Abu Dhabi

24 masses in 13 languages to mark Christmas in UAE

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on December 24, 2019 | Last updated on December 24, 2019 at 07.05 am
Christmas, Christian, 24 masses, 13 languages, Christmas, UAE, Churches,
People attending the Christmas Eve Mass at the St. Mary's Church in Dubai.-Photo by Dhes Handumon

Churches are all decked up to welcome the believers.

Christian faithful across Abu Dhabi are in festive spirit and ready to celebrate Christmas, which falls on working day of Wednesday.

Churches are all decked up to welcome the believers. There are special masses, rituals and feast. Malankara Orthodox Church Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius, who is in on a special visit to Abu Dhabi from India, will lead the prayers at the St George Cathedral in Abu Dhabi.

"Jesus Christ was the prince of peace. The message of Christmas is peace, which is for all people. There is no discrimination of caste, creed, colour, language or anything."

The visiting priest praised the magnanimity of the UAE leadership to permit various religions to practise and celebrate their festivals. "The UAE declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, which includes compassion, love, peace and mercy. It is very significant that we celebrate this great feast in this Year of Tolerance. The diaspora community of Christians here in the country, who came from different parts of the world have great freedom here to celebrate the great feast. This is the actual meaning of tolerance."

Nikhil Jose, a resident, is looking forward to the festival but said major celebrations will be on Friday when it's an off day.

"This is my fourth Christmas in the UAE. There will be services held at the St Joseph's Cathedral, but both of the days are working days, which don't give people like us to spend much time at the church. Even though I will try and attend masses, the big feast will be set aside for Friday. Our friends will get together this weekend."

Meanwhile, festivities have started for Anjali Ann Abraham and friends. "This time around my mother is off to India, so celebrations are a bit muted. However, I am making it up with friends and colleagues. I went out with colleagues on Monday evening for office Christmas party. On Tuesday, we all will visit Mar Thoma Church in Mussafah. Luckily, my company has given me a holiday on Wednesday to enjoy the festival," she said.

24 masses in 13 languages to mark Christmas

Hundreds of thousands of faithful will gather at churches to pray and mark the festival of Christmas. The celebrations will start from the Christmas Eve today.

St Joseph's Cathedral Abu Dhabi will see faithful of different nationalities take part in Christmas vigil mass. The rituals will start from 7.15pm, followed by carol singing and high mass held outdoors by midnight. On Christmas day tomorrow, there will be as many as 24 masses in 13 languages starting from as early as 4 am and the last one by 8.30pm. Prayers will be held in Arabic, English, Italian, French, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Konkani and Sinhala languages.

St Paul's Church, Musaffah, will hold carol singing, mass and other events from 6 pm on Tuesday. There will be masses held from 6.30pm in five languages on Wednesday.

There will be weekend celebrations held at churches too. "Since Christmas is on Wednesday, most faithful will be able to celebrate properly on Friday (7pm). We have vast activities with up to 5,000 faithful expected to participate," Father Benny Mathew, St George Orthodox Cathedral, said.

Mass Timings in Dubai

>> St. Joseph Cathedral Abu Dhabi


11 pm Carol signing by all faithful

12 Midnight high mass (Outdoor)


4 am Malayalam (St. Joseph)

9 am English (Outdoor)

9 am French (St. Joseph)

12 Polish (St. Joseph)

12 English (Outdoor)

4 pm Urdu (St. Joseph)

5 pm Italian (St. Joseph)

6 pm Spanish (Parish Hall)

6 pm Konkani (St. Joseph)

7 pm English (Outdoor)

7 pm Tamil (St. Therese)

>> St. Mary's Catholic Church, Dubai 

December 24 (Tuesday, Christmas Eve)

12 midnight solemn high mass (English)

December 25 (Wednesday, Christmas Day)

3pm, 4.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm (English)

9pm (Arabic)

>> St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Jebel Ali

December 24 (Tuesday, Christmas Eve)

2pm (Korean)

4pm (English)

6pm (Syro-Malankara)

8:15pm (Syro-Malabar)

11pm Christmas Vigil Mass (English)

December 25 (Wednesday, Christmas Day)

6:15 am, 7.30am, 9am, 11am, 7pm, 8pm (English)

10am (Sinhalese)

10am, 3pm (Italian)

6pm (Arabic)

8pm (Tagalog)

>> St. Michael's Church, Sharjah

December 24 (Tuesday, Christmas Eve)

10pm (Arabic)

December 25 (Wednesday, Christmas Day)

3am, 3pm (Syro-Malabar)

11am (Tamil)

11am (Konkani)

11am (Marathi)

1pm (Sri Lankan)




Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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