Prayer for the Evening
The Lord will give us his favor and glory:
come, let us give thanks and praise!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
O comfort my people and calm all their fear,
And tell them the time of salvation draws near.
O tell them I come to remove all their shame.
Then they will forever give praise to my name.
Proclaim to the cities of Judah my word;
That “gentle yet strong is the hand of the Lord.”
I rescue the captives, my people defend
And bring them to justice and joy without end.
“All mountains and hills shall become as a plain
For vanished are mourning and hunger and pain
And never again shall these war against you.
Behold I come quickly to make all things new.”
I will go before you/ and level the mountains. (Is 45:2)
In the Incarnation, God comes not as accuser and judge but as comforter to a people bruised and broken by our sin. The Good Shepherd of today’s first reading shows us the face of God’s compassion.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.
As they go through the Bitter Valley
they make it a place of springs,
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength,
they will see the God of gods in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer,
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield,
look on the face of your anointed.
One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield;
he will give us his favor and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good
to those who walk without blame.
Lord, God of hosts,
happy the man who trusts in you!
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Zechariah 1:16-17)
Therefore, says the Lord: I will turn to Jerusalem in mercy; my house shall be built in it, says the Lord of hosts, and a measuring line shall be stretched over Jerusalem. Proclaim further: Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity; the Lord will again comfort Zion, and again choose Jerusalem.
I, it is I who comfort you. (Is 51:12)
CANTICLE OF MARY
I fear no harm for you are at my side;/ your rod and staff give me courage. (Ps 23:4b)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
With faith in God’s love for us, we pray:
R/Heal us and lead us!
When we go astray: R/
When we choose false comforts over your gifts: R/
When we look upon your coming at our death with
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage our hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. Amen. (cf. 2 Thes 2:16-17)
Antiphon for the Solemnity of Christmas, December 25
This day a Virgin inviolate
has brought forth God for us,
clothed in tender members,
whom she was found worthy to suckle;
let us all adore him,
who has come to save us.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us, poor sinners.
V/ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.