Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Move to: Previous Day | Next Day

Advent: December 24th

December 24, Christmas Eve

MASS READINGS

December 24, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

December 24, Christmas Eve: Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


Solemnity of Christmas, Vigil Mass: O God, who gladden us by year as we wait in hope for our redemption, grant that, just as we joyfully welcome your Only Begotten Son as our Redeemer, we may also merit to face him confidently when he comes again as our Judge. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

show

Recipes (48)

show

Activities (24)

show

Prayers (24)

show

Library (3)

show

Blog & Podcasts (9)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!


Mass Propers for the Mass in the Morning
Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Gal 4:4:

Behold, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son into the world.


Alleluia Verse:

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.


Communion Antiphon, Lk 1:68:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them.

The Vigil Mass is used on the evening of December 24, either before or after First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity. Before the Mass the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Roman Martyrology can be read or chanted.
Mass Propers for the Vigil Mass of Christmas
Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Ex 16:6-7:

Today you will know that the Lord will come, and he will save us, and in the morning you will see his glory.


Alleluia Verse:

Tomorrow the wickedness of the earth will be destroyed: the Savior of the world will reign over us.


Preface I of the Nativity of the Lord:

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For in the mystery of the Word made flesh
a new light of your glory has shone upon the eyes of our mind,
so that as we recognize in him God made visible,
we may be caught up through him in love of things invisible.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory
as without end we acclaim:


Communion Antiphon, Cf. Is 40:5:

The glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see the salvation of our God.

The liturgical texts express wholehearted confidence in the imminent coming of the Redeemer. There is much joyous expectation. Most families have their own observances, customs that should be preserved from generation to generation. Today is the last day of our Christmas Novena and last day of the Jesse Tree.


For those following the Jesse Tree, you can either continue through Christmas Eve following Catholic Culture's Jesse Tree, or use symbols based on the “O” Antiphons (see Jesse Tree Instructions and O Antiphons).

     Jesse Tree, Day 28 ~ St. John the Baptist
     Jesse Tree Overview


     Station Church Information >>>


Christmas Eve at Church
The entire liturgy of Christmas Eve is consecrated to the anticipation of the certain and sure arrival of the Savior: "Today you shall know that the Lord shall come and tomorrow you shall see His glory" (Invitatory of Matins for the Vigil of the Nativity). Throughout Advent we have seen how the preparation for Jesus' coming became more and more precise. Isaiah, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mother appeared throughout the season announcing and foretelling the coming of the King. We learn today that Christ according to His human nature is born at Bethlehem of the House of David of the Virgin Mary, and that according to His divine nature He is conceived of the Spirit of holiness, the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity.

The certitude of His coming is made clear in two images. The first is that of the closed gate of paradise. Since our first parents were cast forth from the earthly paradise the gate has been closed and a cherubim stands guard with flaming sword. The Redeemer alone is able to open this door and enter in. On Christmas Eve we stand before the gate of paradise, and it is for this reason that Psalm 23 is the theme of the vigil:

Lift up your gates, O princes,
Open wide, eternal gates,
That the King of Glory may enter in. . . .

Christmas Eve at Home
It must be so that the grown-ups may devote themselves with a quiet mind, unhindered by any commotion, to these great mysteries of the Holy Night, that in most Catholic countries the giving of gifts has been advanced to Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve is an appropriate time for the exchange of gifts, after the Christ-Child has been placed in the manger, and the special prayers before the crib — and a round of Christmas carols — are over. If the gifts are given out before the Midnight Mass, the children can concentrate more easily on the great mystery which is celebrated, when the Greatest Gift is given to all alike, even those who have received no material expression of Christmas love. And then, too, Christmas Day with its two additional Masses can be devoted more to the contemplation of the Christmas mystery and the demands of Christmas hospitality.

The opening of the eternal gates through which the King of Glory may enter is indicated by the wreath on the door of our homes at Christmastide. The Advent wreath, which accompanied the family throughout the season of preparation may be taken down. The violet ribbons are removed, and it is gloriously decorated with white and gold. It is then placed upon the door as a symbol of the welcome of Christ into our city, our home and our hearts. On Christmas Eve the whole house should be strewn with garlands and made ready for the Light of the World. The crib is set in a special place of honor, for tonight the central figure of the Nativity scene is to arrive.


Today is Day Nine of the Christmas Novena.


Vigil Mass, Christmas Eve
Station with Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major):

The station church for the Vigil Mass of Christmas, and also for the Midnight Mass (at the Crib) and the Christmas Mass during the day is the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. St. Mary Major is considered "Bethlehem" to the Romans. It is the Savior of the world Himself who is promised to us the next day, as the Alleluia verse and Communion Antiphon tells us.
For Further Info:
Vatican on the Basilica
Churches of Rome
Rome Art Lover

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.