The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day

Christmas DayDecember 25, 2021

Today’s readings: Isaiah 9:1-7; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20


The Invitatory

Unto us a child is born; O come, let us worship Him!

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy, which will come to all the people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.   

Luke 2:10, 11

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. [1]

This is the day whereon the King of heaven was pleased to be born of a Virgin,  that He might bring back to heaven mankind who was lost.

“The First Noel”

Lyrics

1 The first Noel the angel did say 

was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; 

in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, 

on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. 

Refrain:

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, 

born is the King of Israel. 

2 They looked up and saw a star 

shining in the east, beyond them far; 

and to the earth it gave great light, 

and so it continued both day and night. [Refrain]

3 And by the light of that same star 

three Wise Men came from country far; 

to seek for a king was their intent, 

and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]

4 This star drew nigh to the northwest, 

o’er Bethlehem it took its rest; 

and there it did both stop and stay, 

right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]

5 Then entered in those Wise Men three, 

full reverently upon the knee, 

and offered there, in his presence, 

their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain] [2]

The Dream of St Joseph
Philippe de Champaigne, National Gallery, London
(source)

Antiphon

A maiden hath born the King Whose name is everlasting: she hath the joy of a mother, and likewise the honor of virginity; none hath been seen like unto her, neither shall there be any such. Alleluia!

Isaiah 9:1-7

A child is born for us

1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

2 The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

on them has light shone.

3 You have multiplied the nation;

you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

as with joy at the harvest,

as they are glad when they divide the spoil.

4 For the yoke of his burden,

and the staff for his shoulder,

the rod of his oppressor,

you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult

and every garment rolled in blood

will be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and of peace

there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Gloria Patri

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

“The Annunciation” 
Fra Angelico, Convent of San Marco, Florence 
(source)

Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine Only-Begotten Son may deliver us, who led by old bondage are held under the yoke of sin. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [3]


Glory to God in the highest, 
and on earth peace, 
to men of goodwill.

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

Lyrics

1 Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King:

peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

join the triumph of the skies;

with th’angelic hosts proclaim,

“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Refrain:

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King”

2 Christ, by highest heaven adored,

Christ, the everlasting Lord,

late in time behold him come,

offspring of the Virgin’s womb:

veiled in flesh the Godhead see;

hail th’incarnate Deity,

pleased with us in flesh to dwell,

Jesus, our Immanuel. [Refrain]

3 Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

born that we no more may die,

born to raise us from the earth,

born to give us second birth. [Refrain] [4]

Annunciation to the Shepherds
Taddeo Gaddi, church of Santa Croce, Florence
(source)

Antiphon

The Angel said unto the shepherds: Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy; for unto you is born the Saviour of the world. Alleluia!

Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God has appeared

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Gloria Patri

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Giorgione, National Gallery of Art, Washington
(source)

Let us pray. 

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [5]


There is joy among the hosts of Angels, 
because eternal salvation hath appeared unto mankind.

“Joy to the World”

Lyrics

1 Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive its king;

let ev’ry heart prepare him room,

and heav’n and nature sing,

and heav’n and nature sing,

and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

2 Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let all their songs employ

while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground.

He comes to make his blessings flow

far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found,

far as, far as the curse is found.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love. [6]

Mary and Joseph on the Way to Bethlehem (Portinari Altarpiece)
Hugo van der Goes, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
(source)

Antiphon

Behold, all things are fulfilled: which were spoken by the angel concerning the Virgin Mary.

Blessed art thou among women.

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb.

Luke 2:1-20

God with us

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Census at Bethlehem
Peter Bruegel the Elder, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
(source)

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Gloria Patri

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Nativity
Federico Barrocci, Prado museum, Madrid
(source)

Let us pray. 

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. [7]

Behold, the dwelling of God is with mankind. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. 

Revelation 21:3

The Concluding Prayer of the Church

I pray to You, Lord Jesus Christ,

     By Your unique and most holy nativity,

          Enlighten my darkness

     And give me the great fire of Your love,

And by Your small manger,…

And by Your humanity, 

     Your humility and submission,…

          Drive out  of me the spirit of pride,

     And give me a humble heart.

(Book of Cerne) [8]


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects: Seasons of the Year. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 213). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] Author: AnonymousIn some hymnals, T. (n.d.). The First Noel the Angel Did Say. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://hymnary.org/text/the_first_noel_the_angel_did_say

[3] Episcopal Church. (1911). Proper of Seasosn. In Breviary offices from Lauds to Compline inclusive: Translated from the Sarum Book and Supplemented from Gallican and Monastic Uses (Ebook ed., Printed For The Society Of S. Margaret, Boston, U.S., pp. 124). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[4] Author: Charles WesleyCharles Wesley, M. (n.d.). Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://hymnary.org/text/hark_the_herald_angels_sing_glory_to

[5] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects: Seasons of the Year. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 212). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[6] Author: Isaac WattsIsaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, A. (n.d.). Joy to the world! the Lord is come! Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://hymnary.org/text/joy_to_the_world_the_lord_is_come

[7] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects: Seasons of the Year. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 212). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.


[8] Stratman, P. (2001). Confession of Sin. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 22). Rossway.

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