TV & Radio

The pick of the Christmas season


The Secret of Kells.

Catholic University of America’s Christmas Concert

EWTN Christmas Eve 11am and Christmas Day 3.30pm

The annual Christmas concert presented by the Catholic University of America, featuring a brilliant blend of angelic voices and the wonderful sounds of the Christmas Season.

The Word is Born: Christmas with the Louisville Chorus

EWTN Christmas Eve 3.30pm and Christmas Day 10pm

The Louisville Chorus celebrates the sounds of the season in this special presentation of Christmas favourites. The choir performs in the historic Saint Martin of Tours Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Carols from King’s

BBC 2 Christmas Eve 5.45pm (and 11.40am Christmas Day)

A solo chorister sings Once In Royal David’s City to begin the traditional celebration of Christmas from The Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. The world-famous choir, directed by Stephen Cleobury, sings a glorious selection of carols.

Christmas Carols From Cork 

RTÉ 1 Christmas Eve 8.20pm (and Christmas Day 12.40pm)

Presented by Mary Kennedy, this year the Christmas carols show is set beside the river Lee in the grounds of  University College Cork with performances soloist Celine Byrne, singer/songwriter Brian Kennedy and special guest Enya, who performs in the Honan Chapel.   

The Uncountable Laughter of the Sea

TG4 Christmas Eve 8.55pm

A poetic mediation over certain subjects in life, peace of mind, serenity, sustainability, and loss. The late Monsignor Padráig Ó’Fiannachta, a distinguished linguist, scholar and poet, acts as our guide. 

New: Grantchester Christmas Special

UTV Irl Christmas Eve 9.00pm

Christmas special of the drama series set in the early 1950s. It is the week before Christmas 1954, and vicar Sidney Chambers is rushed off his feet with church duties. He has little time to think about his belovedamanda, estranged from her husband and now heavily pregnant. 

Midnight Mass

RTÉ 1 and RTÉ Radio 1 Christmas Eve 11.15pm

The Solemn Celebration of the Christmas Vigil Mass comes from The Church of The Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin, a parish which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Music is from the Donnybrook Parish Choir under the direction of Catherine Killoran, accompanied by organist Michael Quinn. The celebrant is Mgr. Lorcan O’Brien.

Midnight Mass from St Chad’s Catholic Cathedral. 

BBC 1 Christmas Eve 11.45pm

A traditional Christmas Eve Midnight Mass led by the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley and featuring favourite carols including ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ sung by the renowned St Chad’s Cathedral Choir. 

Vox Nostra with Vlad Smishkewych

RTÉ lyric fm, Christmas Day 7am

Join the host of Vox Nostra, Vlad Smishkewych, for RTÉ Lyric fm’s dedicated early music programme for tunes familiar and new, spanning over a thousand Christmases. 

Mass Live From The Vatican 

RTÉ 1 Christmas Day 10.00am

Mass with Pope Francis from Rome.

Urbi Et Orbi

RTÉ 1 Christmas Day 11.00am (and EWTN)

Urbi et Orbi Pope Francis Christmas Message  from St Peters Basilica, Rome, with commentary and translation from Fr Thomas McCarthy, OP.  

Songs of Praise – The Christmas Big Sing

BBC 1 Christmas Day 11.00am

Gareth Malone and Laura Mvula join Aled Jones for a feast of favourite carols and festive music in a seasonal special from the Royal Albert Hall.

Give Up Yer Aul Sins 

RTÉ 1 Christmas Day 11.25am

‘The Birth Of Jesus’. Highly regarded animation with the voices of inner city Dublin children.

Christmas Message From The Primates Of All-Ireland 

RTÉ 1 Christmas Day 12.25pm

The Roman Catholic and Anglican Primates of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke, offer a seasonal message of faith, hope and charity.  

Gospel Christmas

BBC 2 Christmas Day 8.30pm (and 12.25am St Stephen’s night)

Beverley Knight and Gregory Porter introduce a feast of uplifting festive music from the cream of the British gospel scene, at the church of St John in Hackney, including the longstanding London Community Gospel Choir 

Film: Doubt

UTV Ireland Christmas Day 9.00pm 

(2008) Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams. Powerful drama. Sister Beauvier, the stern headmistress of a Catholic school in 1960s New York, suspects popular pastor Father Flynn of an inappropriate relationship with a young black pupil. Flynn is outraged at the suggestion, but cannot prove her wrong, while Sister Beauvier is determined to keep pressing for the truth. Director. John Patrick Shanley.

Tommy Fleming – Songs For A Winter’s Night

 TV 3 Christmas Day (night) 12.05am and St Stephen’s Day 3.20pm

Recorded near his home in Bellek Castle, Ballina, Co Mayo, ‘Live at Christmas’ is one of Tommy Fleming’s most loved albums. The artist was joined by a very special audience of family and friends for this seasonal musical evening. 

Conversations the World Over with Raymond Arroyo

EWTN Christmas Day (night) 2am, and Tuesday, 5.30pm

Singing legend, the late Andy Williams, and four-time Grammy winner, Aaron Neville, join Raymond Arroyo for some Christmas conversation and song.

Christmas with Collin Raye, featuring Andrea Thomas

EWTN Christmas Day (night) 3am

Country music star Collin Raye and Andrea Thomas presents some of the most cherished songs of the Christmas season.

The Simpsons

Channel 4 St Stephen’s Day 11.05am

A cool priest (guest star Liam Neeson) convinces Bart and Homer to become Catholics. Funny, with some dodgy Catholic stereotypes. 

Film: Calvary 

RTÉ 1 St Stephen’s Day 9.15pm

(2014) Stars. Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd. Director. John Michael McDonagh. After he is threatened during a confession, by a victim of clerical sexual abuse, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him. Adult fare!

Storyville. My Nazi Legacy 

BBC 4 Tuesday, December 27, 11.00pm

Documentary. Three men travel together across Europe. For two of them the journey involves a confrontation with the acts of their fathers, who were both senior Nazi officers. For the third, the eminent human rights lawyer and author Philippe Sands, it means visiting the place where much of his own Jewish family was destroyed by the fathers of the two men he has come to know. 

Film: The Secret Of Kells

RTÉ 2 Saturday, December 31, 9am

(2008) Stars. Evan McGuire, Brendan Gleeson. Directors. Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey. A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.  

In Concert: Rossini – Messe Solennelle

EWTN Monday, January 2, 6am

From Germany, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle is conducted by Riccardo Chailly and performed by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Joy of Music

EWTN Monday, January 2 (night), 4am

‘Great Moments of Christmas, Part 2’ – Host Diane Bish revisits special moments from Christmases past with guests Zamfir, Susann McDonald and the Joy of Music Chorale plus a special appearance by Chantille.

Solemnnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

EWTN Friday, January 6, 9am and 11pm

Mass of the Epiphany with Pope Francis - From St. Peter’s Basilica.

Quest for Shakespeare

EWTN Friday, January 6, 7pm

‘The Problem of Ophelia’ – True identity of ghost, along with his Catholicism reveals he is a soul in purgatory, destined for Heaven. Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet is discussed – is she innocent or does she share blame for her fate?