Lord Jesus Christ, when,
on a winter’s night I look up through the clear air at the stars,
I can be very close to You
and to Your native Bethlehem.
It was at night that You first came to this earth.
It was under the same stars that now gleam in this night sky
that Mary first held You in her arms.
It was by the faint light of these stars
still shining tonight that the shepherds found their way to the stable,
and discovered You,
as the angels had said they would,
lying in a manger.
it is especially at Christmas time
that I see and understand how close You are
to those who live on the land.
We have so many reminders of You!
The stars and moon at night and the sun by day,
the same stars under which You were born;
the same moon that shone that night on Bethlehem;
the same sun that brightened Your first days on earth.
The stable, and the farm animals
that shared their quarters and their warmth with You, their creator.
The sheep and the shepherds that came to adore You,
rough men, but good, truthful, honest, and sincere.
O Jesus, Son of the everlasting God,
You are so wonderfully made one of us at Christmas time!
You are our God,
but You are our Brother, too.
You are our King,
but You come as a helpless little baby,
longing for our love.
Help us today and always to see You
in all those with whom we come in contact.
Let us never forget Your own instruction,
that whatever we do for the least of those around us,
we do for You.
Help us always to serve You in the generous,
selfless spirit of this season,
and we shall then be real Christians,
more and more like You, other Christs.
A Prayer of Thanks
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to earth as a baby so many years ago. Thank you that He paid the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross. And thank you that He rose again to prove that death was truly defeated. I place my trust in You to be my Savior. Guide me through the dark times of my life and give me courage to live for You. Amen
Opening Prayer for Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Dr. Sean B. Murray
Gracious, loving and merciful God, on this Christmas Eve, as the light of your Word penetrates our hearts, as we are reminded of the gift of life and faith, as the glories of the heavenly hosts are echoed in our church, we open ourselves up to your Spirit and give you thanks. We are grateful, Lord Jesus, that your story has become our story, and we celebrate your birth.to take to heart the wonder of your love, that we may walk in your ways and delight in your will. Help us, Lord God, to be the faithful, gracious, loving, giving and forgiving people you would have us be.
Check out our Christmas Section
Please forgive me for being so grumpy as I trudge through the never-ending tasks set before me this holiday season…
My to-do list seems to keep growing with shopping, church services, and family gatherings—
and I’m running short of time!
Restore the joy of Christmas to my heart . . .
and help me to relax each day and make time for
my one true Source of Joy.
Coping with Loneliness at Christmas!
A Prayer for Christmas Morning
-by Henry van Dyke.
The day of joy returns, Father in Heaven, and crowns another year with peace and good will.
Help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.
Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world?
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing that Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
And the Christmas evening bring us to our bed with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus? sake.
The Story of the Birth of Jesus Christ
A Christmas Prayer
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth . . . . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.
THANK YOU, LORD,
for the gift of Your love.
May I be a shining
example of that love to others.
A CHRISTMAS BLESSING
Wilda English, n.d.
God grant you the light of Christmas,
which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas,
which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas,
which is justice;
the belief in Christmas,
which is truth;
the all of Christmas,
which is Christ?.
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