Collect for Candlemas

Almighty and ever-living God, we humbly beseech thy majesty: that, as thine Only-Begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh; so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Prayers for Christmas

Some of the prayers for midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, according to the Anglican Use. (I've included the Sanctus-Benedictus, though it is part of the ordinary of the Mass, on account of the unique translation used by the Ordinariate.)

Kalenda, or Christmas Proclamation

Today the twenty-fifth day of December,
When ages beyond number had run their course from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth, and formed man in his own likeness;
When century upon century had passed since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood, as a sign of covenant and peace;
In the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith, came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
In the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses in the Exodus from Egypt;
Around the thousandth year since David was anointed King;
In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
In the year seven hundred and fifty-two since the foundation of the City of Rome;
In the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace,
JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
And when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man:
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Blessing of the Creche

Almighty and everlasting God, who as on this night didst cause thine only-begotten Son to be born of the blessed and glorious ever-Virgin Mary for our salvation:
Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to hallow and bless this Crib, wherein are shown forth the wonders of that sacred birth; that all those who, beholding the same, shall ponder and adore the mystery of his holy incarnation, may be filled with thy heavenly benediction unto life eternal;
Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Introit for Christmas Eve

The LORD spake, and said unto me: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Why do the heathen so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect for Christmas Eve

O God, who hast caused this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the Light of life:
Grant, we beseech thee, that as we have known the revelation of his light upon earth, so may we attain unto his heavenly joys;
Who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Preface of Christmas

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God:
Because thou didst give Jesus Christ, thine only Son, to be born for us; who, by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, was made very Man, of the substance of the Virgin Mary his mother; that we might be delivered from the bondage of sin, and receive power to become thy children.
Therefore, with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee and saying:


Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts: heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

This is the Mass my parish used last night: Tomas de Victoria's Missa O Magnum Mysterium, a lovely example of late Renaissance polyphony (we omitted the Credo, using a shorter version habitual at our parish, but did the rest of the ordinary).

And finally (though, alas! it is not part of any liturgy I know), the music and the lyrics of Sufjan Stevens' magnificent Star of Wonder.

I call you
From the comet's cradle
I found you
Trembling by yourself
When the night falls
Lightly on your right-wing shoulder
Wonderful know-it-all
Slightly where the night gets colder

Oh, conscience!
Where will you carry me?
I found you
Star of terrifying effigies
When the night falls
I carry myself to the fortress
Of your glorious cost
Oh, I may seek your fortress

When the night falls
We see the star of wonder
Wonderful night falls
We see you, we see you

I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to the yard
I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to my heart

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