The four offertory prayers below are written for the four Sundays of Advent to coordinate with the Advent candle themes. Holy One, this Advent season we wait in hope. And we give in hope. Hope for your coming reign; Hope because of your presence with us even now. Receive these generous offerings, And use…
This call to worship is based on Jeremiah 1:4-10, with a touch of Psalm 71 thrown in for good measure. The word of God comes to us: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” The word of God comes to us: “I appointed you to speak my word.” We may believe we…
A call to worship based on Psalm 91: Even as we enter the wilderness of Lent, We rest in the shelter of the Most High; We abide in the shadow of the Almighty; We find refuge under the wings of our Holy Parent. We trust that the angels of God the words of God the…
Call to Worship Come, Holy Spirit, The wind of God, the breath of Life. Come, Holy Spirit, Our Advocate, our Counselor. Come, Holy Spirit, Teacher of Wisdom, Reminder of Christ. Come, Holy Spirit, Granter of forgiveness, giver of peace. Come, Holy Spirit. May we feel God breathing through our worship. May we receive the Holy…
In preparing for Ash Wednesday and this weekend’s Lenten retreat I haven’t found a lot of time to blog. Thought I would share the offertory prayer we will be using for Lent this year. God of the Cross, in losing our lives we find them in you. In sharing our money and time, we receive…
What can I say? Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. So the Wednesday Worship Pieces got moved to Friday. And that’s how life goes sometimes. Both of these pieces will work well with general Lenten themes, I think. So they wouldn’t necessarily have to be used this first week of Lent. First, an offertory prayer: God of…
This Sunday we are celebrating the work of our little church and encouraging people to step forward and serve according to their gifts and passions. Here are some of the worship pieces we will be using: –One of my favorite calls to worship from Ann B. Day, which you can find here. –A hymn I…
Copyright © 2018 David S. Bell. Any local church, regardless of denominational affiliation, may reprint any or all of these prayers provided that the following copyright notice appears: “Copyright © 2018 David S. Bell. Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org.”
July 15, 2018 – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Blessed One, you offer a redemptive inheritance sometimes beyond our imagination. You graciously bestow each of us with your wisdom, grace, forgiveness, and love. Joyously, we share these tithes and offerings. As you call us to give, you remind us to place our hopes and dreams in your love and grace. Thank you, God, for giving us your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray in His name. Amen. Ephesians 1:3-14
July 22, 2018 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Glorious God, we like to practice random acts of kindness. Your Word even confirms that we further your kingdom when we show kindness and compassion to another person. We pray that Jesus’ life and teaching may be our example for sharing intentionally our talents, prayers, time, and offerings. We humbly give this offering as an expression of our faith. Amen. Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
July 29, 2018 – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Awesome God, Jesus fed thousands of people with seemingly little effort. Yet, we have grave difficulty feeding children in our own country — let alone the entire world. Even while we are praying this prayer, someone has died from starvation and the lack of food. When we share resources with care-giving ministries, your hand is upon our shoulders, just like it was upon Jesus’ shoulders the day he fed his followers. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to change lives by becoming generous caregivers of the resources that you first gave to us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. John 6:1-21
August 5, 2018 – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
O God, we humbly admit that we search so often for bread that perishes, rather than the bread of eternal life. We foolishly think that happiness and fulfillment can be attained from our own hands, rather than from your hands. We offer these gifts with the promise that you have already given us the bread of heaven. You are the Bread of Life. We come seeking to never be hungry or thirsty again. Amen. John 6:24-35
August 12, 2018 – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Gracious God, we joyously place before you our offerings. May these gifts support our ministry so that others may gather in your name and follow your path of love and peace. We, your beloved children, seek to be “imitators of God” and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. Ephesians 4:25-5:2
August 19, 2018 – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
O God, we are taught to give as an act of faithfulness. We are reminded that giving is a Christian responsibility. Like Paul taught the early Christians, we are taught to be careful how we live – to live as wise people. Yet, sometimes we are drawn by the insufficient promises of our everyday culture. We end up giving with a begrudging attitude, a hesitant heart, or selfish reluctance. Forgive us! Enable us in this very moment to give “thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen. Ephesians 5:15-20
August 26, 2018 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
O Lord of Hosts, we are so happy to offer you these monetary gifts. We recognize that we are able to worship here because of the generous giving of this congregation. Yet, our giving and our prayer extend beyond us. We pray that these offerings and tithes will be used to reach out to others in the community and around the world who need to find a joyful trust in you. “Happy is everyone who trusts in you.” All praise and glory to you! Amen. Psalm 84
September 2, 2018 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Holy God, we are grateful for your constant presence in our lives. We acknowledge that every perfect gift in our lives is a gift from you. We have listened to your guidance, directing us to offer you our first fruits. So, we now join in this generous act of giving. We pray that these resources may care for your children everywhere who are experiencing distress. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. James 1:17-27
September 9, 2018 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Healing One, we are reminded so often in Biblical narration that you are capable of miraculous actions. But, your miracles are not limited to these ancient times. People still experience miracles in these ordinary, everyday times. We recall those many miracles that have touched people within our own congregation. We are astounded by those miracles that we witness each day. We are so thankful! Today, we offer you this money as a sacred gesture of our gratitude. All praise and honor be given to you! Amen. Mark 7:24-37
September 16, 2018 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Father, you challenge us to deny ourselves in order to follow you. We are not accustomed to denying ourselves often. The pop culture promotes instant gratification. Self-help experts profess self-care as the key to contentment. Financial consultants advise clients to pay themselves first. Yet, you call us to give in return for life, to deny ourselves to follow you, to set our minds on divine things rather than human things. Help us in this offertory moment to focus on you as we sacrificially give our tithes and offerings. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. Mark 8:27-38
September 23, 2018 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus said: “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Precious Lord, your love for us is amazing. You have blessed us in so many ways. The children of this congregation are an extraordinary example of your blessing. We are thankful for the numerous ministries of this church that reach out to children and families. May a portion of this money continue to support those ministries that welcome children in our midst. Amen. Mark 9:36-37
September 30, 2018 – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Gracious Lord, we join together in prayer. We recognize that daily prayer impacts our spiritual health. Likewise, offering our tithes to you impacts our spiritual health. The acts of praying and giving unify our church community and place our collective attention on you. As we practice these spiritual disciplines, we hope to draw even closer to you. We pray in the name of the Jesus Christ who offers salvation to all throughout our world. Amen. James 5:13-20
October 7, 2018 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Heavenly Father, we often hear that children are a gift from God. Knowing that each person is created with unique fingerprints and DNA, we are reminded that we, too, are your gift to others. You have given us this gift of life and our many possessions. During these offertory moments, we joyfully and faithfully return this money that ultimately belongs to you. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen. Mark 10:2-16
October 14, 2018 – Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost
Almighty God, you continue to bless our lives in many intrinsic and intangible ways. When our financial gifts are used to support mission and ministry, we see other people blessed in very tangible ways. Our desire is to place you first in our financial decision-making. May this offering be a time when we do place you first and when we are grateful for the opportunity to support mission and ministry in your name. We pray in the name of the One through whom all things are possible. Amen. Mark 10:17-31
October 21, 2018 – Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
God of Grace and Mercy, you call us to be servants in your Son’s holy name. While popular culture often diminishes self-sacrifice, we know that being a servant leader is a worthwhile calling. Help us to focus on the Christian practice of hospitality by freely giving to others in your name. Accept this offering as a profound gesture of our desire to serve you today and always. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. Mark 10:35-45
October 28, 2018 – Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost
Redeeming Lord, we continually seek your comfortable refuge. You deliver us from our unfounded fears and provide us with miraculous examples of your love. In response, we offer these gifts. We pray that these funds will provide an outreach that warms people with your resplendent love. As a church community, we exalt and praise your holy name. Amen. Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22
November 4, 2018 – Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost/All Saints’ Sunday
O God, you call us to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We seek to focus on you as our highest priority. Help us to make lifestyle decisions based on your commandments. We, your kingdom-seekers, offer you this money as a means of placing you first in our lives. May these gifts provide ministries of love and compassion to our neighbors. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. Mark 12:28-34
November 11, 2018 – Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Forgiving God, people give for so many reasons – guilt, joy, obligation, gratitude, obedience, hope, control, thankfulness. Remind us of your call to examine everything that we have; after all, our money and possessions are really gifts from you. You call us to use them wisely – to share them openly – to give them generously. So thank you for this celebration of giving. Receive this offering and release us from the foolish temptation to believe that it is best spent on ourselves. Amen. Mark 12:38-44
November 18, 2018 – Twenty Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Father God, we watch the news and believe that you were speaking to our time when you spoke privately to the disciples on the Mount of Olives. You caution us not to be lead astray. We are trying, Lord, to keep our eyes fixed on you. We have worshipped you in song and prayer. We have listened for your Word. Now, we humbly place before you these offerings and tithes. May our resolve be strong to do your will and follow your path. For the sake of Jesus, we pray. Amen. Mark 13:1-8
November 25, 2018 – Christ the King Sunday
Great and Glorious Savior, we listen attentively to your voice. We place our trust in your truth and grace. We generously give in gratitude for your truth in our spiritual journey. We pray that these monetary gifts may help others to see your kingdom, to draw closer to you, and to find ultimate peace. We pray in the name of the One who sustains us throughout life’s journey, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Amen. John 18:36; Revelation 1:8
December 2, 2018 – First Sunday of Advent
O God, we offer you these gifts and tithes. We pray that these funds may abound in love for one another throughout the world. Strengthen our hearts in holiness as we faithfully give, so that our ways may be directed by you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. I Thessalonians 3:9-13
December 9, 2018 – Second Sunday of Advent
Gracious and Giving God, we once again prepare for the birth of your chosen Son. Through the voices of prophets and preachers, you have been heard in the driest deserts and the steepest valleys. Unfurl our hearts and open our minds so that we may hear your salvation story anew. Giving this money is a worshipful gesture of our unending alleluias to you. We dedicate this offering to your Kingdom work. Amen. Luke 3:1-6
December 16, 2018 – Third Sunday of Advent
Lord of Light, you gave yourself to this world by the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ. We thankfully rejoice and praise you for your peace and light shared with all nations. Now, center us on the King of Glory during these prayerful moments of giving. We present these gifts as your humble and willing servants in the name of the One who comes to us anew, Jesus the Living Christ. Amen. Philippians 4:4-7
December 23, 2018 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
God of Glory, we eagerly anticipate the joy-filled celebration of Jesus’ birthday party. We recall now in the quiet recesses of our minds the thrill of receiving your message of salvation. As we open ourselves again to this holy wonder, accept these generous gifts. May the ministries that these gifts support invite others to receive the saving message of the Christ Child. In His name, we pray. Amen. Luke 1:46b-55
December 24, 2018 – Christmas Eve
We celebrate the birth of the Holy Child! Although born in humble surroundings, Jesus’ presence surrounds all who call upon his name. The hope born in a manger long ago is birthed again. We gratefully offer these financial gifts as a way to provide hope for all God’s children. We rejoice in knowing that your ministry is strengthened by our gifts and prayers. We pray in the name of the Babe in the Manger. Amen. Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)
December 30, 2018 – First Sunday after Christmas Day
King of Kings, we join the angels in singing your unending praise. You alone created the universe in all of its glory. We present these gifts knowing that they will be transformed into ministries of Good News. Bless this offering so our giving honors your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen. Psalms 148
Copyright © 2018 David S. Bell. Any local church, regardless of denominational affiliation, may reprint any or all of these prayers provided that the following copyright notice appears: “Copyright © 2018 David S. Bell. Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org.”
The Lord our God often gives us so many wonderful things that makes our life worth living. He gives us the gift of family and friends, the gift of love and laughter. As humble servants, we should show gratitude and give something back to the Father.
Since God does not want anything material, we offer to Him prayers from our hearts. These heartfelt offertory prayers should be our gifts to the Lord for everything that He has done for us, including His Son who has given up His life to save us from our sins.
Father Almighty, I love and adore You with all my heart. Thank You for creating me and making me a Christian. Keep me safe through the night. I offer You all my works and actions today.
I offer You all my thoughts and intentions, all my affections and desires. I gladly offer these all throughout the day. Grant them that they may be in according to Your will and only for Your greater glory, Lord.
Keep me away from all sin and evil. Let Your grace always be with me and my loved ones. May they feel Your presence through me. I pray that I never lose sight of you all day long. Accept my desire and take my offerings, dear God. Let me die for love of You. Let my last heartbeat be an act of perfect love like how Jesus has showed us.
In Your Son Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Prayer for Offering of Life to the Lord
Heavenly Father, You have granted us the gift of being Your children. You have given us Your son to save us from our sins. Because of that, Father, I offer my life to you. I will live in sacrifice to do what is pleasing to You. I offer you all my hard work and my sacrifices.
I do all things to glorify Your most holy name, Lord. I cast all my worries about you and I believe that everything will be in place for I have You as my Father, dear God. Grant me the strength to hold on to You not only during the times of weakness but through whatever.
Thank You, Father, for being so generous to us. I give You my life and I will dedicate every service I do to You. I ask this in Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Prayer to Repay Generosity
Father Almighty, You have given us many blessings. We come to You today in thanksgiving and our hearts look heavenward. You have given us a home to take shelter in, clothes to makes feel warm, food to nourish our body and water to keep us from being thirsty.
You have given us eyes to see your beautiful creations, a nose to smell the scent of the flowers, ears to hear the birds humming so sweetly in the morning. You have given us the hands to touch the lives of many. For all these gifts You have showered upon us, we offer to You these simple presents. May they be put to good use of the community.
You have showed us what it means to be generous and we want to pay it forward to our church. Grant the youth the same generosity You have taught us and that they may understand what it means to be Your child. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Prayer for These Gifts
Heavenly Father, we offer You these gifts to mend the hearts of those who were possessed by the devil. You alone have the remove our insecurities – our greed, prejudice and our fear.
Your Word alone can nurture our souls and give peace in our hearts. You have given us the gift of salvation and you ask nothing but our repentance in return. Your example of being generous teaches us to do the same especially to those who have sinned against us.
You have taught us the lesson of forgiving those who have done wrong against us. We dedicate these gifts in Your honor and glory, Lord as thanksgiving for all the things You have given us. Teach us to be committed to You and only You all the days of our lives. We dedicate our lives, hard work and sacrifices to You, Father. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Prayer for the Gifts We Offer to the Lord
Lord, You provide us with everything it is that we need. You have blessed us with many opportunities to do what is right and true. You never ask us to wait when we cry out for Your name. You provide us counsel in times of sorrow and grief.
You share us joy in times of celebration and glee. Today, teach us how to dedicate our lives only for Your glory. Teach us to become a blessing to others even to those we do not know. Encourage us to follow the footsteps of Your son Jesus Christ as he was the ultimate example of what a good person is.
Teach us to reject all things evil.
Keep us away from temptation and mend the hearts of those who are hurt. May these tithes and other gifts multiply and it may be of help to those who are in need. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Prayer for Our Offerings
Heavenly Father, You are the Creator and Source of all things good. You have showered us with greatness and love even on the days we turn against You. Look into our hearts and receive this heartfelt thanksgiving we offer to you. Thank You for all the gifts and blessings You have showered upon me and my family. You are the rock of our spirit and without You, we will be nothing.
You have provided us with a family, friends, a home and food to eat for each day. As You have been generous to us, we offer You these gifts as symbols of our utmost gratitude for Your kindness. Bless us, Father, with continued graces and blessings throughout each year. May these gifts multiply and that everyone in our community can benefit from them.
Forever in Your glory, Lord. In Jesus’ most holy name, we pray. Amen.
Read Powerful Prayers for Gratitude
My Daily Offering to the Lord
Heavenly God, I offer You all my works and actions for this day for the glory of Your name. I pray that I may sanctify every beat of my heart, every thought in my mind. Every simple work I do, I offer onto You. I wish that all my sins be forgiven as You are a merciful and loving God.
I offer this prayer to those who are dear to me. I pray that they fulfil Your most holy will and that they may accept all sorrows that may come their way. Take all my laughter and my tears, every word, every thought and each deed to help all those who are in need. May this gift of prayer be a unique offering to Jesus Christ, Your son.
He renewed our spirits and guided our eyes to look heavenward. I pray that my soul be united with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.
A Morning Offering for the Father
Sweet Jesus, pray with me this morning as offering to God our Father. He has blessed me with You and my family. He has given me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mouth to speak the word of truth. I offer to You and the Father all my works, thoughts and actions for this day. I offer all that I am and who I am to glorify Your name.
Jesus, You continuously offer Yourself for the salvation of all mankind. Teach us this kind of generosity. Teach us to love our neighbours, even those who have sinned against us like You have forgiven Judas. I pray that the Holy Spirit will be my guide on my journey to become like You, Jesus.
I pray that I may be pure like Your Mother Mary. May all women here on Earth emulate her purity and her integrity. All this I pray. Amen.
Featured Prayers and Poems for Offerings
We Pray as We Serve
Holy God, you sent us your Son to teach us how to live with one another, and Jesus made it so clear for us when he told parables of compassion and mercy. As we give our gifts this morning, we remember that our lives are a journey, and there are wounded and hurting all along the road. Some are where we can see, some are where we cannot see. May the gifts we offer this morning be used to bind up the wounds, to ease the pain, to give hope to those who wait in despair as the world seems to pass by on the other side.
We pray as we serve, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Offertory Prayer for Worship Leaders
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayer for Thanksgiving Offerings
Dearest Father, I offer these gifts to You as You have given me everything it is that I need.
You have provided me with a comfortable life with more than everything that I shall ever need. May these gifts be tools to fix every negativity we have in life – desperation, greed, prejudice. You, Father, are the provider of all things great. May these gifts we give to You be used only for good things.
Thank You, Father, for the teaching us how to be generous without expecting anything in return because that is how it always should be. Through the intercession of Mary Our Mother, I pray. Amen.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today bearing gifts. May these gifts be put to good use like the blessings You have been showering upon me and my loved ones. May Your generosity be emulated by everyone. Teach them, especially the young ones, the importance of giving and how it is more important than receiving. May these gifts be able to bind all broken hearts, relationships and dreams.
May they please You, Father, as that is what my life is for. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Gratitude and Thanksgiving
Father God, we come to You with gifts of gratitude and thanksgiving. We continuously praise and glorify Your name for all the gifts You have showered upon us. You have loved us unconditionally even on the days we do not acknowledge Your presence.
You willingly had Your Son sacrifice his life to save us from our sins. Because of those, Father, we thank You with all of hearts. We offer onto You all the sacrifices we have made and yet to make, all the hard work that goes through everything we do. In Your most holy name, we pray.
The Fruits of Our Labor
By: Raymond A. Foss
We prayed together, to the creator,
the source of all we have,
offering “the fruit of our labor”;
but the words themselves were discordant
somehow not precisely what I believe
a worthy prayer, offering back to God;
but is there more? Something else to say?
Our fruits; our labor, really?
We are offering that which we “earned”,
hmm, but what does “to earn” mean itself?
What are the fruits of our labors truly?
When does the fruit stop being the Lord’s
When do we earn anything? Isn’t all of our all,
our lives, our work, our wealth, our poverty,
our living, our dying, all a gift of God?
Maybe, just maybe, our prayer should change;
maybe we should pray that we offer to You,
our loving, creator, sustainer God, a mere portion
a small measure,
a pittance of that which you have given us
through our works,
our living out of our working lives
through the gift of the job, the position, the career
you have called us to, at this time in our lives.
That we offer to you a small part of that which
You have so abundantly blessed us.
Not the fruits of our labor, but a piece of the harvest
of the daily bread which You alone have provided
a bit of the loaves, the fishes, so that we may add
to the basket from which you bless and break
and share with the whole world, Your ministry of love
to the ends of the earth, and the end of the age.
Living more humbly, acknowledging the source
the center of all we are, all we have
sharing with others, that which was never ours, truly,
gifts, all we have, from the creator,
to give back, from our hearts
so that others would know abundance, daily provision
that none would be hungry, thirsty, anymore.
Source: Raymond A Foss
These are just few of the wonderful offertory prayers anyone can offer to the Lord to thank Him for all the blessings You have received and the ones that you have yet to have. The Lord answers all requests asked from him, but not all at once.
But as the cliche goes, all good things come to those who wait.
The Church’s liturgical year begins with the season of Advent. It begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 and ends with the Christmas Vigil Mass. In Advent, a time of joyful expectation, we focus on and prepare for the remembrance of Jesus’ first coming in Bethlehem and His Second Coming at the end of time.
- Prayer to Obtain Favors (St. Andrew Christmas Novena)
- Prayer to St. Nicholas
- Advent Prayer
- Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Prayer to St. Lucy
- O Antiphons
- Blessing of a Christmas Crèche or Manger Scene
- Christmas Prayers
Prayer to Obtain Favors (St. Andrew Christmas Novena)
Prayer from 1897 that may be prayed numerous times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew on November 30 until Christmas.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires (mention your intentions here), through the merits of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.
Prayer to St. Nicholas
God, our Father,
we pray that through the intercession of St. Nicholas
you will protect our children.
Keep them safe from harm
and help them grow and become worthy in your sight.
Give them strength to keep their faith in you;
and to keep alive their joy in your creation.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
(The feast day of St. Nicholas is December 6.)
By Henri J.M. Nouwen
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego near Mexico City in 1531 and left her image on his cloak. She is Patron of the Americas. Feast Day: December 12.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical Rose, make intercession for our Holy Church, protect the Pope, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most Holy Son, the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance.
Prayer to St. Lucy
Relying on Your goodness, O God, we humbly ask you, by the intercession of your servant, Saint Lucy, to give perfect vision to our eyes, that we may serve for your greater honor and glory. And we pray for the salvation of our souls in this world, that we may come to the enjoyment of the unfailing light of the Lamb of God in heaven.
St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear our prayers and answer our petitions. Amen.
Prayed each day at the Magnificat of Evening Prayer from December 17 to December 24. Authors unknown, these prayers are from the ninth century or older. Visit our O Antiphons page for more.
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God,
you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care.
Come and show your people the way to salvation.
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel,
who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush,
who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain:
Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem,
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;
kings stand silent in your presence;
the nations bow down in worship before you.
Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel
controlling at your will the gate of heaven:
Come, break down the prison walls of death
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light,
sun of justice:
Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.
O King of all the nations,
the only joy of every human heart;
O Keystone of the mighty arch of humankind,
Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver,
desire of all the nations,
Savior of all people,
Come and set us free, Lord our God.
At Christmas, December 25, we celebrate the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary. The Christmas Season begins with the Vigil Mass of Christmas and ends with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.
Blessing of a Christmas Crèche or a Manger Scene
All make the Sign of the Cross.
The leader begins: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All respond: Who made heaven and earth.
The leader may use these or similar words to introduce the blessing: We are at the beginning of the days of Christmas. All through the season we will look on these images of sheep and cattle, of shepherds, of Mary and Joseph and Jesus.
Then the Scripture is read: Listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Luke:
Read Luke 2:1-7.
The reader concludes: The gospel of the Lord.
All respond: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
The figures may be placed in the crèche. After a time of silence, all join in prayers of intercession and in the Lord’s Prayer. Then the leader invites: Pray now for God’s blessing as we look on these figures.
After a short silence, the leader prays: God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
you have made manifest your love:
when our need for a Savior was great,
you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy and love.
bless all who look upon this manger;
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus
and raise our thoughts to him.
who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
God of Mary and Joseph, of shepherds and animals,
bless us whenever we gaze on this manger scene.
Through all the days of Christmas
may these figures tell the story
of how humans, angels, and animals
found the Christ in this poor place.
Fill our house with hospitality, joy, gentleness, and thanksgiving.
and guide our steps in the way of peace.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
The leader says:
Let us bless the Lord.
All respond, making the Sign of the Cross. Thanks be to God.
Christmas songs and carols are then sung. (A prominently placed manger scene during Christmas teaches the true meaning of the holiday: the coming of Christ as man to free us from the power of death. The above blessing is done on Christmas or Christmas Eve when most families add the Baby Jesus to the crèche.)
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem star may lead me
To the sight of Him who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: Thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and always,
Now begin, on Christmas day.
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention your request here). Through Jesus Christ and His most blessed Mother.
Prayer for Christmas
(Attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux)
Let your goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we, made in your image, may conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot image your majesty, power and wonder; nor is it fitting for us to try. But your mercy reaches from the heavens, through the clouds, to the earth below. You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of your eternal love. Caress us with your tiny hands, embrace us with your tiny arms, and pierce our hearts with your soft, sweet cries.
Excerpted from A Catholic Family Prayer Book, Copyright © 2001 Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. All rights reserved. Order here