Christmas Prayers

Prayers for Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th. 


Joy of Discovery

The joy of discovery
that moment
when hope and expectation
were gloriously met
by the illumination of one bright star.
We cannot imagine
what words were spoken by visitors
or if first impressions
left them somewhat confused.

Messiah, Savior, a King
born in the barest of palaces.
Yet they saw and fell down
on their knees in adoration.
Lord, they saw you and knew
whom they had met.
As we meet around crib
candle or advent wreath
draw us into that stable
in our imagination.

In the quiet moments of prayer
this Christmas, that brief oasis
from the bustle of the world
bring alive to us
the smell of the hay
the sound of the animals
the cry of a baby.

Draw us close to our Savior
Messiah and King as we bring
not Gold, Myrrh or Frankincense
but the gift of our lives
the only offering we can bring.

- Found on: Contemporary and traditional prayers for Christmas, www.faithandworship.com

 


A Christmas Prayer

Not gold, nor myrrh, nor even frankincense
would I have for you this season,
but simple gifts, the ones that are hardest to find,
the ones that are perfect,
even for those who have everything (if such there be).

I would (if I could)
have for you the gift of courage,
the strength to face the gauntlets
only you can name,
and the firmness in your heart to know
that you (yes, you!) can be a bearer of the quiet dignity
that is the human glorified.

I would (if by my intention I could make it happen)
have for you the gift of connection,
the sense of standing on the hinge of time,
touching past and future
standing with certainty that you (yes, you!)
are the point where it all comes together.

I would (if wishing could make it so)
have for you the gift of community,
a nucleus of love and challenge,
to convince you in your soul
that you (yes, you!) are a source of light
in a world too long believing in the dark.

Not gold, nor myrrh, nor even frankincense,
would I have for you this season,
but simple gifts, the ones that are hardest to find,
the ones that are perfect,
even for those who have everything (if such there be).

- Rev. Maureen Killoran

Back to Top


Christmas Day Table Prayer

Lord God of Life,
together with the beautiful traditions
of decorating the Christmas tree,
of singing carols and giving gifts,
this Christmas dinner is an important part
of our celebration of the birth
of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Come, Lord our God,
and surround our feast day table
as we delight in this joyous season of Christmas.
Gift us in this meal with the taste of happiness
as we savor this coming together
of family and friends.
As sparkling stars and singing angels rejoiced
at the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem,
so may we take great joy
in this our Christmas dinner-celebration.

May You, our God, bless it and us
in Your holy name.

- Hays, Edward, "Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home"

>> Prayer Card

Back to Top


I Am There

Now God says to us
What He has already said to the earth as a whole
Through His grace-filled birth:

I am there. I am with you.
I am your life. I am your time.
I am the gloom of your daily routine. Why will you not hear it?
I weep your tears - pour yours out to me.
I am your joy.
Do not be afraid to be happy; ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living
That is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who have no hope.

I am the blind alley of all your paths,
For when you no longer know how to go any farther,
Then you have reached me,
Though you are not aware of it.

I am in your anxiety, for I have shared it.
I am in the prison of your finiteness,
For my love has made me your prisoner.

I am in your death,
For today I began to die with you, because I was born,
And I have not let myself be spared any real part of this experience.

I am present in your needs;
I have suffered them and they are now transformed.

I am there.
I no longer go away from this world.
Even if you do not see me now, I am there.

My love is unconquerable.
I am there.
It is Christmas.
Light the Candles! They have more right to exist then all the darkness.
It is Christmas.
Christmas that lasts forever.

- Karl Rahner, S.J., "The Eternal Year"

Back to Top

In This Holy Season

Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wise men. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.

- Author Unknown

Back to Top


Moonless Darkness Stands Between

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.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

Back to Top


Praise for the Ordinariness of Christmas

God of Goodness,
We give you praise for the ordinariness of Christmas -
that the day comes the same as any other day.
We give you praise that there is no sign in the heavens, and no bright star but the light of your presence in the ordinary birth of the child.
We give you praise that unobtrusively you are in the center of human affairs, involved in the struggle of life, and sharing human experience.
We give you praise that out of compassion you take our part, and open to us a new way of life. We pray that this day we shall be able to see its true glory.

- Caryl Micklem, Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship

Back to Top


Prayer to Jesus in the Manger

O divine redeemer Jesus Christ, prostrate before thy crib, I believe thou art the God of infinite majesty, even though I do see thee here as a helpless babe. I humbly adore and thank thee for having so humbled thyself for my salvation as to will to be born in a stable. I thank thee for all thou didst wish to suffer for me in Bethlehem, for thy poverty and humility, for thy nakedness, tears, cold and sufferings.

Would that I could show thee that tenderness which thy virgin mother had toward thee, and love thee as she did. Would that I could praise thee with the joy of the angels, that I could kneel before thee with the faith of St. Joseph, the simplicity of the shepherds. Uniting myself with these first adorers at the crib, I offer thee the homage of my heart, and I beg that thou wouldst be born spiritually in my soul. Make me reflect in some degree the virtues of thy admirable nativity. Fill me with that spirit of renunciation, of poverty, of humility, which prompted thee to assume the weakness of our nature, and to be born amid destitution and suffering.Grant that from this day forward, I may in all things seek thy greater glory, and may enjoy that peace promised to men of good will.

- Author Unknown

Back to Top


We Greet Your Coming

We greet your coming, God, with wonder:
You come to be with us; yet you remain far greater than we can imagine.
You are near; yet your wisdom sets you apart from us.
You appear among us; yet we cannot describe your glory.

We greet your coming, God, with repentance:
We are more or less satisfied with ourselves; but your presence exposes our sin and failure.
We are self-confident; but you challenge our confidence in ourselves.
We are proud of our understanding; but you show us that we do not know everything.

We greet your coming, God, with joy:
We had no true idea of what you are like; but you have shown us yourself in Jesus Christ.
We felt our human life could be of no importance to you; but you have shown its value by appearing among us as a man.
We are aware of the gulf between us and you; but you have bridged it with love.

God, we greet your coming in Jesus Christ our Lord!

- Caryl Micklem, Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship

>> Prayer Card

Back to Top


Keeping Christmas

Are you willing...
To forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you?
To ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world?
To put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance and your changes to do a little more than your duty in the foreground?
To see the that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy?
To own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going  to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life?
To close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness?
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing..
To stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children?
To remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old?
To stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough?
To bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts?
To try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you?
To trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you?
To make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open?
Are you willing to do those things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...
To believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem two thousand years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you keep Christmas.
And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone.

- Henry Van Dyke

Back to Top

  


God With Us!

In choosing to be born with us, God chose to be known by us. He therefore reveals himself in this way, in order that this great sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.

Today the magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky. Today  the magi see clearly, swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.

Today the magi graze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, humanity in God, God in humanity, one whom the whole universe cannot contain how enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh got one who is to die...

Today Christ enters the Jordan to wash away the sin of the world. John himself testifies that this is why he has come: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world...

Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water mixed with wine has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body.

- St. Peter Chrysologus

Back to Top



To provide feedback, please email: jesuitresource@xavier.edu

Jesuitresource.org is developed by The Center for Mission
and Identity at Xavier University with support from the Conway
Institute for Jesuit Education. To learn more about us, click here.