Presider’s Page for 24 December (Christmas Night Mass)
In the dark of this winter night, we proclaim the new light that has shone on the world: Jesus Christ is born! With the angels, we worship God who saves us — for through the life, death and resurrection of this child Jesus, salvation is ours.
As we enter in to the mystery of God’s wonderful love, let us pause and call to mind our unworthiness in the light of this great night: (pause)
Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of Peace: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are Son of God and Son of Mary: Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are Word made flesh and splendour of the Father: Lord, have mercy
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
Good and gracious God,
on this holy night you gave us your Son,
the Lord of the universe, wrapped in swaddling clothes,
the Saviour of all, lying in a manger.
On this holy night
draw us into the mystery of your love.
Join our voices with the heavenly host,
that we may sing your glory on high.
Give us a place among the shepherds,
that we may find the one for whom we have waited,
Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Isaiah 9:1-7 The ancient promise of a light in darkness, a child born for us, are fulfilled this Christmas night… Titus 2:11-14 As we wait in hope for the Lord’s coming in glory, we should live good and religious lives… Luke 2:1-14 As Jesus is born in Bethlehem, the shepherds recognise him and the angels echo their joy.
Introduction (by the Presider) Sisters and brothers, standing together in the brightness of this Christmas celebration, let us ask God to fill the whole world with light.
- That those who mark the birth of Christ all over the world tonight may have new hope (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That the people of Aleppo and the other parts of Syria may have the gift of peace (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That migrants may find love and mercy in Europe (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That hungry and homeless people may be looked after (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That those bereaved in 2016 may be comforted (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- That people who are lonely may experience friendship and love (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For our friends who have fallen asleep in Christ (especially N and N), and for all our friends who died since last Christmas, whom we remember now: (pause for quiet prayer) that the peace and joy of heaven may be theirs. Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Maker of heaven and earth, your Son is born for us, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God: hear the prayers we make with confidence, through the same Christ, our Lord, Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
may the gifts we offer on this feast of our Saviour’s birth
be worthy of the mystery we celebrate:
just as the child who was born today
shone forth also as God,
so let these fruits of creation
confer upon us that which is divine.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PREFACE OF CHRISTMAS I (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
In the mystery of the Word made flesh
your glory fills the eyes of our mind
with a new and radiant vision,
so that, seeing God made visible in Christ,
we are caught up in the love of things we cannot see.
And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy….
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER III (from 1998 ICEL Missal, with Christmas interpolation)
Lord, you are holy indeed,
and all creation rightly gives you praise.
All life, all holiness comes from you
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the working of the Holy Spirit.
From age to age you gather a people to yourself,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
a pure offering may be made
to the glory of your name.
And so, Lord God, on this night of glory and peace,
we celebrate the birth of your incarnate Word;
and, rejoicing that your loving kindness has appeared among us,
we humbly pray:
by the power of your Spirit sanctify these gifts
we have brought before you,
that they may become the body + and blood
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.
On the night he was handed over to death,
he took bread and gave you thanks and praise;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL,
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
The mystery of faith…..
Calling to mind, Lord God
the death your Son endured for our salvation,
his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven,
and eagerly awaiting the day of his return,
we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
Look with favour on your Church’s offering
and see the Victim by whose sacrifice
you were pleased to reconcile us to yourself.
Grant that we who are nourished by the body and blood of your Son
may be filled with his Holy Spirit
and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
Let him make us an everlasting gift to you,
that we may share in the inheritance of your saints,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[Saint N.], and all your saints,
on whose constant intercession we rely for help.
Lord, may this sacrifice
which has made our peace with you
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth:
your servant Pope Francis, our Bishop N.,
all bishops, priests, and deacons,
all ministers of your Church,
and the entire people your Son has gained for you.
hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you,
and unite to yourself all your children
now scattered over the face of the earth.
Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters
and all who have left this world in your friendship.
We hope to enjoy with them your everlasting glory,
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you give the world everything that is good.
Through him, with him, in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
as we rejoice in the birth of your Son,
grant us the grace
to affirm this great mystery with steadfast faith
and to embrace it with an ever growing love.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING (Christmas) (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
Bow your heads for God’s blessing.
Through the incarnation of his Son
God has scattered the darkness of the world,
and by Christ’s glorious birth,
which angels announced to the shepherds,
has brightened this most holy night……..
May the God of infinite goodness banish the darkness
of sin from your hearts and make them radiant with the light of goodness.
May God fill you with the joy of the shepherds
and make you heralds of the gospel.
May the God who joins heaven and earth
fill you with peace and goodwill
and unite you in fellowship with the Church in heaven.