ISAIAH 25For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in their distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; the breath of the ruthless pounds against the wall like heat in the desert. You will bring down action of the astray, like heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the ruthless shall be brought down.
And on this mountain, Yahweh of the hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of aged wines, of fat things full of marrow, of well-aged wines well refined. And God will destroy in this mountain the shroud that shrouds all peoples, the veil that covers all nations. God has swallowed up death permanently! And the Lord Yahweh will wipe tears away off of all faces; and the dishonor of God’s people God will take away from off all the earth: for Yahweh has spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, “Here, this is our Elohim, we have waited and God saves us. This is Yahweh; we have waited, we will be glad and rejoice in God’s salvation. For in this mountain the hand of Yahweh will rest “
A PRAYER FOR WAITINGWe are a people who hope, who await the return of our Messiah. God is and will fully renew the world through Jesus, through his love, all wrongs will be made right.
The people walking in darknessHave seen a great light;On those living in the land of deep darknessA light has dawned.
The Lord whom you seekShall suddenly come to the Lord’s temple;The messenger of the covenantIn whom you delight.Behold, God is coming.Rejoice greatly! Shout in triumph!Our King is coming;The righteous Savior,Who shall speak peace to the nations.
“COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS” Come Thou long expected JesusBorn to set Thy people freeFrom our fears and sins release usLet us find our rest in TheeIsrael’s strength and consolationHope of all the earth Thou artDear desire of every nationJoy of every longing heart
Born Thy people to deliverBorn a child and yet a KingBorn to reign in us foreverNow Thy gracious kingdom bringBy Thine own eternal SpiritRule in all our hearts aloneBy Thine all-sufficient meritRaise us to Thy glorious throneTheAnnunciation—Part II
A Reading from the Gospel of St. Luke
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
And Mary said, “Behold I am the Lord’s servant; be it unto me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
A PRAYER OF RESPONSEThis night, we meditate on Mary’s words,Together we speak her words,Longing our hearts to be like hers.Behold we are the Lord’s servant;be it unto us according to your word.
“MAGNIFICAT”My soul magnifies the LordMy spirit has rejoiced in God my SaviorFor he has seen the humble state of his servant.
For behold, from now on,All generations will call me blessed.For he who is mightyHas done great things for me.Holy is his name.
His mercy is for generations of generationsOn those who fear him.He has shown strength with his arm.He has scattered the proudIn the imagination of their hearts.He has put down princes from their thrones.And has exalted the lowly.He has filled the hungry with good things.He has sent the rich away empty.He has given help to Israel, his servant,That he might remember mercy,As he spoke to our fathers,To Abraham and his offspring forever.
A Reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
A PRAYER FOR THE DARK NIGHTO God, where are you?It is night.We are lost.Where is your light?
O God, do you see us?Our eyes swell with tears;Our bones fearfully cold;Our very souls are torn.
O God, do you hear us?Hear our voice!Have mercy on us.Do not hide your face.
Great Light,Draw near and warm us.Let us feel your nearness.
…Because of the tender mercy of our God,The dayspring from on high will visit us,To shine upon those who sit in darknessAnd in the shadow of death;To guide our feet into the way of peace.
Will visit you,Shine on you.Guide you.
“GOD OF HOPE”God of hope, in this placeTake away our lonelinessMend our wounds, and heal our heartsGod of hope, you’re near to us
You break into the darknessAnd capture our painMay the warmth of your lightBring comfort again
God of hope, in this placeTake away our lonelinessMend our wounds, and heal our heartsGod of hope, you’re near to us
The aching in our heartsThe longing in our lungsThe refuge we desireOur God here with usTheSeeking—Part IV
A PRAYER FOR SEEKINGO Divine Love,we go after power and money, and yet,you come in weakness.
O Divine Love,we covet new things, and yetyou alone offer what lasts.
O Divine Love,we have forgotten you, and yetyou seek after us.
Teach us your weaknessYou alone are our comfortWe remember, we seek youMake us wise this Christmas
“WHAT CHILD IS THIS?”What child is this, who, laid to rest,On Mary's lap is sleeping?Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,While shepherds watch are keeping?This, this is Christ the King,Whom shepherds guard and angels singHaste, haste to bring Him laud,The babe, the son of Mary
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrhCome, peasant, king, to own himThe King of kings salvation brings,Let loving hearts enthrone himRaise, raise a song on high,The virgin sings her lullabyJoy, joy for Christ is born,The babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,Where ox and ass are feedingGood Christians, fear, for sinners hereThe silent Word is pleading.Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,the cross be borne for me, for you.Hail, hail the Word made flesh,the Babe, the Son of MaryAnInvitation—Part V
“THE FIRST NOEL”The First Noel, the Angels did sayWas to certain poor shepherds in fields as they layIn fields where they lay keeping their sheepOn a cold winter's night that was so deep.Noel, Noel, Noel, NoelBorn is the King of Israel!
They looked up and saw a starShining in the East beyond them farAnd to the earth it gave great lightAnd so it continued both day and night.Noel, Noel, Noel, NoelBorn is the King of Israel!
Then let us all with one accordSing praises to our heavenly LordThat hath made Heaven and earth of noughtAnd with his blood mankind has bought.Noel, Noel, Noel, NoelBorn is the King of Israel!
GodWith Us—Part VI
A EUCHARIST PRAYERAbbawe gather tonight,in great thanksgivingas we remember Emmanuel,God is with us.
We remember JesusWhose broken body is a wonder to ponderWhose infant cry is a mystery to hearThe Almighty, become all vulnerableThe Word, The one who spoke and all things were createdKnew not one word
We remember the hurting the among us,the sick, the lonely, the addicted.We remember that war still ragesWe bring those moments into this momentAnd hope
God you appeared in weakness, protect the weakGod you died in violence bring peace
O Divine Lovewe would taste and see your goodnessa goodness that renews us in your image.
Together we proclaim the mystery of our faithChrist has diedChrist has risenChrist will come again
Friends,Come to the tableThe GREAT THANKSGIVINGThe EucharistTogether we proclaim the mystery of our faithChrist has died,Christ is risen,Christ will come again.
Come to the TABLETaste and see, remember that the Lord is good.
“HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE”Come see the Babe in BethlehemThe promise that was promisedAlmighty God in helpless formGreat love displayed in weaknessIncarnate word, EmmanuelAn answer to our longingHis mother holds him to her breastAs hope and light are dawning
How deep the Father’s love for us,How vast beyond all measure,That He should give His only SonTo make a wretch His treasureHow great the pain of searing lossThe Father turns His face away,As wounds which mar the Chosen OneBring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross,My sin upon His shoulders;Ashamed, I hear my mocking voiceCall out among the scoffersIt was my sin that held Him thereUntil it was accomplished;His dying breath has brought me lifeI know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,No gifts, no power, no wisdom;But I will boast in Jesus Christ,His death and resurrectionWhy should I gain from His reward?I cannot give an answer;But this I know with all my heartHis wounds have paid my ransom.
BE THOU MY VISIONBe Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heartNaught be all else to me, save that Thou artThou my best thought, by day or by nightWaking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true WordI ever with Thee and Thou with me, LordThou my great Father, and I Thy true sonThou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praiseThou mine Inheritance, now and alwaysThou and Thou only, first in my heartHigh King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
High King of Heaven, my victory wonMay I reach Heaven’s joys,O bright Heaven’s Sun!Heart of my own heart, whatever befallStill be my Vision, O Ruler of all
O COME O COME EMMANUELO come, O come, EmmanuelAnd ransom captive IsraelThat mourns in lonely exile hereUntil the Son of God appearRejoice! Rejoice! EmmanuelShall come to thee, O Israel!
Oh come, thou Dayspring, come and cheerOur spirits by Thine advent hereDisperse the gloomy clouds of nightAnd death's dark shadows put to flight.Rejoice! Rejoice! EmmanuelShall come to thee, O Israel!
Oh, come Desire of nations, bindIn one the hearts of all mankindOh bid our sad divisions cease,and be yourself our King of PeaceRejoice! Rejoice! EmmanuelShall come to thee, O Israel!
BENEDICTIONThe Lord bless you and keep youThe Lord make his face shine on youAnd be gracious to youThe Lord lift up his countenance on youAnd give you peace.
Grace and peace.