Evening Prayer
Christmas Season
Friday, 25 December 2020
Christmas Day

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
AllO Lord, make haste to help us.

You laid the foundation of the earth
Alland the heavens are the work of your hands. Alleluia.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
To dispel the darkness of our night
you sent forth your Son, the firstborn of all creation,
to be the Christ, the light of the world.
Rejoicing in the mystery of the Word made flesh,
we acclaim him Emmanuel, as all creation sings to you:
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of God’s Descending (page 552), the following or another suitable hymn

Of the Father’s heart begotten,
ere the world from chaos rose,
he is Alpha: from that fountain
all that is and has been flows;
he is Omega, of all things
yet to come the mystic close,
evermore and evermore.

O how blest that wondrous birthday,
when the Maid the curse retrieved,
brought to birth mankind’s salvation,
by the Holy Ghost conceived;
and the Babe, the world’s redeemer,
in her loving arms received,
evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heaven, his praises;
angels and archangels, sing!
Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
let your joyous anthems ring,
every tongue his name confessing,
countless voices answering,
evermore and evermore.

Prudentius, tr: R F Davis
(Tune: 87 87 87 7)

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 8

1 O Lord our governor, 
how glorious is your name in all the world!

2 Your majesty above the heavens is praised 
out of the mouths of babes at the breast.

3 You have founded a stronghold against your foes, 
that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars that you have ordained,

5 What is man, that you should be mindful of him; 
the son of man, that you should seek him out?

6 You have made him little lower than the angels 
and crown him with glory and honour.

7 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands 
and put all things under his feet,

8 All sheep and oxen, 
even the wild beasts of the field,

9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea 
and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.

10 O Lord our governor, 
how glorious is your name in all the world!

We bless you, master of the heavens,
for the wonderful order which enfolds this world;
grant that your whole creation
may find fulfilment in the Son of Man,
Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory 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.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Isaiah 65.17-25


For I am about to create new heavens
   and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
   or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever
   in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
   and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
   and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
   or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
   an infant that lives but a few days,
   or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
   and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
   they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
   they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
   and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain,
   or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord
   and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
   while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
   the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
   but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain,

says the Lord.

Canticle

A Song of Redemption, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 68 (page 626) or number 73 (page 631), may be said.

Refrain:

AllChrist is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation. Alleluia.

1The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son;

2In whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

3He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.

4For in him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

5All things were created through him and for him,
he is before all things and in him all things hold together.

6He is the head of the body, the Church,
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

7In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things.

Colossians 1.13-18a, 19, 20a

AllGlory 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.

AllChrist is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Philippians 2.5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.


Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
AllThe Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
And we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son,
Allfull of grace and truth.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllThe Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.

from John 1

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said, or the Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) (page 613) may be said

Refrain:

AllWhen peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory 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.

Refrain:

AllWhen peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 364–365

The Church, especially in places of conflict
The Holy Land, for peace with justice, and reconciliation
Refugees and asylum seekers
Homeless people
Families with young children

A form of prayer found on page 378 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty God,
you have given us your only-begotten Son
to take our nature upon him
and as at this time to be born 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 Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur 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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvellous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.
AllAmen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.