Prayer for the Nativity
Jesus Christ, radiant centre of glory,
image of our God, the invisible Father,
revealer of his eternal designs,
prince of peace;
father of the world to come. . .
For our sake he took the likeness of a slave,
becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
without intervention of man;
for our sake, wrapped in swaddling bands
and laid in a manger
adored by the shepherds
and hymned by the angelic powers, who sang:
Glory to God in the heavens
and on earth peace and good to men.
Make us worthy, Lord, to celebrate and to conclude in peace the feast which magnifies the rising of your light,
by avoiding empty words, working with justice, fleeing from the passions and raising up the spirit above earthly goods.
Bless your Church, formed long ago
to be united with yourself through your life giving blood.
Come to the aid of your faithful shepherds,
of the priests and the teachers of your Gospel.
Bless your faithful whose only hope is in your mercy; Christian souls, the sick, those who are tormented in spirit and those who have asked us to pray for them.
Have pity, in your infinite clemency, and preserve us in fitness to receive the future, endless good things.
We celebrate your glorious nativity
with the Father who sent you for our redemption,
with the life-giving Spirit,
now and for ever and through all ages. Amen.
Hymn for the Nativity
Sons of men, do you truly speak of justice? Dwellers on the earth,
do you truly judge with fairness?
We confess with unshakable faith
that God, who was made man
and who was given birth by a Virgin.
Before all time [and creation] he was begotten [engendered].
of the infinite Father;
now we adore him who became incarnate
in a Virgin’s womb.
He is the creator of all,
himself remaining invisible and distinct from creation.
So we are able to say:
in you, Lord, is clemency; glory be to you.
O Holy God,
you have deigned to be born, a tiny child, from a Virgin.
O God, holy and strong,
you have willed to rest in the arms of Mary.
O God, holy and immortal,
you have come to rescue Adam from hell.
O immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, full of grace,
Emmanuel, whom you have carried,
is the fruit of your womb.
In your maternal bosom you have nourished all men.
You are above all praise and all glory.
Hail, Mother of God, joy of the angels.
The fullness of your grace
goes beyond what the prophets foretold.
The Lord is with you,
you have given birth
to the Saviour of the world.
Fragment from an ancient eucharistic liturgy
We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ,
God-Saviour of men,
stupendously powerful with the Father;
we praise you, we invoke you, we pray to you; assist us with your pardon, with clemency give us your grace.
Awaken in our hearts desires deserving of fulfillment; suggest to us words that are worthy to be heard; grant that our actions may be worthy of blessing.
We beg you to renew your birth in human nature, penetrating us with your invisible Godhead
as you did in a unique way in Mary
and do now spiritually in the Church.
May you be conceived by our faith,
that a mind untouched by corruption may bring you forth, that the soul, ever confirmed by the power of the Most High, may offer you a dwelling place.
Be not born in us, but reveal yourself in us. Be truly for us the Emmanuel, God with us.
Deign to remain with us, to fight for us. Only so can we conquer.