The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev Justin Welby, was due to give his Christmas Day message today, but had to cancel due to illness.
The full text of the Archbishop's address has been published on www.archbishopofcanterbury.org, Lambeth Palace said.
He had been due to talk about how the true spirit of Christmas cannot be captured in fairytale endings, using the example of the First World War Christmas truce in 1914.
The Archbishop had been due to say: "The truce illustrates something of the heart of Christmas, whereby God sends his Son, that vulnerable sign of peace, to a weary war-torn world.
"The problem is that the way it is told now it seems to end with a 'happy ever after'.
"Of course we like Christmas stories with happy endings: singing carols, swapping photos, shaking hands, sharing chocolate, but the following day the war continued with the same severity.
"Nothing had changed; it was a one-day wonder. That is not the world in which we live, truces are rare."
Our very own Sangeeta Bhabra went along to interview Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual leader of the Church of England.
He looks back at the highs and lows over the last 12 months and talks about his personal memories of Christmas.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will not deliver his Christmas Day sermon because of illness.
Lambeth Palace said the Most Rev Justin Welby has been suffering from a "severe cold" for several days and decided this morning that he was too unwell to speak at the annual Canterbury Cathedral service.
A Lambeth Palace spokesman said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, is suffering from a severe cold and will, with great regret, no longer be preaching the sermon at Canterbury Cathedral this morning.
"The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev Robert Willis, will deliver a homily."
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will not deliver his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral because of a "severe cold", Lambeth Palace said.
Don't let the pressure of a perfect Christmas ruin your day.
It's perhaps what you expect the Archbishop of Canterbury to say, but Justin Welby is talking from personal experience.
Growing up, Christmas time was memorable for all the wrong reasons. It's just one of the things he spoke to Sangeeta about when she met the spiritual leader of the Church of England at Canterbury Cathedral.
"Don't let the pressure of having a perfect Christmas ruin your day", is the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury as we all countdown to the big day.
At 6pm on ITV Meridian, we will have a special interview with Archbishop Justin Welby.
He will be talking to Sangeeta about some of the big issues that have defined 2014 and share some very personal memories from his childhood.
He will discuss spending Christmas with his father, who was an alcoholic:
The new Bishop of Basingstoke has been consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Winchester Cathedral. Reverend Canon David Williams grew up in Uganda before becoming Vicar of Christ Church in Winchester in 2002.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said the Church of England still has a "long way to go" as he spoke of the scars and "hurt" suffered by campaigners in favour of women's ordination in the face of "knee-jerk" resistance to change.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the ordination of the first women to the priesthood in the Church of England should not overlook the "costly grind" of those who fought for the change to take place.
In a sermon at a national service in St Paul's Cathedral to mark the anniversary, the Archbishop warned against "triumphalism" but said the ordination of women should be celebrated with a "fullness of heart and no holding back".
The Archbishop of Canterbury has led a service today to mark the 20th anniversary of the first female priests to join the Church of England.
Hundreds of women priests and their supporters accompanied The Most Reverand Justin Welby in a procession from Westminster, to St Paul's Cathedral.
The service has heard readings and personal testimonies.
Those at the service included senior Church of England female clergy such as the Very Rev June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, the Venerable Cherry Vann, Archdeacon of Rochdale, and the Venerable Dr Jane Hedges, Archdeacon of Westminster.
The General Synod gave approval for women priests in 1992 and the first wave of women to be ordained took place in March 1994. The move sparked a walkout by some traditionalists.
The number of ordained women in the Church of England has now risen to around a third.
The service comes before the Church of England is expected to give final approval to legislation introducing women bishops in July, paving the way for the first female bishop to be appointed by early next year.
Hundreds of young people have joined the Archbishop and Diocese of Canterbury on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. Around five hundred children aged under eighteen made their way across East Kent to the Cathedral, where a special service was held.
David Johns reports, speaking to the Most Reverend Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) and French pilgrim Audrey Vanpeperstraete.