Today is part of the continuing Christmas celebration. In today’s Mass, we honour the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As during this week we say goodbye to 2015, we entrust our families to their patronage, and pray for God’s help in the New Year.
Let us call to mind the times we failed to show love in our families: (pause) I confess to almighty God ………
ALTERNATIVE OPENING PRAYER (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
As your sons and daughters, O loving God,
we come before you in thanksgiving,
called and united by your eternal Word.
Teach us to ponder the mystery of Nazareth,
that we may always find in you
the source of our strength
and the unity of our families.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light,
God for ever and ever.
Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28 Hannah presents her child to the Lord, just as Mary and Joseph later did for Jesus.
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 As God’s children love is lavished on us. We are called to pass on this love to each other in our families.
Luke 2:41-52 The annual visit by the Holy Family to Jerusalem is described, and Mary’s finding of her child among the wise men there.
Introduction (by the Presider) God looks with love on all of creation, so we bring our prayers with confidence:
- For all the members of the Christian family, that joy and peace may be theirs through the Christmas celebration (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For homeless families, and refugees, that they may be protected (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the families of this community, that the Word made flesh may be at the centre of every home (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For familes where there is hurt or difficulty, that those who have suffered may find healing (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For Christians facing persecution, that Saint Stephen, the first martyr, may inspire them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are sick, and for all our parishioners in hospital or living in nursing homes, that we may not forget to pray for them and honour them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The Presider prays for the dead: For those who have died recently (especially N and N), and for all we have known who have died during the year 2015 whom we remember now: (pause for silent prayer) that the light of heaven may be theirs. Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God our creator, your strength sustains your people all their days: hear our prayers and stay with us throughout the New Year, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE GIFTS (Alternative)
We beg you, Lord,
accept the sacrifice which makes our peace with you
and, through the prayers of Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
and of blessed Joseph, her husband,
unite our families in your grace and peace.
Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
PREFACE OF CHRISTMAS II (Alternative)
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.
In the great mystery of his birth,
the God we cannot see
has now appeared in human form.
The one begotten before all ages
begins to live in time.
He has come to raise the fallen world,
to make creation whole again,
and to lead humanity from exile
back to your heavenly kingdom.
And so, with all the angels and saints,
we sing the joyful hymn of your praise: HOLY HOLY HOLY
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION (Alternative)
you have refreshed us with this heavenly sacrament.
Grant us the grace to follow closely
the example of the Holy Family,
that, after the trials of this present life,
we may be welcomed into their company for ever.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) Christmas Carols; In The Bleak Mid Winter; Ubi Caritas (Taizé); Servant Song.