Family Prayer

according to the Book of Common Prayer, 2019
Anglican Church in North America


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Family Prayer
in the Early Evening

Eve of The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ: Christmas Day

Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent

Christmastide


These devotions follow the basic structure of the Daily Office of the Church and are particularly appropriate for families with young children.

The Reading and the Collect may be read by one person, and the other parts said in unison, or in some other convenient manner.

This devotion may be used before or after the evening meal.

Opening Sentence

How excellent is your mercy, O God!
   The children of men shall take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
For with you is the well of life,
   and in your light shall we see light.

PSALM 36:7, 9

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

REVELATION 21:3

PHOS HILARON

O Gladsome Light

O gladsome light,

pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,*

O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,

and our eyes behold the vesper light,*

we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,*

O Son of God, O Giver of Life,

and to be glorified through all the worlds.

A READING FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE

JOHN 8:12


Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Song of Songs 1


The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.

The Bride Confesses Her Love

She

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine;
    your anointing oils are fragrant;
your name is oil poured out;
    therefore virgins love you.
Draw me after you; let us run.
    The king has brought me into his chambers.

Others

We will exult and rejoice in you;
    we will extol your love more than wine;
    rightly do they love you.

She

I am very dark, but lovely,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
    they made me keeper of the vineyards,
    but my own vineyard I have not kept!
Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you pasture your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
    beside the flocks of your companions?

Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other

He

If you do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
    and pasture your young goats
    beside the shepherds' tents.

I compare you, my love,
    to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots.
10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
    your neck with strings of jewels.

Others

11 We will make for you ornaments of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

12 While the king was on his couch,
    my nard gave forth its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    that lies between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    in the vineyards of Engedi.

He

15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
    behold, you are beautiful;
    your eyes are doves.

She

16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
Our couch is green;
17     the beams of our house are cedar;
    our rafters are pine.

A period of silence may follow.

The Apostles' Creed

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 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 again 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. Amen.

Intercessions

A hymn or canticle may be used.

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others. It is appropriate that prayers of thanksgiving for the blessings of the day, and penitence for our sins, be included.

The Lord's Prayer

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,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

The Collect

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Eve of The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ: Christmas Day

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A COLLECT FOR FAITH

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.


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