O God our Father,
whose Word has come among us
in the Holy Child of Bethlehem,
may the light of faith
illumine our hearts
and shine in our words and deeds;
through him who is Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and
all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord,
take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by
his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your
grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink
the wine for which you have laboured; but those who garner it
shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall
drink it in my holy courts. Go through, go through the gates,
prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway,
clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples. The Lord
has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion,
"See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his
recompense before him." They shall be called, "The Holy
People, The Redeemed of the Lord"; and you shall be called,
"Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken."
REFRAIN All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our
Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the
isles be glad.
and darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are
the foundations of his throne. R
fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
lightnings light up the world; the earth sees it and is afraid. R
mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the
presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his
be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods! Bow
down before him, all you gods.
hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of
your judgements, O Lord. R
you are the Lord, most high over all the earth; you are exalted
far above all gods.
Lord loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his
saints and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. R
has sprung up for the righteous, and joyful gladness for those who
in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name.
READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO TITUS
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour
appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness
that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of
rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out
on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having
been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to
the hope of eternal life.
HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE
those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the
world should be registered. This was the first registration and
was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their
own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of
Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called
Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of
David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged
and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time
came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her
firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a
manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that
region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch
over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before
them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were
terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for
see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the
Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a
child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest
heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!"
the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said
to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to
us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and
the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known
what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it
were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured
all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds
returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and
seen, as it had been told them.]
LUKE 2:1-14 (15-20)
OVER THE GIFTS
in faith and joy
we celebrate the birth of your Son.
Increase our understanding and our love
of the riches you have revealed in him,
who is Lord now and for ever.
Source of truth and joy,
may we who have received the gift of divine life
always follow the way of your Son.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.