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A Prayer for Christmas Eve

December 23, 2011

[I invite us to make the following prayer, from the online ministries of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, a part of our Christmas Eve this year:]

We praise and thank you, tonight, Most Loving God.

At the appointed time, after all your careful preparation,
you fulfilled your plan to become one of us.
A young woman accepted her role as your servant.
A carpenter accepted his role to be a father on earth.

And, a child was born for us. A Son is given to us.
This night, our gloom and tears are taken away.
This night, the angels sing.
Peace on earth. Peace in every human heart.
Peace that all will see.

In a barn,
a child is born and the angels sing.
In simplicity, in lowliness,
you speak the most profound expression of your love for us,
your oneness with our lives.
Totally other before Creation began,
you have become totally with us.

Tonight we come together to give you thanks.
We gather to let your Son be born again, for us.
We open our hearts to his coming among us tonight.
So we might be at peace and share our peace with one another.

This night your Holy Spirit gathers us together to give you praise
for you have conquered all that discourages us, defeats us, divides us.
This child, who walked our life’s path and taught us how to love,
gave himself into our hands to face even an unjust death —
to give himself to us as food, as nourishment for our facing every death,
so we can give ourselves to every degree of love.

Now in prayer before you, let us be like the shepherds
who hastened to see that what was promised is real.
Let us together come and adore him,
the Child, the Christ, our Lord.
And let us share our joy and gratitude this night,
by your grace, filled with the gift of his gracious mercy.

We ask this in his holy name,
blessed by your ever-present Spirit.

Amen

[The embedded video below is of “All My Heart This Night Rejoices,” written in 1653 by Paul Gerhardt (and translated by Catherine Winkworth in 1858). As you’ll see from the lyrics, it also ends with a prayer.]

All my heart this night rejoices,
as I hear,
far and near,
sweetest angel voices;
“Christ is born,” their choirs are singing,
Till the air,
everywhere,
now with joy is ringing.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
soft and sweet,
doth entreat,
“Flee from woe and danger;
brethren, come; from all that grieves you
you are freed;
all you need
I will surely give you.”

Come, then, let us hasten yonder;
here let all,
great and small,
kneel in awe and wonder,
love him Who with love is yearning;
hail the star
that from far
bright with hope is burning.

Thee, dear Lord, with heed I’ll cherish;
live to thee
and with thee,
dying, shall not perish;
but shall dwell with thee for ever,
far on high,
in the joy
that can alter never.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On behalf of myself and my family, Cyril and Norman and their families, and all the Parish family of St. Paul’s, I pray that the heart of everyone who reads this may overflow with joy this Christmas Eve, and even forevermore.

Your Brother in Jesus,

One Comment
  1. beloved god, iam ur child i came from you, will i go back stay in this worlds grant me health and happiness oh lord keep me away from all sin and deseases. Give me wishdom gve me peaceful. Amen

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