Year II: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Day: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today is not only Christmas Day but also the first day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour.  From everyone at Life Rhythm, we pray for a joy filled day and thank you for joining us in prayer this year.  As with all of the most important days in the Christian calendar, today the Apostles Creed is replaced by the rather longer Nicene Creed.  In the midst of the festivities, keep the Rhythm and the Rhythm will keep you…


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All: 

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.  Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.  

All:  
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


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 97

A Song of Praise to the Sovereign Lord

The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!

Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.

Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

All:  
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


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Thank you Father for this Christmas morning! Thank you for sending your Son to save us! As we celebrate this day, may our hearts be filled with the joy of that first Christmas.
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • May we be filled with patience and love for those around us, and empowered to be the bearers of gladness to those we meet.
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • May Christ Jesus find room in our hearts today and may all we do be for your glory and in remembrance of your love.
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, today of all days we thank you for our family and friends. May they know peace in their hearts and happiness in life. Banish the darkness that so often clouds lives and let your light shine!
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For those who are alone today, that they find may find a home in our home and a hope in our hope…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the children and little ones of our Church and community, that today may be a day of wonder and awe.
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

The Church

  • Lord God, bless your church today! May the life of Jesus be ever birthed within her and the atmosphere of heaven surround her. May she boldly proclaim the word of hope on this great day!
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the Church Triumphant, who have finished their course and celebrate with you forever in glory…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the Church Militant, and especially those who suffer persecution…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For our church and ministry leaders, that they may know rest, refreshment and renewal…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

The World

  • Mighty God, as Christmas morning dawns, may the power of your gospel permeate every tribe, land and tongue. May nations come to your light as we pray…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For peace on earth, and goodwill towards men…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For your Second Coming, when nations will no longer take up sword against nation or train for war any more…
              –  Come, O come to us, Immanuel…


THE LORD’S
 PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your 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.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 2:15-21

The Shepherds Find Jesus

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 318


Pause for Reflection…


THE NICENE CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from true God,
Begotten, not created,
Of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation,
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
And was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again,
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.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival,
Of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ:
Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer,
May with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge;
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the joy and wonder of this Christmas day,
Remain in your hearts as you serve the one who came to serve.  Amen.


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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