Day One — Tuesday 25 December 2018 — The Birth of Our Lord — Christmas Day

The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia


Isaiah 62.6-12 | Ps 97 | Titus 3.4-8a | Luke 2.1-20 |


Edward B. Webster, The Nativity, 1956. Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The feast day of your birth
St. Ephraim the Syrian (306-373)

The feast day of your birth resembles You, Lord
Because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike enjoy your day.
Your day is celebrated
from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
And the festivals to commemorate them soon lapse.
But your festival
will be remembered until the end of time.
Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
Since you came from heaven to earth on that day
You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day of your birth:
A treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick;
Spiritual light for the blind;
The cup of salvation for the thirsty;
The bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December when seeds are hidden in the soil,
The staff of life springs forth from the virgin womb.


God of joy, we celebrate the birth of your Son! In churches throughout the world, people are gathering. We are glad that we can celebrate together. Yet when we come to pray, we soon remember that there are many who are not able to be joyful this Christmas: survivors from war and disaster, loved ones of those killed by violence and accident, refugees—herded together behind wire, and people sleeping rough, and too many others. Loving God, we ask for your compassion on those who cannot rejoice. Help us to know how to celebrate and how to show mercy.

Dear Lord, how deeply we pray that the nations of the earth would respond to the gospel of peace, the goodwill your angels announced to the shepherds at Bethlehem. We pray for the people of Bethlehem today—help them somehow to find a way to peace.

We pray for the church; may it truly represent the good news of Jesus. As the church worships the Christ-child, by the power of your Spirit give new love where there is dispute, new hope where there is struggle and setback, and new faith in your power and goodness.

Lord Jesus, you were born as a vulnerable child into an ordinary family, to experience the ups and downs of family life. Often, we feel vulnerable at Christmas time. Be with those who find loneliness hard to bear, who experience hurt or disappointment. Be close to those for whom Christmas is a reminder of tragedy or bereavement. We give thanks for the happiness of Christmas, but we ask that you help us when we feel sadness or distress.

Heal, we pray, all who need restoration in body, soul and spirit. As holidays begin, we ask for rest and safety for those who are taking a break and encouragement for those who need to work.

We thank you, Lord, for the angels' proclamation of peace and goodwill to all and for the promise of eternal life. May your kingdom come and your will be done. We thank you in the name of Jesus whose birth we celebrate.

Бог ся рождає, хто (Boh sya razhdayeh) | God is being born now, C18th Ukrainian Christmas Carol

Бог ся рождає, хто ж Го може знати!
Ісус Му ім'я, Марія Му Мати!

Тут Ангели чудяться,
Роженного бояться,
А віл стоїть, трясеться,
Осел смутно пасеться.
Пастиріє клячуть,
В плоти Бога бачуть,
Тут же, тут же, Тут же, тут же, тут!

Марія Му Мати прекрасно співає,
І хор ангельський їй допомагає! (Приспів)

Йосиф старенький колише Дитятко:—
Люляй же, люляй, мале Отрочатко! (Приспів)

Три славні царі к вертепу приходять,
Ладан і смирну, золото приносять.(Приспів)

А пастиріє к Ньому прибігають
І яко Царя своєго вітають. (Приспів)

God is being born now, who can know it, brother?
Jesus His name is, Mary is His Mother.

Angels here are marveling,
Round the Newborn caroling,
The ox stands trembling from fear,
The donkey is grazing near,
The shepherds are kneeling,
God in body seeing,
Right here, right here now, right here, right here now.

Mary, His Mother, Sings to him beautifully,
And the Angels' choir, helps her dutifully. Refrain

Joseph, the old man, is rocking the cradle:
"Lullaby, O, lullaby, my little sweet Baby!" Refrain

The kings of the East, gifts they bring Him:
frankincense, gold and myrrh for the King. Refrain

And to the Newborn, let us honor render!
"Glory in the Highest!" Let us sing so tender. Refrain
— paraphrase by Wolodymyr B. Mykula

May the Lord, who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.