A Prayer for Christmas Eve

gerard_van_honthorst_001O God,
you were pleased to announce the coming of your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
with choirs of angels who proclaimed with their song,
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.”
Grant that we may so pass our time here to your glory,
that at your Son’s second coming
we may rejoice before him.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 11 #1

“you were pleased to announce  … with choirs of angels ” is a reference to Luke 2:13

“Glory to God in the highest” is a reference to Luke 2:14

​Christmas Prayer

veit-dietrichLord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks that in your great mercy and compassion you allowed your dear Son to become incarnate and through him redeemed us from sin and eternal death. Enlighten our hearts by your Holy Spirit that we may always be thankful for such grace and be comforted in all trouble and temptation, and at last, obtain eternal salvation; through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, http://olcc.us/liturgical-resources/collects-veit-dietrich/ (Christmas)

 

 

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]Prayers by Veit Dietrich are included in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage, available from Amazon.com, and also available for Amazon Kindle. It is a collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches.

Inward Peace and Goodwill

O Lord Jesus Christ,
by your incarnation you united
things earthly and heavenly.
Fill us with the sweetness
of inward peace and goodwill,
that we may join the heavenly host
in singing praises to your glory;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Rite, 6th Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Collects and Prayers for Use in Church United Lutheran Church in America, 1935

Variant, as a blessing:

And may He, Who through His Incarnation united earthly things with Heavenly, fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and good will, and make us partakers with the Heavenly Host. Amen.

Source of this version: The Priest to the Altar: Or Aids to the Devout Celebration of Holy Communion Chiefly After the Ancient English Use of Sarum, Peter Goldsmith Medd,
Rivingtons, 1879, 11th Century

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

Christmas Blessings

For Christmas Eve

May God Almighty, who by the Incarnation of his only Son drove away the darkness of the world and by his glorious birth enlightened this most holy night, drive away from us the darkness of sins and enlighten our hearts with the light of Christian graces. Amen.

And may he, who willed that the great day of his most holy birth should be told to the shepherds by an angel, pour on us the refreshing shower of his blessing, and guide us by him, our Shepherd, to the pastures of everlasting joy. Amen.

And may he, who through his Incarnation united earthly things with heavenly, fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and good will, and make us partakers with the heavenly host. Amen.

For Christmas Day

May God almighty, who made this most holy day to be sacred by the birth of his Son, bless us, and rouse our minds to heavenly things. Amen.

And may he, who has placed him who is the bread of angels in the manger of the church to be the food of faithful creatures, both cause us in this present life to taste the sweetness of eternal joys, and lead us in that which is to come to the participation of everlasting rewards. Amen.

And may he who willed his infant form to be clothed in worthless rags, clothe us with the adorning of the robes of heaven. Amen.

Source: Gregorian and Mozarabic Rites

Source of this version: Modified from The Priest to the Altar: Or Aids to the Devout Celebration of Holy Communion Chiefly After the Ancient English Use of SarumPeter Goldsmith Medd, Rivingtons, 1879

Swedish Christmas Prayer

church_of_sweden_2856028423629Merciful God, loving Father,
we give you thanks and praise
that you have mercifully fulfilled
the word of your promise to the patriarchs
and sent your only Son to become man
for our salvation and blessedness.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
eternal praise be to you,
that you, being rich, for our sakes became poor,
that we through your poverty might become rich;
that you have become our brother,
that we with you might become the children of God.
Grant that you may be born in our hearts,
just as you, though you are Lord of lords,
have for our sakes become a child,
so give us the right childlike mind.
You are the brightness of the Father’s glory
and image of his person,
renew us in your holy likeness.

Heavenly Light,
lighten us through the darkness of this world.
Eternal Life, give us life in you.
Great Prince of Peace, grant us your peace,
and keep us ever in your kingdom,
that we may praise and magnify you in your glory:
you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, Litany Prayer for Christmas Day, p. 52-53

The Blessing of a Nativity Scene

This rite is available as a pdf file here: the-blessing-of-a-nativity-scene

All gather around the nativity scene.

Our help is in the name of the LORD,
The Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.

6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.” (EHV)

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to you, O Christ.

Let us pray.
God of glory, when the set time had fully come, you sent your only Son to be born of the virgin Mary, and made the good news of great joy about his birth known to shepherds, who then spread abroad the news about the holy Child.

Bless us as we remember his birth. Speak to our hearts with the news of his birth, and continue to renew our faith with the peace of his gospel. Move us to respond and to share this good news with those around us with the message of your love reflected in our lives, and also in word, art and song; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

A Christmas carol reflecting on the birth of Christ may be sung.

This rite is based loosely on The Blessing of a Manger or Nativity Scene from Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers © 2008, USCCB.

The prayers are newly composed, © 2016 Paul C. Stratman, https://acollectionofprayers.wordpress.com/

All Scripture is from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. www.wartburgproject.com

Prayer for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

O Christ our Lord,
at your coming peace returned to earth.
Keep us always in your peace
until at your return in glorious majesty,
we inherit eternal peace;
through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881,  p. 37 #2 (Trinity 22)

“peace returned to earth” is a reference to Luke 2:14