Christmas Eve Evening Prayer

Holy One, make speed to save us:
O God, come quickly to help us.

Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.


Thursdays: From Psalm 98, Cantate Domino

Sing a new song to the Lord, who has done marvellous things, *
all the ends of the earth have seen your victory, O God.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *

lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.
Sing to the Lord with the harp, * with the harp and the voice of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn *
shout with joy before our sovereign, the Lord.
Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.
Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,

who is coming to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall God judge the world * and the peoples with equity.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *

lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.

Reflection: Eve of the Nativity

BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK – DECEMBER 22: England-based street artist Banksy’s artwork named “Scar of Bethlehem” depicting nativity scene with Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in front of a damaged grey wall is displayed at “The Walled Off” hotel in Bethlehem, West Bank on December 22, 2019. (Photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

They might have descended from Nazareth trough Jezreel Valley to Samaria and from there to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in Judea. Probably, on their way, they were hosted by various people as at those times, in the Near East, it was a common tradition to overnight the travelers.nativity-trail3

“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”  (1 Peter 4:9)

There exists also another theory that because of continuous conflicts between Samaritans and Jews, Mary and Joseph might have chosen the way through Jordan Valley to avoid meeting the people of Samaria. But if they would have followed this way, would they pass through Jerusalem?

According to the Protoevangelium of James, ruins of the octagonal in shape Kathisma (Greek for “seat” or “chair”) church from the 5th century, located on the way between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, mark the place where Mary rested before reaching Bethlehem.


1 My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,*
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
2 for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant;*
from this day all generations will call me blessed.
3 The Almighty has done great things for me* and holy is his name.
4 He has mercy on those who fear him* in every generation.
5 He has shown the strength of his arm;*
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
6 He has cast down the mighty from their thrones*
and has lifted up the lowly.
7 He has filled the hungry with good things,*
and the rich he has sent away empty.
8 He has come to the help of his servant Israel,*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
9 the promise he made to our forebears,*
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.

You come to us in human flesh, and we have wounded one another’s bodies.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
You come to us as a baby, and we have wounded those who are vulnerable.
Christ, have mercy upon us.

You come to us as an outcast, and we have hardened our hearts.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Lord’s Prayer
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.
Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

O God our Father, the light of whose Word has come among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem: grant that the radiance of that true light, which enlightens our minds by faith, may shine brightly through our words and deeds; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.  Amen.

 Lord God almighty, come and dispel the darkness from our hearts, that in the radiance of your brightness we may know you, the only unfading light, glorious in all eternity. Amen.

The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing:
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .