Prayers in Joy and Thanksgiving at Christ’s Birth

A Litany for Christmas Services by Margaret D. McGee.

 

In joy and thanksgiving at Christ’s birth, let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

We pray for all faithful people, for all welcome messengers of good news.

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

For the nations and their rulers, for the corporations and their executives, for anyone with power over the lives of others,

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

For those who defend the helpless, for those who strive for justice, for those who work to find a way to peace, for all the world, and all who live in it,

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

For anyone suffering, sick, alone, afraid, or in any kind of trouble. We pray especially for … [name those you want to remember today].

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

For our own community, for friends, neighbors, and family, near and far. We pray especially for … [name those you want to remember today].

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

For those who have died. We pray especially for … [name those you want to remember today] .

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

We offer thanksgiving for Mary’s firstborn Son – good news of great joy.

Let us sing to the Lord a new song,
On earth peace, good will among people.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. Before the eyes of all the nations you sent your Son, the exact imprint of love itself, to be our salvation. With the shepherds in the fields, let us go now to Bethlehem, there to find Christ in our hearts, and in the world. Amen.  

                    

This Litany for Christmas grew out of the Prayers of the People that were part of the 2004 Christmas Eve services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington.

To me, the prayer is a great gathering: a remembering and commending to God of all people on the day of Christ’s birth.

Notes

The call, “Let us sing to the Lord a new song,” comes from Psalm 96.

The refrain, “On earth peace, good will among people,” as well as the reference to Mary’s firstborn son as “good news of great joy” are from Luke 2.

The words “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” as well as other language in the closing prayer are from the first chapter of Hebrews.

The idea for the phrase “welcome messengers of good news,” as well as some language in the closing prayer, come from Isaiah 52.

About Margaret D. McGee