December 25, 2020 • Christmas Eve/Day

Parish or Diocesan Leaders, please read this!


Just Before You Begin


Opening Song

©2000 Jesse Manibusan. All rights reserved. Used with permission. music@jessemanibusan.com


Leader: We begin the celebration of the great feast of Christmas,
a time of joy and peace,
grateful for Jesus’ birth, and for the steadfast love of his parents, Mary and Joseph.


Leader: ┼ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: Peace and joy to you from God our Father
and from his Son, Jesus, who became a baby for us.
We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.
(The response is: We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.)

All: We love you, O Lord, and we thank you.

Leader: We gather together now
to remember the story of Jesus’ birth.
One with all who celebrate his coming into our world,
let us now listen to God's Word and join in prayer.

All: Amen.


Leader: On this joyful day, together we sing in praise of God's glory!

Opening Prayer

Leader: Let us pray

Leader: God of joy and peace
you became a baby so you would know
what it is like to be one of us.
Help us to care for and love all the children of the world,
especially those who are poor and in need,
because you were one of them.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.




Reader 1: In today’s reading, we hear about how Jesus was born and who came to visit him. We now do this action prayer together: May the Lord be on my mind, ┼
on my lips, ┼
and in my heart ┼
as we hear the Gospel today.
A reading from the holy Gospel of Matthew.

Reader 1: About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders
for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.
These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed.
So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea.
Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown,
and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.
Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem.
She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there,
she gave birth to her first-born son.
She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep.
All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord,
and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them.
The shepherds were frightened.
But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy.
This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.
You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”
Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said: “Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
who pleases God.”

Reader 1: 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.”

Reader 1: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Song Reflection

Gospel Video Reflections

Reflections on the Readings

  1. Who is your favorite person in this story? Mary? Joseph? Baby Jesus? The shepherds? The angels? Why?
  2. In your imagination, what does the place look like where Jesus was born? What did Mary and Joseph have with them in Bethlehem? What did they NOT have that they may have liked to have had when their baby was born?
  3. If you were there, what would you have wanted to say to Mary or Joseph or the baby Jesus?

General Intercessions

Leader: Now let’s pray together to God for what we need.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who don’t have a safe, warm, and dry home at this time of year,
especially families with babies and young children,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray during this Christmas season
that we never forget that Jesus and his parents were poor
So that we share what we have to help others,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are sick,
and for all the doctors, nurses, caregivers and essential workers
who are caring for them, that they remain healthy,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: We pray for all those who are lonely or sad during this Christmas season,
that we can be Christ for them in their darkness,
let us pray to the Lord.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For what else and for who else shall we pray?

Lord's Prayer

Leader: Jesus taught us to call God our Father, and so we have the courage to say:

All: Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Sign of Peace

Leader: Let us now offer each other a sign of peace.

A Litany for Spiritual Communion

Leader: The response is: Lord, bring us closer to you!

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
we wish we could gather today with our parish community,
but we gather here out of love and concern for others.
You teach us that when two or three are gathered in your name,
you are there.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Christ Jesus, you are present in a special way
when bread and wine are turned into your Body and Blood.
Since we cannot receive you in this way today,
We ask that you enter our hearts
so that we may receive you spiritually.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Concluding Rite

Blessing & Dismissal

Leader: Go in the peace of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.

Closing Song

After the Service

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