(To be said before the family meal at mid-night or any other appropriate time. If the family has made a crib, the family gathers before it - the little baby Jesus is placed in it during the prayer service. Make copies so as to have one sheet between 2 - 3 members. Please adapt this prayer - lengthen or shorten - as necessary)

O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
Oh come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;

Glory to God in the highest;
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Head of the House (H.H.): Praise be Jesus Christ, who dwells among us, now and forever.

All: Amen.

Mother: As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we have gathered to pray before our Christmas crib. It was St. Francis of Assisi who first popularised the Christmas crib. He had a stable and some images made before Christmas and then invited his neighbours and friends to come and join him at his little "Bethlehem."

As we look upon our family crib, may the Christmas gospel story unfold before our eyes, and may we be moved to rejoice in the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God who became like us so that we may become like Him.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD : Lk 2:1-7 (Longer version Lk. 2:1 – 20)

The Mother places baby Jesus in the manger.

PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY: (Each family member leads in turn)

Your response: Bind us together, Lord.

  1. Heavenly Father, you have given us a model of life in the Holy Family. Help us, O loving Father, to make our family like theirs, where love, peace, and joy reign. R/-
  2. Help us to make time daily for our family prayer, and when we find it difficult to come together in prayer, may we realise that we need our daily family prayer even more. R/-
  3. May each one of us do our part to make our family like that of the Holy Family. May we all take our family responsibilities seriously, especially the ones that seem so insignificant. R/-
  4. May we love one another as God loves each one of us, loving each other more and more each day, and even forgiving each other's faults as God forgives us. R/-
  5. And finally, we pray for our parish, that it may truly grow into one big community where all families and in a very special way our very own , may be an agent of transformation. R/-

Head of the House: May Christ our God enlighten our hearts and minds, now and forever.

All: Amen.

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! The Lord is come,
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing..…

(Even if the family has wished each other earlier, they now wish each other once again)

The Family Meal follows.