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Catholic Prayer: Christmas Night Prayers

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Special night prayers around the crib keep the Christmas spirit alive even when nothing else is on schedule. If the Wise Men are making their journey to Bethlehem through the house, their resting places may be fixed just before night prayers begin. The Christ-Candle is also lit to begin the prayers, which might run something like the following.

Prayer:

Father: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
All:Amen.
Father:Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
All:Who made heaven and earth.
Father:Let us think over whether our actions during the day have done honor to the Christ-Child (pause).

Let us ask forgiveness for what we have not done as we should.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come: Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

All:Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
All Sing:This day Christ is born; this day the Savior has appeared; this day angels are singing on earth, archangels are rejoicing. This day the just are glad and say, Glory to God in high heaven, alleluia.
All Pray:(Psalm 133 from Compline, the Church's night prayer.)
Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord.

Who stand in the house of the Lord during the hours of the night.

Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary and bless the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Sion, the maker of heaven and earth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

All Sing: (Repeat antiphon preceding psalm.)
Mother or Eldest Child:(Lesson from Jeremias):
You are in our midst, Lord, and Your holy Name has been invoked upon us. Do not forsake us, O Lord our God.
All:Thanks be to God.
Father:Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Father:For You have redeemed us, O Lord, God of truth.
All:I commend my spirit.
Father:Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
All:Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Father: Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of Your eye.
All:Shelter us under the shadow of Your wings.
Father:Now, Lord, you may dismiss your servant, in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have set before all nations as a light of revelation for the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
All:As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Father:O Lord, hear my prayer.
All:And let my cry come to You.
Father:Let us pray. Visit this dwelling, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy. Let Thy holy Angels dwell herein, who may keep us in peace, and let Thy blessing be always upon us. Through Christ our Lord.
All:Amen.
Father:Let us remember the saints who come with us today to show their love for the Christ-Child.

(The Collect or some other appropriate part of the Mass of the day is read.)

Let us now sing a carol to the Christ-Child so that He may rest peacefully with us this night.

Night prayers end with a favorite carol.

Prayer Source: Twelve Days of Christmas, The by Elsa Chaney, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1955
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