Prayers and Blessings for Christmas

The seasons of the church year are great teachers in prayer. Each shows us a distinctive array of imagery, symbols, stories, and experiences for connecting with God. No matter where we are or what we may be going through, every season invites us all and holds space for God to draw us into God’s presence and love.

Below are some prayers and blessings for the Christmas season, a time that can be weighty and light, sorrowful and joyous, as it calls us to celebrate what God has done in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. As you use or share them, please give credit to the original sources. May these prayers and blessings help your communities give voice to their hopes and hurts, and may they inspire us all to meet God anew this Christmas.

Christmas Day and Season Prayers

Christmas Eve Prayer

“Jesus Christ, holy child, glory of God revealed,
by starlight we first saw your face;
now by candlelight we sing your praise.
Though the night is long, you are our hope.
Though the path is dark, you lead the way.
By your Spirit, help us
to shine with the brightness of your truth
and share the warmth of your great love,
so that all may believe, rejoice, and give thanks,
for you are the light of the world.”

From “Prayers for Christmas,” by the Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Mission website (more prayers can be found at this link)

The Nativity of Our Lord

“Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

From The Book of Common Prayer (1979), 213

Prayers to See Christ’s Presence

“God of glory,
your splendor shines from a manger in Bethlehem,
where the Light of the world is humbly born
into the darkness of human night.
Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world,
so that we, like him, may become beacons of your justice,
and defenders of all for whom there is no room. Amen.”

“Light of life, you came in flesh,
born into human pain and joy,
and gave us power to be your children.
Grant us faith, O Christ, to see your presence among us,
so that all of creation may sing new songs of gladness
and walk in the way of peace. Amen.”

From “Nativity of Our Lord – Proper I, Year B: Prayers,” The Revised Common Lectionary Vanderbilt Divinity Library website (additional prayers are available at this link)

Prayer to Recognize the Word Made Flesh

“O Word made Flesh,
You have come into our midst as light and wisdom,
desiring to be known to us in our lives
and to be found in the world around us.
Open our eyes and our ears and our hearts
to recognize you where you dwell
—in our midst—
Challenging, heartening, lighting the way
to truth, peace, justice.”

From “The Word, the Light, the Glory of God: Service Prayers for Christmas Eve or Day” by Susan A. Blain, United Church of Christ website (a full liturgy is available at this link)

Prayer for December 30

“Jesus, you remind us God’s grace is full of surprises.
You come to earth not as a powerful king, but as a baby.
Not in a palace, but in a stable.
Not with signs of power and might,
but with gentleness and love.
Help us to live in surprising ways like that, too. AMEN.”

From “Prayers for the Journey: Carrying Christmas With Us” by Rachel Doboney Benton, in “Carrying Christmas With Us: Prayer Cards for All Twelve Days,” Building Faith (Oct. 17, 2022) (additional prayers for every day of the Christmas season can be accessed through the first link)

First Sunday after Christmas

“Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

From The Book of Common Prayer (1979), 213

Blue Christmas Prayers of the People

Leader: God of wisdom, we come to you this Christmas Season tired, in turmoil, and in pain. As the nights have grown longer, so has darkness grown and wrapped itself around our hearts. In this season of longest night, we ask your healing blessings upon all that we carry in our hearts — sorrow we fear may never end, wounds we cannot even put into words. Lord, hear our prayer,
All: And in Your merciful love, answer.

Leader: God of mercy and compassion, there are those among us who are grieving over what might have been. Death or loss or terrible hurt has changed our experience of Christmas. We remember that once it was a special day for us, too, but someone or something precious has gone away from us in this life. We have lost a beloved, a job, a goal, a cause, a dream. We find ourselves adrift and alone. We are weary from the journey, and we have found no room at the inn. We come to you seeking rest, and peace, and shelter from the storm. Lord, hear our prayer.
All: And in Your merciful love, answer.

Leader: God of grace, in the spirit of the season, grant us all that we need to comfort us as we journey through this Christmas season. We ask that you shelter and sustain all those of us, both here and throughout the world, who wander or want or weep or are heavy laden, that we may be lifted up in courage and journey on in Thy peace. Lord, hear our prayer.
All: And in Your merciful love, answer.

Leader: God of love, in this Christmas Season we embrace and offer up to you all that used to be which is now lost to us, and cannot be again. With celebration all around us, memories of what was, and fears of what may be, weigh heavy on our hearts. Please hold us close in your embrace, be near to us this night, until the light returns and morning comes. Lord, hear our prayer,
All: And in Your merciful love, answer.”

From “Blue Christmas: A Service of Reflection for the Longest Night” developed by The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, Honolulu, Hawai’i, United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries website (Jan. 22, 2013) (a full liturgy is available at this link)

Christmas Blessings

Christmas Season Blessing

“May Christ, who by his Incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with his joy and peace; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.”

From The Book of Occasional Services (2018), 9 (an additional blessing can be found through this link)

Blue Christmas Benediction

“May the power and the mystery go before us, to show us the way,
shine above us to lighten our world,
lie beneath us to bear us up,
walk with us and give us companionship,
and glow and flow within us to bring us joy.”

From “Blue Christmas: A Service of Wholeness and Healing” by Jean Givens, First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Presbyterian Mission website (a full liturgy can be accessed at this link)

Featured image is by Morgane Le Breton on Unsplash

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