Wednesday, December 25, 2013



Christmas Novena

and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold At that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention request[s] here).

Through Jesus Christ
and His most Blessed Mother.


Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

Reading 1
IS 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96: 1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13

R. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

R. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord.

They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.

R. Today is born our Savior,
Christ the Lord.

Reading 2
TI 2:11-14


The grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

LK 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


December 25

Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord

On this day the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, 
although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-Son, help round out the scene.

But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after, and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.

On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “un-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. 
And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.


Jesu, the Ransomer of man,
who, ere created light began,
didst from the sovereign Father spring,
his power and glory equalling!
Salvation’s author, call to mind
how, taking form of humankind,
born of a Virgin undefiled,
thou in man’s flesh becam’st a Child.
The heavens above, the rolling main
and all that earth’s wide realms contain,
with joyous voice now loudly sing
the glory of their newborn King.
And we who, by thy precious Blood
from sin redeemed, are marked for God,
on this the day that saw thy birth,
sing the new song of ransomed earth.
O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor

‘The Lord said to me:
‘You are my son. It is I who have begotten you this day.’

Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.

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.

‘The Lord said to me:
‘You are my son. It is I who have begotten you this day.’

Psalm 18 (19)
Praise of God the creator

The Lord comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent.

The skies tell the story of the glory of God,
the firmament proclaims the work of his hands;
day pours out the news to day,
night passes to night the knowledge.
Not a speech, not a word,
not a voice goes unheard.
Their sound is spread throughout the earth,
their message to all the corners of the world.
At the ends of the earth he has set up
a dwelling place for the sun.
Like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
it rejoices like an athlete at the race to be run.
It appears at the edge of the sky,
runs its course to the sky’s furthest edge.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

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.

The Lord comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent.

Psalm 44 (45)
The wedding of the King

Graciousness is poured upon your lips,
because God has blessed you for evermore.

My heart cries out on a joyful theme:
I will tell my poem to the king,
my tongue like the pen of the swiftest scribe.
You have been given more than human beauty,
and grace is poured out upon your lips,
so that God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword to your side, mighty one,
in all your greatness and splendor.
In your splendor go forth, mount your chariot,
on behalf of truth, kindness and justice.
Let your right hand show your marvels,
let your arrows be sharp against the hearts of the king’s enemies
– the peoples will fall before you.
Your throne is firm, O God, from age to age,
your royal scepter is a scepter of justice.
You love uprightness, hate injustice
– for God, your God has anointed you
with the oil of gladness, above all your companions.
Myrrh and aloes and cassia anoint your garments.
From ivory palaces the sound of harps delights you.
In your retinue go the daughters of kings.
At your right hand, the queen is adorned with gold of Ophir.
Listen, my daughter, and understand;
turn your ears to what I have to say.
Forget your people, forget your father’s house,
and the king will desire you for your beauty.
He is your lord, so worship him.
The daughters of Tyre will bring you gifts;
the richest of your subjects will beg you to look on them.
How great is the king’s daughter, within the palace!
She is clothed in woven gold.
She will be taken to the king in colored garments,
her maidens will escort her to your presence.
In gladness and rejoicing they are brought
and led to the house of the king.
Instead of your fathers you will have sons:
you will make them rulers over all the world.
I will remember your name
from generation to generation.
And so your people will do you honor
for ever and for ever.

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.

Graciousness is poured upon your lips,
because God has blessed you for evermore.

The word was made flesh, alleluia.
– And dwelt among us, alleluia.

First Reading
Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,
a scion thrusts from his roots:
on him the spirit of the Lord rests,
a spirit of wisdom and insight,
a spirit of counsel and power,
a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances,
he gives no verdict on hearsay,
but judges the wretched with integrity,
and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,
his sentences bring death to the wicked.
Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,
faithfulness the belt about his hips.
The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion feed together,
with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends,
their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox.
The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;
into the viper’s lair
the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm,
on all my holy mountain,
for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters swell the sea.
That day, the root of Jesse
shall stand as a signal to the peoples.
It will be sought out by the nations
and its home will be glorious.


Today the king of heaven has deigned to be born of a virgin for us,
to recall fallen man to his heavenly kingdom.
Hosts of angels rejoice,
for eternal salvation has come to the human race.

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased.
Hosts of angels rejoice,
for eternal salvation has come to the human race.

Second Reading
A sermon of Pope St Leo the Great

Christian, remember your dignity

Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. 
The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. 
Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. 
Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, 
in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, 
let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, 
do not return by sin to your former base condition. 
Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. 
Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness 
and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.


Today true peace has come down to us from heaven;
the skies rain down sweetness all over the world.

A day of new redemption has dawned,
a day of eternal bliss, prepared from of old:
the skies rain down sweetness all over the world.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

God our Father,
our human nature is the wonderful work of your hands,
made still more wonderful by your work of redemption.
Your Son took to himself our manhood:
grant us a share in the godhead of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.