The weeks of growing anticipation have reached their climax. Today the grace of God is made known in the birth of the Christ-child; the whole of creation thrills with divine glory. Throughout the feast, the prophet Isaiah repeats the good news. Celebrate as do bride and groom, he cries. Look upon the new-born child and see him as “Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.” Rejoice because “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” It’s John the evangelist who has the loveliest last word: “No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”
The week’s prayer focus
How our hearts stir at the prophet’s words: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1)! Guide me, Abba, Father, that I may walk each day as a true child of the light.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, on this holy night/day we rejoice at the birth of the Messiah. In wonder and praise, let us turn to God, the Father of Jesus, and pray with peaceful hearts for all our needs.
- We pray for the whole human family. May a new sense of shared humanity dawn upon us this Christmas and unite us in care for one another and for all that God has made. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who dwell in the lands where Judaism, Christianity and Islam came to birth. May the tide of violence that has engulfed them recede and allow a new era of peace to take its place. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for families and friends gathering together to celebrate Christmas. May they do so in a spirit of joyful love, and wherever necessary with mercy and forgiveness. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who have no secure shelter, both the homeless in our midst and the many millions in refugee camps around the world. May we become more determined than ever to work for their relief. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who are isolated, lonely or imprisoned at this festive time. May we reach out to them and freely offer them the precious gift of our time. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for emergency service workers who keep us safe through the summer holiday season. May their dedication to our security be fully recognised and appreciated. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who are travelling today and through this week, especially drivers on our roads. May they take due care and arrive safely at their destinations. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for those to whom the birth of Christ means nothing or brings no joy. May our celebration of Christmas show them the grace-filled wonder of the incarnation. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they join the angels and saints in the heavenly hymn of God’s glory. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Everlasting Father, we thank and praise you for the gift you have given us in the birth of the Christ-child. Turn again to us, show us your saving power, and help us walk in the light of your face. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.