Choir at Christmas
BBC 2 Wed Dec 30, 6.30am

Two years ago, Vicky McClure took to the stage with a choir of people living with dementia. In this heart-warming Christmas special, Vicky tells the story of the choir in lockdown.

Queen OfKatwe
RTE 1 Wed Dec 30, 1.35pm

MadinaNalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o. A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess in a Christian mission.

Gregorian Chant – the Music of the Angels
EWTN Thurs Dec 31, 6am

The rich history of the Gregorian Chant from Pope Gregory the Great in the Sixth Century to present day, featuring insights and a moving performance by the Cistercian monks of Vienna.