Christmas Prayers

What is Christmas?

Christmas, also known as the Nativity of the Lord, is a combination of the words "Christ" and "Mass." Christmas solemnity celebrates the birth and Incarnation of Jesus Christ, on December 25. These Christmas Prayers relate to these themes. More info: Christmas

Nativity Prayer of Saint Augustine

An image of the text of the Nativty story in a Bible

Let the just rejoice, for their justifier is born.

Let the sick and infirm rejoice, for their saviour is born.

Let the captives rejoice, for their Redeemer is born.

Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born.

Let free men rejoice, for their Liberator is born.

Let all Christians rejoice, for Jesus Christ is born.

Saint Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)

Catholic Christmas Prayer, Midnight Mass


You make this holy night radiant with the splendor of Jesus Christ our light.

We welcome Him as Lord, true light of the world.

Bring us to eternal joy in the kingdom of heaven where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.

International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

Alternate Catholic Christmas Day Collect

God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh.

Make us a people of this light.

Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.


International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

Nativity Prayer  Hymn of Saint Ephraim the Syrian

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.

Saint Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)

Nativity Prayer of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we made in your image, conform ourselves to it.

In our own strength we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder nor is it fitting for us to try.

But Your mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds to the earth below.

You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love.

Caress us with Your tiny hands, embrace us with Your tiny arms and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Anglican Nativity Collect

O God, who hast caused this holy night to shine with the illumination of the true Light:

Grant us, we beseech thee, that as we have known the mystery of that Light upon earth, so may we also perfectly enjoy him in heaven;

Where with thee and the Holy Spirit he liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting.


1979 Book of Common Prayer

Alternate Anglican Nativity Collect

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ:

Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer,

May with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge;

Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


1979 Book of Common Prayer

Christmas Prayer of Pope Saint John XXIII

O sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas.

Put into the hearts of men and women this peace for which they sometimes seek so desperately and which you alone can give to them.

Help them to know one another better, and to live as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father.

Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness and purity. Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude for your infinite goodness.

Join them all together in your love.

And give us your heavenly peace.


Pope Saint John XXIII

Christmas Prayer for Humility

Eternal Word, you became flesh and dwelt among us, because of your great love for mankind.

Though you were God, you humbled yourself out of love for your creation, being born in a lowly dwelling, to a meek and chaste Virgin.

Give us your grace, to practice humility, following your example, and the example of your servant and Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.


David Bennett

Christ, Redeemer of All

Jesu, the Father's only Son, whose death for all redemption won, before the worlds, of God most high, begotten all ineffably.

The Father's Light and Splendor Thou their endless Hope to Thee that bow: accept the prayers and praise today that through the world Thy servants pay.

Salvation's author, call to mind how, taking the form of humankind, born of a Virgin undefiled, Thou in man's flesh becamest a Child.

Thus testifies the present day Through every year in long array, that Thou, salvation's source alone proceedest from the Father's Throne.

Whence sky, and stars, and sea's abyss, and earth, and all that therein is, shall still, with laud and carol meet, the Author of thine Advent greet.

And we who, by Thy precious Blood from sin redeemed, are marked for God, on this, the day that saw Thy Birth, sing the new song of ransomed earth.

All honor, laud, and glory be, O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee; whom with the Father we adore, and Holy Ghost forevermore.


Sixth Century Hymn; tr: John Mason Neale

Alternate Catholic Christmas Collect, Dawn Mass

Almighty God and Father of light, a child is born to us and a Son is given to us.

Your eternal Word leaped down from heaven in the silent watches of the night, and now your Church is filled with wonder at the nearness of her God.

Open our hearts to receive His life and increase our vision with the rising of dawn, that our lives may be filled with His glory and His peace, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

Nativity Prayer from the Orthodox Liturgy

Your nativity, O Christ our God, has shed the light of knowledge upon the world.

Through it, those who had been star-worshipers learned through a star to worship you, O Sun of Justice, and to recognize in you the one who rises and who comes from on high.

O Lord, glory to you!

Feast of the Nativity Liturgy

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Loving Mother of the Redeemer)

Loving mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.

To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,

Yet remained a virgin after as before.

You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon traditionally said from Advent to Candlemas

Second Sunday After Christmas Anglican Collect

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature:

Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


1979 Book of Common Prayer

Sarum Rite Dawn Christmas Mass Prayer

Almighty God, who has poured upon us the new light of your Incarnate Word; grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Evening Prayer II: Christmas Day

Lord God we praise you for creating man, and still more for restoring him in Christ. Your Son shared our weakness: may we share his glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.


Liturgy of the Hours, Fridays in Advent


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Updated 12-20-2019