Cardinal Wilton Gregory offered a special Nativity reflection for 2020 in a video posted by the Archdiocese of Washington just before Christmas. 

In the video, the cardinal noted that during the holidays, families hand down customs and stories to their children and grandchildren.

 “Traditions bind us together as a family,” he said, noting that the Catholic Church also has many beautiful traditions, handed down by our ancestors in the faith that “express who we are as a Christian family.”

 Cardinal Gregory noted that this Christmas, Catholics may not be able to gather together for some of their favorite traditions in order to be safe during the coronavirus pandemic, including seeing Nativity plays retelling the Christmas story.

 “While we may not be able to gather in person for these celebrations, we can still join together to hear the words that announce to the world the Good News that Jesus Christ is born,” the cardinal said.

 In the video, Cardinal Gregory then invited Catholics to sit with their families and hear the story of the birth of Christ, and he read the Nativity story from Luke 2:1-20.

 After finishing the reading, the cardinal said, “May the Good News of Christ’s birth bring you comfort and joy this Christmas and always.”

 Cardinal Gregory will be the main celebrant of the 10 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass on Dec. 24 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington and the noon Christmas Day Mass on Dec. 25 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Both churches are open, however seating in the city’s houses of worship is limited to a 250-person maximum capacity due to the District of Columbia’s coronavirus restrictions, so people had to register to attend Masses there in advance.

For the 10 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, a livestream will be available on the archdiocesan YouTube page , and other archdiocesan social media outlets. The Christmas Eve Cathedral Mass at 10 p.m. will also be available on the following YouTube link, on Dec. 24. 

For the 12 noon Mass on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, at the National Shrine, a livestream will be available on the shrine’s website,, YouTube page, and its FaceBook page.