Advent draws to a close this week, so we have just a couple of days left to prepare for the birth of Christ. On this Sunday, we’re invited to follow Mary’s example of concern for others.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
Who are we, Lord God,
that you should come to us?
Yet you have visited your people
and redeemed us in your Son.
As we prepare to celebrate his birth,
make our hearts leap for joy at the sound of your Word,
and move us by your Spirit to bless your wonderful works.
We ask this through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Micah 5:1-4 The promise is given that Bethlehem will be the birthplace of the shepherd of Israel.
Hebrews 10:5-10 Instead of offering sacrifices, Jesus offers himself, dedicating himself to do God’s will —a model for all believers.
Luke 1:39-44 Blessed is Mary among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb – Jesus, whose birth we will shortly celebrate.
Introduction (by the Presider) Let us bring our prayers to God, the shepherd of Israel, who always protects his own:
- For all who follow Christ, that they may make their hearts ready for Christmas (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are homeless this Christmas, that they be looked after (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For refugees and all who seek a safe place to live, that they may be given shelter from danger (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For our relatives and friends travelling home, that they may travel safely, and find rest with us (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For people who dread Christmas because of bereavement or loneliness, that our support may help them through it (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
- For all those whom we have wished well, in Christmas cards and greetings, that God may look after them all (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For our people who have gone before us in faith (especially N and N), that they may share in Christ’s resurrection from the dead (pause for quiet prayer/reflection). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of hosts, you look down from heaven and see our needs, let your face shine on us and save us, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS
may the power of the Spirit
which came upon Mary and made her womb fruitful
sanctify the gifts we have placed on this altar. /….. Continued on page 2
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
PREFACE (ADVENT II)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother awaited with love beyond all telling,
the one whose coming John the Baptist heralded,
and whose presence he proclaimed.
This same Lord invites us to prepare with joy
for the mystery of his birth,
so that when he comes
he may find us watchful in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
And so, with angels and archangels,
with all the heavenly host,
we proclaim your glory
and join their unending chorus of praise: Holy, holy, holy……
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
In this communion, almighty God,
you have given us the pledge of eternal redemption.
Grant that the closer we come to the feast of Christmas,
the more eagerly we may prepare to celebrate
the saving mystery of your Son’s birth.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SOLEMN BLESSING (Advent)
May God the almighty and merciful
bless you by the light of Christ’s coming,
and enrich your lives with every grace. R. Amen.
May God make you steadfast in faith,
joyful in hope, and untiring in love all the days of your life. R. Amen.
May God reward you with eternal life
when our Redeemer comes again in glory. R. Amen.
May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) O Come O Come Emmanuel; Magnificat; Christ be our Light; Suantraí na Maighdine; Save Us O Lord.