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Getting Ready for Christmas

Reflection on the Word in our Worship

Our Advent preparation opens into 12 Days of celebration and reflection on the Holy Nativity. These are the 12 Days of Christmas, days filled with gifts and graces enjoyed in the light of the Word made flesh.

He was a baby and a child, so that you may be a perfect human. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, so that you may be freed from the snares of death. He was in a manger, so that you may be in the altar. He was on earth that you may be in the stars. He had no other place in the inn, so that you may have many mansions in the heavens.

-St. Ambrose

The Collect for Christmas Eve

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

The Collect for The First Sunday of Christmas

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, kindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Word:

(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)

  • Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9:1-7

  • Psalm 96 for Christmas Eve (see below)

  • Psalm 147:12-20 for the First Sunday of Christmas (see below)

  • Gospel for Christmas Eve: Luke 2:1-20

  • Gospel for the First Sunday of Christmas: John 1:1-18

(click below to listen to Incarnation's Christmas Playlist)

Psalm 96

1 O sing unto the Lord a new song; *

sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.

2 Sing unto the Lord and praise his Name; *

tell of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his honor to the nations, *

and his wonders to all peoples.

4 For the Lord is great, and highly to be praised; *

he is more to be feared than all gods.

5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *

but it is the Lord who made the heavens.

6 Glory and majesty are before him; *

power and honor are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe unto the Lord, O you families of the peoples, *

ascribe unto the Lord worship and power.

8 Ascribe unto the Lord the honor due unto his Name; *

bring offerings and come into his courts.

9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; *

let the whole earth stand in awe of him.

10 Tell it out among the nations, “The Lord is King; *

it is he who has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;

he shall judge the peoples righteously.”

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; *

let the sea make a noise, and all that is therein.

12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; *

then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.

13 For he comes, for he comes to judge the earth, *

and with righteousness to judge the world,

and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 147:12-20

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; *

praise your God, O Zion.

13 For he has made strong the bars of your gates *

and has blessed your children within you.

14 He makes peace in your borders *

and fills you with the finest of wheat.

15 He sends forth his commandment upon the earth, *

and his word runs very swiftly.

16 He gives snow like wool *

and scatters the white frost like ashes.

17 He casts forth his ice like crumbs; *

who is able to abide his frost?

18 He sends out his word and melts them; *

he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

19 He declares his word unto Jacob, *

his statutes and ordinances unto Israel.

20 He has not dealt so with other nations; *

neither have they knowledge of his laws.

Praise the Lord.



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