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CHRISTMAS PARALITURGY

Introduction

Many times in the course of history God spoke and his Word was effective and
liberating. He spoke, and the world was made. He spoke, and man and woman
were created. He spoke, and he created the free nation of Israel, his Chosen
People. But Israel refused to listen to God in the prophets and the gloom of sin
over the world settled also over his people. God did not give up on humanity. He
spoke his definitive Word, Jesus, and Jesus came and was born a child of people.
He came to save us. Do we listen to his Word? Do we give him our word of
acceptance and love?

Opening Hymn and Enthronement of the Christ Child

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,


O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

Refrain:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;


O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest!

L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
A: Amen.

Opening Prayer

L: God our Father, you created us to be with you forever, and sent your Son
Jesus to lead us to eternal life. We ask you now to help us pray with one
heart and one mind as we begin this celebration. We make this prayer
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please be seated.

Reading

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

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 men 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!

The Word of the Lord.

Silent Reflection

Please stand.
Intercessions

L: Let us present our prayers to God our Father as we prepare to meet Jesus.
Let us say to him:

Lord, come and save us.

1. Let us pray for the Church: That in this time of waiting, all Christians will
grow in faith, hope and love. We pray to the Lord.

2. Let us pray for peace in the world: That all Christians and people of good
will may become peace makers in their words and actions, so that everyone
living where there is war and fighting will know the peace of Christ’s
coming. We pray to the Lord.

3. Let us pray for all those in our community who are sick and lonely. That
they may find hope and comfort as we reach out to them this Christmas
season. We pray to the Lord.

4. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are
suffering because of natural and man-made calamities: May Jesus, our God-
with-us, accompany them in their pain and give them strength to build life
anew. We pray to the Lord.

5. Let us pray for our parents, relatives, and friends: May the coming of Jesus
bring them peace, good health, and safety always. We pray to the Lord.

6. Let us pray for our students and all those entrusted to our care: That the
Holy Spirit may fill their hearts with love that they may welcome Jesus in
everyone with compassion and kindness. We pray to the Lord.

7. Let us pray for all of us working here in Saint Michael College: May the
newborn Jesus strengthen them with wisdom to guide us in using our gifts
and talents to serve Christ in one another. We pray to the Lord.
L: Lord Jesus, you entered our world and know our needs and desires. Do not
always give what we ask but what we really need and stay with us, now and
forever. Amen.

Birthday Blessing

Representative: Our dear Sister Vivina, the longer you are with us, the more
light you bring into our lives. As we light this candle, we
recognize the light of your life, and ask Jesus to bring his life to
you.

A faculty member lights the candle and gives it to Sister. Then, the following
blessing is imparted.

Prayer of Blessing

What you hold, may you always hold.


What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing,
agreeing with nothing
which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block on the ay
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.

All: Amen.

Sign of Peace

L: The Lord Jesus entered our world as the Father's Word of peace. Let us now
share His Peace with one another.
Closing Prayer

All: Our Faithful God, you make yourself known and speak to us through Jesus
Christ, your image and your living Word. Open our ears and hearts, that we
may receive your Word and keep it. Let your Word become flesh among us
also in our words of peace and truth and in our deeds of justice and love, of
friendship and self-effacing service. May this be the way by which people
recognize that your Son is alive among us today, and may they praise you
forever.

All: Amen.

Closing Hymn

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!


Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!


Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.