Electronic Prayer Book

Christmas Day Morning

 
 
 

Part 1. From the Divine Office

 

 

Opening

 

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord, make haste to my help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Halleluia.

 

The Nativity of Jesus Christ

Today the Church celebrates the Birth of the Word of God according to the flesh. In relatively recent times the three Masses on Christmas have symbolised respectively Christ’s human birth from a Virgin, His spiritual birth in our souls and His eternal birth from the Father. This Feast may have been instituted at this date to replace a pagan feast which honoured the Sun.

Saint Francis of Assisi was the first to erect a representation of the stable and manger in which Christ was born. This very beautiful custom is followed in most parish churches and is beloved by Catholics and other Christians alike. Visits to such mangers help to make vivid the Nativity scene, but we should remember that the altar actually is our Lord’s birthplace and manger-throne.

At the altar, Jesus, Who was born into the world to communicate divine Life to us, feeds us with His Body and Blood, His Soul and His Divinity, conforming our wills to His and vivifying us with His Love, that we may live as “Other Christs.”

May the Infant Saviour be born in your heart today. Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Day Acclamations For Reflection

Celebrating the prophecies of our Messiah’s coming, His birth, and His return at the end of time.

 
 
  • Profound peace shall flower in the days of the Lord, and He shall rule.
 
  • Truth sprang out of the earth, and justice looked down from heaven.
 
  • Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice before the Lord, for He is coming.
 
 

From Psalm 117 [118]

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

 

 

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.

Let the house of Israel declare: “His mercy endures forever”.

Let the house of Aaron declare: “His mercy endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord declare: “His mercy endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of justice; I will pass through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord, the just shall enter through it…

 

 

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it…

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord…

Give thanks to God, for he is good, his mercy endures forever.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is, was and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Psalm 99 [100]

Call to Worshipers Entering Temple

 

Acclaim the Lord, all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness. Go into his presence with great joy.

Know that the Lord is God: he made us and we are his, his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with praise, his courts with a hymn; give thanks to him, bless his name.

 

For the Lord is good, his mercy is forever, and his faithfulness is for ages unending.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is, was and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Reading — St. Luke 2: 1 — 14

 

At that time, there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustas that a census of the whole world should be taken. This first census took place while Cyrinus was governor of Syria. And all were going, each to his own town, to register. And Joseph also went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem — because he was of the house of David — to register, together with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone round about them, and they feared exceedingly. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you: you shall find an Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of goodwill”.

 
 

Alternative Readings

 
Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles
 
 

Hymn as a Prayer

     

Let all the world, from East to West, sing of Christ the King, the Virgin Mary’s Son.

The blest maker of the world assumed a servant’s form so as to free man by becoming man and not to lose those whom he had created.

Heavenly grace enters the chaste Mother and a Virgin’s womb carries a secret of which she had no previous knowledge.

The home of her pure womb instantly becomes the temple of God, and she, undefiled and not knowing man, conceived a Son.

In childbirth she brought forth the One that Gabriel had foretold and that the Baptist, jumping with joy in his mother’s womb had recognised as being in Mary’s womb.

 

He deigned to have hay for a bed, and did not refuse the shelter of a manger. He does not suffer even a bird to hunger, and yet He was fed with a little milk.

The heavenly choir rejoices and Angels sing to the glory of God, and the Shepherd, the Creator of all, is made known to the shepherds.

Glory be to You, Jesus, born of the Virgin; and glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit. through endless ages. Amen

     

V. The Lord has made known, Halleluia…

R. His salvation, Halleluia…

     
 
 

Zackary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 68 — 79

 

St. Luke records (Luke 1: 67) that the father of John the Baptist, eight days after the birth of his son, “filled with the Holy Spirit”, uttered this prophecy, which has remained a daily prayer for Christians.

 
 
 
Antiphon

Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men of goodwill, Halleluia, Halleluia.

   
       

 

       

Blessed be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,

And has raised up a horn # of salvation for us in the house of David his servant,

As he promised through the mouths of his holy ones the prophets from of old;

Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes

He has fulfilled his kindness to all our fathers and been mindful of his holy covenant

In the Oath to Abraham our father, by which he swore to grant us

That, delivered from the hands of our enemies, we should serve him without fear.

In holiness and justice before him all our days. —

 

And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

To give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins,

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God with which the Orient from on high will visit us,

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

       
 

# “Horn of salvation.”

Horn refers originally to the power of an ox. It came to be applied to people and here, to the royal saving power of the messiah.

 
Antiphon

Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men of goodwill, Halleluia, Halleluia.

 
 

The Lord’s Prayer

 
 

Traditional

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Contemporary

Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Prayer

 
 

We entreat You, God all-powerful: may the new and wonderful birth of Your incarnate Son deliver us from the old slavery which holds us down under the yoke of sin! This we ask of You through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Closing

   
 

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

   

May the all powerful and merciful
Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless and preserve us.

Amen.

 

Part 2. Devotions Throughout Christmastide | Part 3. The Angelus

Part 4. Prayers For Protection