Loving Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
As we keep this Christmas Season in memory of the Baby of Bethlehem:
Give us the acquiescent faith of the young Mary,
Grant us the courageous devotion of a mature Joseph, and
Teach us to receive and love our children as they did the Christ Child
While we read the ancient stories of his birth yet again,
May we worship with the joy of an angel chorus,
Feel the eager excitement of shepherds who heard their song, and
Bring the Blessed Son a gift more precious than Magi could offer.
When we gather with family, friends, and those whom we love most,
Let us celebrate our joys and successes without boasting or envy,
Help us endure reversals and pains without anger or blaming, and
Bestow grace upon those whose relationships are broken to forgive and heal.
As any are distraught over the absence of those not present this Christmas,
Bless those who are grieving a death with your own comforting presence,
Encourage those whose loved ones are stationed in far-distant places, and
Use this tender season to renew the desire for an end to conflict and war.
For those who are sick, hungry, homeless, or forgotten,
May the Story of Christmas tell them you have come to be with us in Christ,
Let that Story move those with health and means to share with them, and
Revive faith and hope in places where it has been scarce this year.
Be with us in the experience of Christmas Day on Wednesday next,
Permit us to wake in the joy that comes of knowing we are your children,
Grant us to pillow our heads at day's end with prayers of gratitude, and
Let us live the day with hearts that overflow with peace and goodwill.
We pray this in the name of the Blessed One, Our Emmanuel. Amen.