Every Christmas, in Scripture readings, prayers and traditional carols, we are reminded of the great Christmas mystery, that God himself took flesh and was born amongst us at Bethlehem. The meaning of Christmas is supposed to be the recognition and appreciation of the birth of the one who loves us and died for us.
I am confident that every church in the Cook Islands will celebrate Christmas well according to their own tradition. The message of Christmas will not be forgotten. However there is another side to Christmas which has its place too, and that is that it’s a time to be together, have family gatherings and appreciate one another. There is also the buying of presents, work parties, and holidaying.
Sadly, I also have a precautionary message: please take heed of the warnings issued by the police about alcohol and drugs. It seems we are reaching the stage of playing Russian roulette when riding bikes at night. None of us want to see another victim buried. Celebrate moderately, not excessively.
On behalf of the Religious Advisory Council I wish every Cook Islander and visitor to the country a joyful Christmas.
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; Authority rests upon his shoulders;
And he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father Prince of peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Bishop Paul Donoghue, Chairman - Religious Advisory Council.
Church service times.
Catholic Church mass times for Christmas and New Year. St Joseph’s Cathedral Avarua: Christmas Eve December 24th 8pm, Christmas day December 25th 10am (One Mass), December 31st 8pm, New Year’s Day January 1st 2020 9am. St Paul’s Parish Titikaveka: Christmas Eve December 24th 6pm, Christmas day December 25th 10.30am (service only), December 31st 6.30pm. Sacred Hearts Parish Matavera: Christmas Eve December 24th 8pm, Christmas day 8am, New Year’s Day January 1st 8am. St Mary’s Parish Arorangi: Times yet to be confirmed.
Cook Islands Christian Church festive season service times on Rarotonga: Christmas Eve11.30pm, Christmas Day 10am; New Year’s Eve 11.30pm, New Year’s Day 10am.
Pure Epetoma/Week-long Service - Daily January 5th to 12th (no service on Saturday 11th). Note the service times for each church/Ekalesia will differ, some Ekalesia.