Seasonal Prayers

  • Christmas Prayer

    (By Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889.)

    Moonless darkness stands between.
    Past, the Past, no more be seen!
    But the Bethlehem star may lead me
    To the sight of Him Who freed me
    From the self that I have been.
    Make me pure, Lord: Thou art Holy;
    Make me meek, Lord: Thou wert lowly;
    Now beginning, and always,
    Now begin, on Christmas day.


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  • A Christmas Day Prayer

    Praise to You, Lord God!
    You have become one of us.
    You have become a human being,

    while still retaining all Your power and holiness as God!
    You, O Lord, made the journey of the unborn child.
    By being an embryo, a fetus, and a newborn,
    You joined all unborn and newborn children to You!

    From the beginning of history, O Lord,
    You were the Creator of every human life.
    Now, with Christmas,
    You join Yourself in an unthinkable way with the life You created.

    Let this Christmas, O God,
    fill all of us with awe and wonder
    at how close human life is to You.
    Cleanse the world of all that tarnishes
    and rejects this gift.
    Purify our hearts of all that fears this gift.

    Let our Christmas joy be the joy of welcoming every human life! Amen!


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  • Christmas Anticipation Prayer

    Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [State your intention(s) here…] through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.


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  • Advent Wreath Prayer

    The following are the Advent wreath prayers that change every week. They are prayed at the lighting of each candle every day during Advent.

    Week One: The first candle is lit, and the prayer for the first week is said.

    Priest:
    Let us pray.
    Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord,
    and come, so that we may escape through Thy protection
    and be saved by Thy help from the dangers
    that threaten us because of our sins.
    Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
    All: Amen.
    (During the first week one candle is left burning during the evening meal, at prayers or at bedtime.)

    Week Two: Two candles are lit on the second Sunday and allowed to burn as before. The prayer for the week is:

    Priest:
    Let us pray.
    O Lord, stir up our hearts
    that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son,
    that through His coming
    we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure souls.
    Through the same Christ our Lord.
    All: Amen.

    Week Three:
    Three candles, including the rose candle, are lit on Gaudete, the third Sunday, and during
    that week. The following prayer is said:

    Priest:
    Let us pray.
    We humbly beg Thee, O Lord,
    to listen to our prayers;
    and by the grace of Thy coming
    bring light into our darkened minds.
    Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
    All: Amen.

    Week Four:
    All four candles are lit on the fourth Sunday and allowed to burn as before. The prayer said
    the fourth week is:

    Priest:
    Let us pray.
    Stir up Thy might, we pray Thee, O Lord, and come;
    rescue us through Thy great strength so that salvation,
    which has been hindered by our sins,
    may be hastened by the grace of Thy gentle mercy.
    Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
    All: Amen.


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  • To Our Lady, Mother of Advent

    To Our Lady, Mother of Advent O Mother of our Advent, be with us and see to it that he will remain with us in this difficult Advent of the struggles for truth and hope, for justice and peace: He, alone, Emmanuel.


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  • A Prayer for Our Nation’s Election

    O God, we acknowledge You today as Lord,
    Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.
    We thank You for the privilege
    Of being able to organize ourselves politically
    And of knowing that political loyalty
    Does not have to mean disloyalty to You.
    We thank You for Your law,
    Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged
    And recognized as higher than any human law.
    We thank You for the opportunity that this election year
    puts before us,
    To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
    But to influence countless others to vote,
    And to vote correctly.
    Lord, we pray that Your people may be awakened.
    Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation,
    Their response to You requires that they be politically active.
    Awaken Your people to know that they are not called to be
    a sect fleeing the world
    But rather a community of faith renewing the world.
    Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to You in prayer
    Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
    That the same eyes that read Your Word
    Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
    And that they do not cease to be Christians
    When they enter the voting booth.
    Awaken Your people to a commitment to justice,
    To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
    To the dignity of each individual human life,
    And to the truth that human rights begin when Human Lives
    Begin, and not one moment later.
    Lord, we rejoice today
    That we are citizens of Your kingdom.
    May that make us all the more committed
    To being faithful citizens on earth.
    We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


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