Christmas Masses - 24 to 25 December 2013
Readings for the Vigil Mass, celebrated during the afternoon or evening before Christmas Day:
1st Reading: Extracted from the prophet Isaiah 62:1-5
About Zion I will not be silent, about Jerusalem I will not grow weary,
until her integrity shines out like the dawn and her salvation flames like a torch.
The nations then will see your integrity, all the kings your glory,
and you will be called by a new name, one which the mouth of the Lord will confer.
You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord,
a princely diadem in the hand of your God;
no longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken’, nor your land ‘Abandoned’,
but you shall be called ‘My Delight’ and your land ‘The Wedded’;
for the Lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding.
Like a young man marrying a virgin, so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.
Responsorial: Psalm 89:4-5,16-17,27,29
I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:
I will establish your dynasty for ever and set up your throne through all ages.’
Happy the people who acclaim such a king,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
who make your justice the source of their bliss.
‘He will say to me: “You are my father, my God, the rock who saves me.”
I will keep my love for him always; with him my covenant shall endure.’
Second reading: Extracted from the Acts of the Apostles 13:16-17, 22-25
When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia, he stood up in the synagogue, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out.
‘Then he made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’
Tomorrow there will be an end to the sin of the world
and the saviour of the world will be our king.
Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 1:1-25
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham (Encouragements-259) was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab (Encouragements-43) being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth (Encouragements-29) being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of King David (Encouragements-256).
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah, Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah (Encouragements-47),
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah; and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar (Encouragements-40),
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph (Encouragements-37) the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son
and they will call him Emmanuel,
a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home and, though he had not had intercourse with her, she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.
Readings for the Midnight Mass, celebrated during the night before Christmas Day:
First reading: Extracted from the prophet Isaiah 9:1-7
The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time,
as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that was weighing on him, the barb across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor, these you break as on the day of Midian.
For all the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood,
is burnt, and consumed by fire.
For there is a child born for us, a son given to us
and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him:
Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.
Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end,
for the throne of David and for his royal power,
which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
O sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Proclaim his help day by day, tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice, all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord for he comes, he comes to rule the earth.
With justice he will rule the world, he will judge the peoples with his truth.
Second reading: Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to Titus 2:11-14
God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus.
He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.
I bring you news of great joy:
today a saviour has been born to us, Christ the Lord.
Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 2:1-14
Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census – the first – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered.
So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.
In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them.
They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing:
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour.’
29 December 2013