Faithful urged to reach out to God
The Archbishop of Westminster is due to urge people struggling with faith to "reach out" to the extended hand of God.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols will draw on the depiction, in the BBC drama The Nativity, of Joseph struggling to believe that Mary's child is the son of God.
At Westminster Cathedral's midnight mass, the most senior Roman Catholic in England and Wales will say: "This holy night is as important as ever. On this night there will be many sharing Joseph's struggle for faith.
"May they, too, reach out and accept the outstretched hand of God coming to us in the child so as to be close to us in our vulnerability."
The archbishop will also reflect on Pope Benedict's visit to Britain in September, saying it restored the confidence of Catholics.
"The marvellous scenes during the apostolic visit of Pope Benedict in September suggested that faith in God is like an underground stream," he will say.
"Largely invisible, the stream nurtures so much fertile growth on a rocky landscape, and only every now and then, burst out in a glorious and reassuring sight.
"The visit strengthened our faith and restored so much of our confidence.
"Indeed, faith in God is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be discovered afresh, and a gift which serves the deepest good of our society."