Christmastide :  31st December 2010

Morning Prayer with Mass

The snow lay on the ground, the stars shone bright
When Christ our Lord was born on Christmas night.
When Christ our Lord was born on Christmas night.

‘Twas Mary, daughter pure of holy Anne
That brought into this world The God made man
That brought into this world The God made man

She laid Him in a stall at Bethlehem.
The ass and oxen shared the roof with them.
The ass and oxen shared the roof with them.

Saint Joseph, too, was by to tend the Child
To guard him, and protect his mother mild.
To guard him, and protect his mother mild.

The angels hovered round and sung this song
Venite adoremus Dominum. Venite adoremus Dominum.

O God, come to our aid:    O Lord, make haste to help us        . . .

 We sit for the psalm:

Psalm 62: O God, you are my God, for you I long.

O God, you are my God, for you I long, for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you, my God, like a dry weary land without water.
O God, you are my God, for you I long.

 I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and glory,
for your love is better than life itself; my lips will speak your praise.
O God, you are my God, for you I long.

 On you I muse throughout the night, on my bed I remember you,
for you have been my refuge and your right hand holds me fast.
O God, you are my God, for you I long. 

Glory to the Father, glory to the Son, Glory to the Holy Spirit
now and for ever. Amen,  
O God, you are my God, for you I long.

Let us pray:

Lord,  as the psalmist indicates
we long for what is good,
but our hearts are restless till they rest in you.
Sustain us in our quest for the beauty and completeness,
and the peace of your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

To welcome the Gospel we sing

Alleluia, alleluia. At various times in the past, and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors, God spoke to the prophets. 
Now in our time he has spoken through his Son.  Alleluia, alleluia.



With humble confidence let us pray to Christ our Lord, whose glory appeared in the sight of all: – Lord, take pity on us.

 Christ, you were born of the Father before time began, splendour of the Father’s glory, image of the Father’s being. By your word you keep all things in being:   we beg you, by your Gospel make this day live.   –      Lord, take pity on us.

Christ, you were born into this world in the fulness of time, born for the salvation of the human race, born to bring freedom to every created thing:   we beg you, give freedom to all.    – Lord, take pity on us.

Christ, Son of one substance with the Father, Christ begotten before the creation of light itself, Christ born in Bethlehem in fulfilment of the Scriptures:   we beg you, fill your Church with the light of poverty and detachment from material things.   – Lord, take pity on us.

 Christ, God and man, David’s Lord and David’s son, fulfilment of prophecies: we beg you, let the whole Israel recognise you as its Messiah.    –  Lord, take pity on us.


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stand by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
lose by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

 Sanctus – Memorial –  Doxology

Agnus Dei


Whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup
Will live in me and I in him, says the Lord, says the Lord.

 After Communion:

The Saviour comes to free us from our foes,
from from evil hands, from those who wish us ill.
So God’s great love for all his chosen people
is thus fulfilled; in these our present times.          
God’s sacred oath his covenant most holy
is called to mind, his promises made true.

 At the end of the year we thank God for his goodness experienced in our lives and in the lives of those we love, and we ask for God’s strength for all who are experiencing hardship or difficulty of any kind – we sing some of the words of the Te Deum, written (it is said) by St Ambrose,  sung initially (probably) at the Baptism of St Augustine in Milan in the 4th century and sung on important occasions ever since – including the end of the year.

God, we praise you!  God, we bless you!  God, we name you sovereign Lord! . . . . . . .

 Copyright and Acknowledgements Psalm 62  :  Words  taken from The Psalms : A New Translation published by William Collins & Co Ltd  (c) The Grail.  Music (c) Gerry Fitzpatrick.  Music of Gospel verse  © Kevin Mayhew.. We bless the God and Father: taken from Ephesians 1: 3-10 and Benedictus © Stephen Eric Smyth & Gerry Fitzpatrick. God we praise thee:  Words from Te Deum, (c) Christopher Idle. Jubilee Hymns.  Graphic © Netta Ewing.   Hymns reproduced with Calamus lic: 0262 and CCL lic no: 74396