Christmas 2020

Published on December 24, 2020

Keeping Christmas 2020 in the Home and Parish
This Christmas we want all our families and households in the parish to be able to
truly celebrate the joy of the season. We are very aware that not everyone will be able
to come to the church to attend Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Many will tune into livestreamed Masses. A full list of parish Mass schedules and
livestream links across the diocese is available at .

The parish invites you to use the traditional 12 days of Christmas to mark this feast.
Families and ‘household bubbles’ are very welcome to attend Mass at some point
from Christmas Eve to Epiphany on January 6, and to visit the church for private
prayer before the crib.
Recent months have shown the importance of the ‘domestic church’, the ‘little
churches’ that is very much alive in homes across the parish. God is always with us
when we pray and so, we are very happy to share with you some prayers for the
home. We hope you will use them over the Christmas season.
May the blessing of Christmas
bring God’s peace, love, healing, joy and hope
to your homes and hearts this year.

Christmas Eve, December 24th
Placing Jesus in the Crib on Christmas Eve Night
There is a lovely tradition of placing the figure of the baby Jesus in
the crib on Christmas Eve, before children go to bed. Often the
youngest member of the household gets this honour! If you are
joining in a Christmas Mass via technology, before Mass begins, light
a candle and place the figure of Jesus beside it. All present can
process to the crib scene in the home at the end of Mass.
Prayer at the Crib
The youngest member of the family holds the infant figure during this prayer.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Loving God,
as we look upon our family crib we thank you for all who are part of the
Christmas story and part of our story, too.
As we look upon these animals, we thank you for the gift of creation and the
beauty of the world you have created.
We thank you for the shepherds and we remember that it was they who were
looked down on by society who were the first to hear the good news of
We thank you for Mary and for Joseph, who trusted in you and did what you
asked. And finally, we thank you for the gift of Jesus, your Son, who was born
like us, lived like us, struggled like us, and who has shown us how to be fully
human. As we place this figure of Jesus in our crib may it be a sign of Your
presence in our lives.
The figure can be placed in the crib at this point.
Emmanuel, God with us, come to each of us and stay with us.
Protect us and guide us as a family, free us from any worry
and let your love grow in our hearts
so that we may be Emmanuel, God with us, to one another
over these Christmas days and beyond. Amen.
You may wish to conclude by singing or listening to a recording of ‘Away in a
Manger’ or another favourite Christmas carol.

Feast of the Nativity, Christmas Day, December 25th
A Prayer before your Family Christmas Meal
Loving God,
On this Christmas day we give thanks that Jesus, your Son, has come into our world
bringing us gifts of peace and joy.
Bless us as we sit down together at this table for our Christmas meal. Bless the food
we share and help us to remember those who are hungry. Be with our neighbours
and our friends, those who are lonely, sick or away from home.
We pray that our departed loved ones may sit now at your table in heaven. May the
joy of this feast give us strength and light, now and in the days ahead. Amen.

A Prayer at the Crib for the 12 Days of Christmas
As you visit your church you may wish to pray the following prayer.
God, our Father,
as we look upon this crib, we thank you for all who are part of the
Christmas story and our story, too.
We thank you for the gift of Jesus, your Son, who was born like us, lived like
us, struggled like us, and who has shown us how to be fully human;
to our lives, he brings joy and peace, justice, mercy and love.
May this crib be a beacon of hope for us and for the whole world
as we face the coming days with courage and renewed strength.
May the star of Bethlehem which shone brightly over the first crib
stand guard over our home, filling it and all the earth with light and peace.
And may we know, believe and share
the Christmas message of Emmanuel, God is with us. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the
beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday, December 27th
A Prayer for the Family
God, our Father, we are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,
one family, in the Spirit of your love.
Bless us with the joy of love. Make us patient and kind, gentle and generous,
welcoming to those in need. Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.
Protect all families with your loving care, especially those for
whom we now pray. (pause)
Increase our faith, strengthen our hope, keep us safe in your love,
make us always grateful for the gift of life that we share.
This we ask, through Christ our Lord. Amen.