Midnight Mass at Christmas

 

On this night we remember the Birth

 

The anxiety of waiting

the pain of labor

the naked exertion of delivery

 

And we pray for all babies born this night whether they come into comfort and joy or fear and despair

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

On this night we remember Joseph and Mary

 

Their poverty and vulnerability

their strength and their uncertainty

their joy and the exhaustion

 

And we pray for parents in the complexity of their relationships and in the demands of child-rearing

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

On this night we remember the shepherds

 

In their wonder and in their puzzlement

in the spontaneity of their coming

 

And we pray for all those who are out in the cold, draw them into the warmth of human fellowship and the joy of the Christ-Mass

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

On this night we remember Jesus

 

His birth in an obscure town and a cold shed

his teaching of love and joy and the challenge of faith

his cruel death and his life undying

 

And we pray for ourselves in a moment of silence, that we might penetrate deeper, truer, more honestly into his mysterious coming

 

Silence

 

Lord in your mercy...

 

So for all in happy expectation

for all in dread and loathing

for all in warmth and cozy happiness

for all in cold and friendless solitude

We pray the blessing of the Christ Child

 

Lord in your mercy...