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SPIRITUAL COMMUNION FOR CHRISTMAS DAY



In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.


Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you


Welcome all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span.

Summer in winter, day in night, heaven in earth and God in man.

Great little one whose all-embracing birth

brings earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.


God our Father, today the Saviour is born

and those who live in darkness are seeing a great light.

Help us, who greet the birth of Christ with joy,

to live in the light of your Son

and to share the good news of your love.

We ask this through Jesus Christ,

the light who has come into the world.

Blessed be God for ever.


BLESSING THE CHRISTMAS TREE

All glory and praise to you, Heavenly Father. We thank you for sending us your Son to be our brother.

Bless us as we gather here and bless our Christmas Tree; let its light remind us of Jesus, who came into the world to save us from sin. We praise your name through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of Peace.

Lord, have mercy.


You are the Son of God and the Son of Mary.

Christ, have mercy.


You are the Word made flesh, the splendour of the Father.

Lord, have mercy.


May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


THE GLORIA

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you, we adore you,

we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King,

O God, almighty Father.


Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.


For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


The Collect:


O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature

and still more wonderfully restored it,

grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ,

who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Liturgy of the Word


Isaiah 52:7-10 How beautiful on the mountains,

are the feet of one who brings good news,

who heralds peace, brings happiness,

proclaims salvation, and tells Zion,

‘Your God is king!’

Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices,

they shout for joy together,

for they see the Lord face to face, as he returns to Zion.

Break into shouts of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem;

for the Lord is consoling his people, redeeming Jerusalem.

The Lord bares his holy arm in the sight of all the nations,

and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

The Word of the Lord


PSALM 97 (98)


All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Sing a new song to the Lord

for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm

have brought salvation.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth,ring out your joy.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp with the sound of music.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn acclaim the King, the Lord.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


Hebrews 1:1-6 At various times in the past and in various different

ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our

own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son

that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he

made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and

the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his

powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement

of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of

divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title

which he has inherited is higher than their own name.

God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have

become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me.

Again, when he brings the First-Born into the world, he says: Let all

the angels of God worship him.

The Word of the Lord




Alleluia, alleluia! A hallowed day has dawned upon us.

Come, you nations, worship the Lord.

For today a great light has come upon the earth.Alleluia!


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.


In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God

and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things came to be,

not one thing had its being but through him.

All that came to be had life in him, and that life was the light of men,

a light that shines in the dark,

a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God. His name was John.

He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light,

so that everyone might believe through him.

He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light that enlightens all men;

and he was coming into the world.

He was in the world that had its being through him,

and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain

and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the

name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the

flesh or will of man but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory,

the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,

full of grace and truth.

John appears as his witness. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom

I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed

before me.’Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –

yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given

through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the

Father’s heart, who has made him known.


The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.




THE HOMILY


You might remember I told you the story of Chippie The Parakeet,

whose owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a Dyson.

She stuck the hose attachment into the cage,

when her mobile rang, and, turning to pick it up,

inadvertently sucked Chippie up in the Dyson. She immediately turned off the Vacuum, and opened the drum.

There was Chippie—still alive, but stunned,

covered with dust and soot,

so she grabbed him, raced to the bathroom,

turned on the tap, and held Chippie under the running water.


Seeing that Chippie was soaked and shivering,

she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . .

she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the bird with hot air.

Poor Chippie never fully recovered.

He didn’t sing anymore—he just sat and stared.


I imagine all of us will have felt, or will feel,

like Chippie at one time or another.

That’s life - One minute you’re in familiar territory

with a song on your lips,

the next minute something awful happens….


The redundancy notice arrives;


The job application is rejected;


The exam results arrive and aren’t as good as you hoped…..


The hospital test results are disappointing …..


You’re sucked into a black cavern of self-doubt,

doused with the cold water of reality,

and stung with the hot air of empty promises.


Life that had been previously calm is taken by storm to another level;

· You’re assaulted by demands;

· Assailed by doubts;

· Pummelled by questions.

· And somewhere in the storm, you lose your song.


God’s world has been, and continues to be, stormed.

He’d created a Universe that is GOOD, very good……..

But again and again, God’s hopes were dashed

by greed,

by selfishness,

by humans playing at God and failing miserably…


Like Chippie, God’s creation never fully recovers; Creation loses its song,

and the very life is again and again sucked out of it all,

as it spirals downward into a vortex of darkness.


But God’s creation was good, and is good, it is very good;

God has realistic plans,

and we know, in the words of Mother Julian of Norwich,

that wonderful woman of faith, who lived through another time

of plague, similar to our own, in the fourteenth century

that “All shall be well, and all shall be well,

and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Julian goes on to say:

“The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us

are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth,

of a mother’s love for her children.”


Two-thousand years ago, God’s rescue plan went into operation:

“The Word” became Flesh and dwelt among us”

“a light that shines in the dark,

a light that darkness could not overpower.”

JESUS CAME AS A LIGHT THAT SHINES IN THE DARK,

A LIGHT THAT DARKNESS COULD NOT OVERPOWER.

JESUS – THE LIGHTHOUSE,the beacon to overwhelm the darkness,

a light to show the way through the darkness to safety.

Jesus came as light, but needs others through whom to shine light

into the darkness of NOW - you and me……


Julian of Norwich understood the central message for Christian life:


God is love and it is only if we open ourselves to this love,

totally and with total trust, and let it become our sole guide in life,

that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found,

His Light shone into the darkness to-be-overcome.


God’s plan for the World…The Light that overcomes the darkness;

The Word made Flesh, Emmanuel…

God with us, God with you, God with me…..


May there always be room in my heart for divinity to find

a birthing place through which to illumine the darkness,

and to that end…..

May I be as faithful as the shepherds,

humble as the cattle,

wise as the Wise Men.

May I have the compassionate obedience of Mary,

the understanding of Joseph,

and may the blessing of the Christ child be ours, not because of His birth long ago, but because His love is born in us, NOW.


YOU AND I ARE PART OF GOD’S RESCUE PLAN, called by Him to

make the Word Flesh now, to be light overwhelming the darkness,

full of grace and truth.

God shining in us, through us, overcoming the darkness.

Your Christmas present to God – to work on it!


Let us go into the world with no debt but love, Let us go into the world with no law but love, Let us go into the world with no prayer but love, and the Word-made-Flesh will be with us, in us and through us.


Let us stand and profess our faith


I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

(bow)

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.





THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (Bidding Prayers)


Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.

Let us bring before God the needs of the world.


Wonderful Counsellor, give your wisdom to the rulers of the nations.

make the whole world know that the government is on your

shoulders.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Everlasting Father, establish your reign of justice and righteousness

for ever. Remember all those who find Christmas a sad or lonely

season. You are always with us.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Prince of Peace, bring in the endless Kingdom of your peace.

We remember all those loved ones who have died.

May they celebrate with you and all the angels in heaven.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Mary held the infant Jesus in her arms, and so we join our prayers

to hers, saying:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.


Almighty Lord, hear our prayer and fulfil our purposes in us,

as you accomplished your will in Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.



Let us lift up our hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For in the mystery of the Word made flesh

a new light of your glory has shone upon the eyes of our mind,

so that, as we recognize in him God made visible,

we may be caught up through him in love of things invisible.

And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions,

and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,

we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:


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.


Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom,the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,

and graciously grant her peace and unity

in accordance with your will.

Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.


Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace.


Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.




“My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart …

I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You,”


Today and all days embrace us in a love that knows no end. Today and all days fill us with a power that overcomes. Today and all days encourage us with a word that nourishes. Today and all days inspire us with a hope that sustains. Today and all days comfort us with a peace that endures. Today and all days bring wholeness of body, mind and spirit Today and all days. Amen.


BLESSING

May God, who by the Incarnation

brought together the earthly and heavenly realm

fill us with the gift of his peace and favour

and make us sharers with the Church in heaven.

And may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

come down on us and remain with us for ever. Amen.



THE ANGELUS


The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray.

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us go forth in peace.

Thanks be to God.



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