Midnight Mass

The Gathering

The first reading in darkness:  Isaiah 52: 7 – 10An Old Testament prophecy of salvation

The Greeting

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you.
And also with you.

Blessing of the Crib

Dear friends, as we meet
to celebrate the birth of Christ,
let us pray that God will fill our hearts with love,
so that we and all who worship his Son,
born of the Virgin Mary,
may come to share his life in glory.

We pray you, Lord, to purify our hearts,
that they may be worthy
to become your dwelling place.
Let us never fail to find room for you,
but come and abide in us,
that we also may abide in you,
for as at this time
you were born into the world for us,
and live and reign, King of kings
and Lord of lords,
now and for ever.

Prayers of Penitence

The priest invites the people to confess their sins

Christ the Light of the World
has come to dispel the darkness of our hearts.
Let us turn to the light and confess our sins.

Silence is kept.

God our Father,
you sent your Son full of grace and truth:
forgive our failure to receive him.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus our Saviour,
you were born in poverty and laid in a manger:
forgive our greed and rejection of your ways.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Spirit of love,
your servant Mary responded joyfully to your call:
forgive the hardness of our hearts.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.


We hear God’s promise of forgiveness

May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw you to himself,
that you may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
and be cleansed from all your sins,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect

In the silence, we pray to God, before saying together:

Eternal God,
who made this most holy night
to shine with the brightness of your one true light:
bring us, who have known the revelation of that light on earth,
to see the radiance of your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,
according to N.
Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end:

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


A short address

The Apostle’s Creed

Please stand

I believe in God, the Father almighty, 
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


Prayers for our World

These responses may be used:

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

The Peace

This holy night the angels sang,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to all in whom he delights.’
The peace of the Lord be always with you
And also with you.

The Eucharistic Prayer

Word made flesh, life of the world,
in your incarnation you embraced our poverty:
by your Spirit we share in your riches.

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

All glory and honour be yours
always and everywhere,
mighty creator, ever-living God.
We give you thanks and praise for your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who for love of our fallen race humbled himself,
was born of the Virgin Mary
by the power of your Spirit,
and lived as one of us.

In this mystery of the Word made flesh
you have caused his light to shine in our hearts,
to give knowledge of your glory
in the face of Jesus Christ.
In him we see our God made visible
and so are caught up
in the love of the God we cannot see.

Therefore with all the angels of heaven
we lift our voices to proclaim
the glory of your name
and sing our joyful hymn of praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and God of might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example
and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and blood; 
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
He took the cup and gave you thanks;
He gave it to them saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Therefore, heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection
and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup,
we make the memorial
of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Accept through him, our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit, inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you
in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty
in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
Be yours for ever and ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray with confidence
as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Breaking of the Bread

We break the bread of life,
and that life is the light of the world.
God here among us,
light in the midst of us,
bring us to light and life.

Jesus Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world,    
have mercy on us.   (Repeat section) 

Jesus Lamb of God,
you take away the sins of the world,    
grant us your peace.

Giving of Communion

Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you,
and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink
in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts
by faith with thanksgiving.

Prayer after Communion

God our Father,
in this night you have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and for ever.


The Sending Out

May the Father,
who has loved the eternal Son
from before the foundation of the world,
shed that love upon you his children.

May Christ, who by his incarnation
gathered into one things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with joy and peace.

May the Holy Spirit,
by whose overshadowing
Mary became the God-bearer,
give you grace to carry the good news of Christ.

And the blessing of God almighty…

Proclaiming the Word made flesh,
go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Some material included in this service is copyright:
© The Archbishops’ Council 2000

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