“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
A child is born for us,
and a son is given to us;
his scepter of power rests upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called Messenger of great counsel. (Isaiah 9:5)
O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature
and still more wonderfully restored it,
grant, we pray,
that we may share in the divinity of Christ
who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.*
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God. John 1
We plan to celebrate the family Christmas morning, with our traditional customs,
perhaps with a Christmas tree gift sharing with the children.
When we come to church to celebrate our faith together,
there is a different feel than midnight Mass or even an early
Still, the choir draws us in immediately.
We look at each other and smile and we see the bright eyes of
the elderly and single friends around the community.
We know why we are here, and it is easy to join in the singing.
Let us give thanks today. Let us repeat the sounding joy of a faith-filled Christmas.
Let’s go forth to share glad tidings with our family and friends.
Let’s help our Lord usher in an age of justice and peace,
beginning in our our hearts this day.
Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various way to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. Hebrews 1
At the birth of Jesus, angels proclaimed peace to the world.
We worship him now with joy, and we pray with hearts full of faith:
May your birth bring peace to all.
Lord, fill your holy people with whatever good they need,
– let the mystery of your birth be the source of our peace.
You came as chief shepherd and guardian of our lives,
– let the pope and bishops be faithful channels of your many gifts of grace.
King from all eternity, you desired to be born within time
and to experience the day-to-day life of men and women,
– share your gift of unending life with us, weak people doomed to death.
Awaited from the beginning of the world, you came only in the fullness of time,
-now reveal your presence to those who are expecting you.
You became one of us and gave new life to our human condition in the grip of death,
-now give the fullness of life to all who have died.
This day feels so different already, dear Lord.
You promised the glory of this day by the birth of Jesus.
So humble, so simple, such a complete act of love.
Make me one of your people of the light
and help me to be faithful to your word.
I am filled with the joy of the world
and ask you to fill my heart
with a longing for your justice and peace.
My savior – you are here with me on this day,
bringing life to the waiting world.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.