Worship Planning – Christmas – Celebrating the Christmas Mass -Christmas Eve

Celebrating the Christ Mass – Christmas Eve

GATHERING

Confession and Forgiveness — Omit; include a bid for forgiveness during intercessions.  This liturgy is certainly an opportunity to sing many Christmas carols, especially those related to the shepherds and angels.

Greeting might be:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Hymn of Praise — “Angels We Have Heard on High” (Gloria in excelsis Deo = Glory to God in the highest)

Prayer of the Day — “Almighty God, you made this holy night shine…”

WORD

There are three sets of readings for celebrating the Nativity of our Lord:

Proper I is for Christmas Eve;
Proper II is for a Mass at dawn;
Proper III is for a Mass later on Christmas Day.

The Christ-Mass is a perfect opportunity for a Gospel Procession.  The Procession is visible sign of the “Word becomes flesh”, as the Gospel (=Christ) moves into the midst of the assembly.  Many parishes light individual candles as part to the Christmas Eve Liturgy, and that could be done as a way of preparing for the procession.

After the choir sings the proper verse, or the congregation sings the Alleluia, candles may be lit as the assembly sings “From Heaven Above”.  It has enough stanzas to light all candles.  After the Gospel has been read, the procession returns to stanzas 12-14.

MEAL

An introduction to the Peace might be:

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And his name is Prince of Peace.

The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.

Offertory  — “What Child Is This?” especially stanza 3 (“So bring him incense, gold and myrrh”).

Post-Communion Hymn: light candles again and sing “Silent Night.”.

SENDING

For the dismissal:

A child has been born for us, a son given to us.

Go in peace, praising God for all we have seen and heard.  Alleluia, alleluia!

Thanks be to God!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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