O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
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.
- How beautiful upon the mountains
- are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
- who brings good news,
- who announces salvation,
- who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
- Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
- together they sing for joy;
- for in plain sight they see
- the return of the LORD to Zion.
- Break forth together into singing,
- you ruins of Jerusalem;
- for the LORD has comforted his people,
- he has redeemed Jerusalem.
- The LORD has bared his holy arm
- before the eyes of all the nations;
- and all the ends of the earth shall see
- the salvation of our God.
Psalm 98 Page 727, BCP
- Sing to the LORD a new song, *
for he has done marvelous things.
- With his right hand and his holy arm *
has he won for himself the victory.
- The LORD has made known his victory; *
his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
- He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our 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 the King, 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,
when he comes to judge the earth.
- In righteousness shall he judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
[For to which of the angels did God ever say,
- “You are my Son;
- today I have begotten you”?
- “I will be his Father,
- and he will be my Son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
- “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Of the angels he says,
- “He makes his angels winds,
- and his servants flames of fire.”
But of the Son he says,
- “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
- and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
- You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
- therefore God, your God, has anointed you
- with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
- “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
- and the heavens are the work of your hands;
- they will perish, but you remain;
- they will all wear out like clothing;
- like a cloak you will roll them up,
- and like clothing they will be changed.
- But you are the same,
- and your years will never end.”]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.