In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty winds made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.
–Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Holy Spirit, let me be aware of your presence and that of countless others *
as together we pray your Divine Office in love.
INVITATORY & PSALTER
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.
(You may wish to light a candle here.)
Hymn: Phos hilaron
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
against the LORD and against his Anointed?
“Let us break their yoke,” they say; *
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”
He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
and his rage fills them with terror.
“I myself have set my king *
upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
he said to me, “You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall crush them with an iron rod *
and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”
And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Submit to the LORD with fear, *
and with trembling bow before him;
Lest he be angry and you perish; *
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are they all *
who take refuge in him!
1 John 4:7-16 (NRSV)
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.
Collect of the Day: The Nativity of Our Lord
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
(Please add your own prayers here.)
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.++