Call to worship

We celebrate this great feast with deep joy For we were once people of darkness, but now we are called to the live in the light. For a child has been born to us. He is the Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty Savior, The Prince of Peace. Let us join together in prayer and jubilation to celebrate this great feast of Christmas!

Focusing the Gospel (Vigil Mass)

To the point: In the beginning of this gospel Joseph is in the dark: he does not know how Mary has become pregnant. When God intervenes through a dream, Joseph sees clearly that he must do “as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” This new light of understanding is the revelation of the mystery of Emmanuel, “God is with us.” What a glorious revelation this is! What a glorious light this is!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass at Midnight)

To the point: Joseph and Mary must have been beside themselves, arriving at Bethlehem to find “no room for them in the inn.” They accept the kind offer of a stable where, in its little light, the great Light of the world is born and the “glory of the Lord” shines forth. Light and glory shine forth in the humble birth of “a savior … who is Christ and Lord.” May that Light and glory shine forth always!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass at Dawn)

To the point: Enlightened by the revelation of the angels, the shepherds go “in haste” to find the Light of the world. Finding this Light “lying in a manger,” they hasten to make him known to all whom they meet. Like the shepherds, we too must hear the revelation and hasten to find this same Light of the world. We too must make him known to all whom we meet. The Light shines. Let us be on our way!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass during the Day)

To the point: God’s Word is an eternal word, present at the beginning of creation and present to us now. God spoke a creative word “In the beginning,” incarnated a glorious Word at that first Christmas, and continues to speak to us a saving Word, the “only Son, God.” May this Word be for us the “true light” that leads us to the fullness of grace and truth.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

Mass During the Night

(John 1:1-18)

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

The angels sang in wonder and awe.
And the shepherds listened.
Down went the wall
between heaven and Earth.
Through it poured love beyond all telling,
holding onto our hands, laughing with us,
crying with us, just a baby, whose name was Jesus.

The First Reading

Midnight Mass

(Isaiah 9:1-6)

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.

For a child is born to us,a son given us.
Mary gave birth to her firstborn son.
Upon his shoulders dominance rests.
His victory is vast and forever peaceful.
You will find him wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
Here is the name they give him: Wonder Counselor.
God-Hero, Father-Forever Prince of Peace.
Jesus. Come, let us adore him.

The Second Reading

Mass During the Day

(Hebrews 1:1-6)

For to which of the angels did God ever say:
 “You are my son; this day I have I begotten you”?

To our forbearers God spoke in partial
and various ways, tacitly
through prophets and through others
as through a wall or over it or around it.
Now he speaks directly through his Son.”
O God, in your generous love, you talk to us
face to face, straight to our hearts in Jesus.
Let us listen, help us hear.

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection