Christmas Eve, Christmas Day preparation

Christmas Eve is on … oh, you know when it is. And Christmas Day, which is Sunday this year.  Here are the propers as usual. To be plain, I prefer the Free Church one to the rather unitarian theology of the Universalist ones. (And which I suspect are cribbed from James Martineau.) Why? There’s a parallel between God’s promise in Christ that doesn’t devolve to niceness without talking about Christmas as if the festival were the end in itself.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Christmas Eve

God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ; grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confience behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Or,

O God, who hast made this most sacred night to shine with the illumination of the true Light; grant, we beseech thee, that, as we have known the mystery of that Light upon earth, we may also perfectly enjoy it in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Epistle: Micah v, 2-5a
Gospel: Luke ii, 1-14

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Christmas Eve

O God, who makest us to rejoice in the yearly celebration of the festival of Christmas; grant that we who thankfully receive thy best-beloved Son may through him become thy faithful children, and be admitted into thy kingdom of light and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Amen.

Gospel, St. Luke ii. 1.

Christmas Day

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, to thy people an inviolable firmness of faith, that as they confess thine only-begotten Son, the everlasting partaker of thy glory, to have been born in our very flesh, they may be delivered from present adversities, and admitted into joys that shall abide; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We beseech thee, O Lord, let our hearts be graciously enlightened by the holy radience of thy Son’s Incarnation; that so we may escape the darkness of this world, and by his guidance attain to the country of eternal brightness; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful and most loving God, by whose will and bounty Jesus Christ our Lord humbled himself for this, that he might exalt the whole race of man, and descended to the depths for the purpose of lifting the lowly, and as at this time was born that he might restore in us the lost celetial image; grant that thy people may cleave unto thee, that as thou hast redeemed them by thy bounty, they may ever please thee by devoted service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Heb i, 1-12, or Tit. ii, 11-14.
Gospel: John i, 1-14.

¶ The Collects, Epistle, and Gospel of Christmas Day shall be used on the days following unto the Circumsision, except when other provision has been made.

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Christmas Day

Grant, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord God, that, enlightened by the memory of thy wonderful providence in the birth of Jesus Christ, our eyes may be evermore fixed on thy goodness; which still graciously worketh towards the accomplishment of thy promise, to call at length all the earth to a true knowledge of thee and thy glorified Son. Amen.

Or,

O Almighty God, our heavenly Father, from whom every good and perfect gift proceedeth; we thine unworthy servants, deeply sensible of thy manifold and great mercies, would print to the our united offering of praise and thanksgiving, as for innumerable other proofs of thy loving-kindness, so especially for that wonderful event which laid the foundation of all our Christian hopes. Grant that we may with such true joy celebrate this happy festival of Christmas, as to be heartily disposed to srive after that heavenly righteousness which thou hast set before us in the life and gospel of thy Son Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Gospel, St. John i. 1.
Epistle, Heb. i. 1.

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 44, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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