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Liturgical Leaflet for an Active Participation in the Celebration of the Eucharist

24 December 2016 CHRISTMAS EVE – Midnight Mass Year A

Christ, The Light of Our Lives

e begin this long-awaited celebration Such a wonder will happen if we, as individu-
of the Christmas Eve by wishing one als, as families, and as a community of believers,
another “A BLESSED CHRISTMAS.” open our hearts to receive Jesus with the same
We are here not just to keep a religious and generosity with which Mary Most Holy received
cultural tradition, but to commemorate the hu- him as her Savior and Lord. Let us do just that,
man birth of God’s Only Begotten Son. This is even as we include in our intentions the needs
the event that has changed the course of human of all those we love, the entire community of
history and still has the power to change our believers, and the whole of mankind.
lives for the better.

displeases the Lord. (Pause) Gloria

RITES P –Lord Jesus, you are the All–Glory to God in the
Son of God and the Son highest, and on earth peace
Entrance Antiphon of Mary. Lord, have to people of good will. We
(To be recited only when no Entrance mercy! praise you, we bless you, we
Hymn is sung.) All – Lord, have mercy! adore you, we glorify you, we
The Lord said to me: You P –Lord Jesus, at your birth give you thanks for your great
are my Son. It is I who have you became one like us glory, Lord God, heavenly
begotten you this day. in all things except sin. King, O God, almighty
Christ, have mercy! Father.
Greeting All –Christ, have mercy! Lord Jesus Christ, Only
P –The grace and peace P –Lord Jesus, you came Begotten Son, Lord God,
brought by Jesus at his birth to reconcile us with Lamb of God, Son of the Fa-
be with you all! God the Father and with ther, you take away the sins
All –And with your spirit! one another. Lord, have of the world, have mercy on
mercy! us; you take away the sins of
Penitential Act All – Lord, have mercy! the world, receive our prayer;
P –Brothers and sisters, P –May almighty God have you are seated at the right
as we are about to start this mercy on us, forgive us our hand of the Father, have mer-
Midnight Mass, let us exam- sins, and bring us to everlast- cy on us. For you alone are
ine our conscience and see if ing life. the Holy One, you alone are
there is something in us that All – Amen! the Lord, you alone are the
Most High, Jesus Christ, with The zeal of the Lord of Gospel Acclamation
the Holy Spirit, in the glory hosts will do this! All –Alleluia! Alleluia!
of God the Father. Amen! The Word of the Lord! I proclaim to you good
All – Thanks be to God! news of great joy:
Collect (Opening Prayer) today a Savior is born for
Responsorial Psalm Ps 96 us, Christ the Lord.
P –O God, who have made R – Today is born our Savior,
this most sacred night radiant Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ the Lord!
with the splendor of the true Gospel Lk 2:1-14
light, grant, we pray, that we, R. M. Velez
In this passage the Evan-
who have known the myster- F C Dm Dm/C
gelist does not simply give us
     
 
ies of his light on earth, may an account of Jesus’ birth; he
also delight in his gladness in also makes us aware that the
heaven. To--day is born our Sa-vior, newborn Baby is the Savior of
Who lives and reigns with the world.
   
Bb C F

you in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and  P –The Lord be with you!
ever. All – And with your spirit!
Christ the Lord!
All – Amen! P –A proclamation from the
* Sing to the Lord a new holy Gospel according to
LITURGY OF song; sing to the Lord, all you Luke
lands. Sing to the Lord; bless All – Glory to you, O Lord!
his name! R. In those days a decree went
1st Reading Is 9:1-6 * Announce his salvation, day out from Caesar Augustus
In the oracle we are about after day. Tell his glory among that the whole world should
the nations; among all peoples, be enrolled. This was the first
to proclaim, the Church sees a enrollment, when Quirinius
prophecy about Jesus the Mes- his wondrous deeds! R.
* Let the heavens be glad was governor of Syria. So all
siah, who brings the light of went to be enrolled, each to
God’s love to a world darkened and the earth rejoice; let the
sea and what fills it resound; his own town.
by hatred, pride, and suffering And Joseph, too, went up
of all kinds. let the plains be joyful and all
that is in them! Then shall all from Galilee from the town of
R –A proclamation from the the trees of the forest exult. R. Nazareth to Judea, to the city
Book of the Prophet Isa- of David that is called Beth-
* They shall exult before lehem, because he was of the
iah the Lord, for he comes; for house and family of David, to
The people who walked he comes to rule the earth. He be enrolled with Mary, his be-
in darkness have seen a great shall rule the world with jus- trothed, who was with child.
light; upon those who dwelt in tice and the peoples with his While they were there, the
the land of gloom a light has constancy. R. time came for her to have her
shone. child, and she gave birth to
You have brought them 2nd Reading Ti 2:11-14 her firstborn son.
abundant joy and great re- Tonight St. Paul reminds She wrapped him in swad-
joicing, as they rejoice before us that the incarnation of dling clothes and laid him in a
you as at the harvest, as people God’s Son brings us salvation manger, because there was no
make merry when dividing and grounds our hope that we room for them in the inn.
spoils. For the yoke that bur- shall be with him for ever. Now there were shepherds
dened them, the pole on their R –A proclamation from the in that region living in the
shoulder, and the rod of their Letter of Paul to Titus fields and keeping the night
taskmaster you have smashed, watch over their flock. The
Beloved: The grace of God angel of the Lord appeared to
as on the day of Midian. has appeared, saving all and
For every boot that tramped them and the glory of the Lord
training us to reject godless shone around them, and they
in battle, every cloak rolled in ways and worldly desires and
blood, will be burned as fuel were struck with great fear.
to live temperately, justly, and The angel said to them,
for flames. For a Child is born devoutly in this age, as we await “Do not be afraid! Behold, I
to us, a Son is given us; upon his the blessed hope, the appear- proclaim to you good news of
shoulder dominion rests. They ance of the glory of our great great joy that will be for all
name him Wonder-Counselor, God and savior Jesus Christ. the people. Today, in the city
God-Hero, Father-Forever, He gave himself for us to of David, a savior has been
Prince of Peace. His dominion deliver us from all lawlessness born for you who is Christ
is vast and forever peaceful. and to cleanse for himself a and Lord. And this will be a
He will rule as King David’s people as his own, eager to do sign for you: you will find an
successor, basing his power what is good. infant wrapped in swaddling
on right and justice, from The Word of the Lord! clothes and lying in a manger.”
now on until the end of time. All – Thanks be to God! And suddenly there was a
24 December 2016
multitude of the heavenly host the Savior of the world, let us of Christ, in whom our nature
with the angel, praising God pray for the needs of all man- is united to you.
and saying: “Glory to God in kind and our own. Let our re- Who lives and reigns for
the highest and on earth peace sponse be: ever and ever.
to those on whom his favor All – Amen!
rests.” All – Lord, You are our Light!
The Gospel of the Lord! C –For the entire commu- Preface of Christmas I
All – Praise to you, Lord Jesus nity of believers who rejoice P –The Lord be with you!
Christ! over the birth of Jesus: May All –And with your spirit!
the peace of this night rever- P –Lift up your hearts!
Homily berate into the whole world All –We lift them up to the
through their lives. Let us Lord!
Profession of Faith pray! R. P –Let us give thanks to the
(Nicene Creed) C –For the Holy Father Lord our God!
All –I believe in one God, and all the religious leaders All –It is right and just!
the Father almighty, maker of throughout the world: May P –It is truly right and just,
heaven and earth, of all things the leadership they exercise our duty and our salvation,
visible and invisible. in the name of God bring all always and everywhere to
I believe in one Lord Jesus peoples closer to one another give you thanks, Lord, holy
Christ, the Only Begotten Son in sincere cooperation and Father, almighty and eternal
of God, born of the Father solidarity. Let us pray! R. God.
before all ages. God from C –For the nations and fac- For in the mystery of
God, Light from Light, true tions at war: May the peace the Word made flesh a new
God from true God, begotten, brought by Jesus at his birth light of your glory has shone
not made, consubstantial with lead them to seek an end to upon the eyes of our mind,
the Father; through him all the scourge of war. Let us so that, as we recognize in
things were made. For us men pray! R. him God made visible, we
and for our salvation he came C –For our own family and may be caught up through
down from heaven, and by all the families in our parish: him in love of things invis-
the Holy Spirit was incarnate May the spirit of Christmas ible.
of the Virgin Mary, and make us always ready to sup- And so, with Angels and
became man. (All genuflect port, forgive, affirm and love Archangels, with Thrones
and pause after reciting this one another. Let us pray! R. and Dominions, and with
sentence.) For our sake he all the hosts and Powers of
was crucified under Pontius C –Let us pray in silence for heaven, we sing the hymn of
Pilate, he suffered death and our personal intentions. your glory as without end we
was buried, and rose again on (Pause) Let us pray! R. acclaim:
the third day in accordance P –We thank You, Father, All – Holy, holy, holy Lord,
with the Scriptures. He for the gift of Jesus, Your God of hosts. Heaven and
ascended into heaven and is Son. May we treasure his earth are full of your glory.
seated at the right hand of the presence as Mary Most Holy Hosanna in the highest!
Father. He will come again in did. We ask this in the name Blessed is he who comes in
glory to judge the living and of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. the name of the Lord. Hosan-
the dead and his kingdom will All – Amen! na in the highest!
have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spir- Memorial Acclamation
it, the Lord, the giver of life, LITURGY OF P –The mystery of faith!
who proceeds from the Father THE EUCHARIST All – When we eat this Bread
and the Son, who with the Fa- and drink this Cup, we
ther and the Son is adored and Preparation of the Gifts proclaim your Death,
glorified, who has spoken P –Pray, brethren . . . O Lord, until you come
through the prophets. All –May the Lord accept the again!
I believe in one, holy, cath- sacrifice at your hands, for the
olic and apostolic Church. I praise and glory of his name,
confess one Baptism for the for our good and the good of COMMUNION
forgiveness of sins and I look all his holy Church. RITE
forward to the resurrection
of the dead and the life of the Prayer over the Offerings All – Our Father . . .
world to come. Amen! P –Deliver us, Lord . . .
P –May the oblation of this All – For the kingdom, the
day’s feast be pleasing to you, power, and the glory are
Prayer of the Faithful O Lord, we pray, that through yours, now and for ever.
P –On this Holy Night when this most holy exchange we
we commemorate the birth of may be found in the likeness Sign of Peace
Christmas Eve – Midnight Mass
Breaking of the Bread Nativity, may through an All – Amen!
All – Lamb of God . . . honorable way of life become P –God sent his angels to
worthy of union with him. shepherds to herald the
Communion Who lives and reigns for great joy of our Savior’s
P –Behold the Lamb of God, ever and ever. birth. May he fill you
behold him who takes away the All – Amen! with joy and make you
sins of the world. Blessed are heralds of his Gospel!
those called to the supper of CONCLUDING All – Amen!
the Lamb. RITES P –When the Word became
All – Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under man, earth was joined to
P –The Lord be with you. heaven. May he give you
my roof, but only say the word All – And with your spirit!
and my soul shall be healed. his peace and goodwill,
P –Bow your heads and and fellowship with all
Communion Antiphon pray for God’s blessing. the heavenly host!
(To be recited only when no Com- (Pause) All – Amen!
munion Hymn is sung.) When he came to us as
The Word became flesh, man, the Son of God scat- P –May almighty God bless
and we have seen his glory. tered the darkness of this you: the Father, and the
world, and filled this holy Son, and the Holy Spirit!
Prayer after Communion All – Amen!
night with his glory. May
P –Grant us, we pray, O Lord the God of infinite good- P –Go and share with oth-
our God, that we, who are ness scatter the darkness ers the joy and peace of
gladdened by participation in of sin and brighten your Christmas!
the feast of our Redeemer’s hearts with holiness! All – Thanks be to God!

The Origin of “Silent Night”

U nknown to many, the lovely Christmas song “Silent Night”
had quite a stormy, almost dramatic origin. Everything
happened in the Catholic parish of Oberndorf, in the
Tyrol region of Austria, Europe.
It was the early morning of the 24th of December 1818. In
sound of the organ. Then he halted for a few seconds: You
don’t just recite a poem in church during the homily. A poem is
a song, and a song is to be sung! Why not ask his friend and
musician Franz Gruber to compose a simple tune that would
suit his simple poem?
spite of the unusually cold temperature, Fr. Joseph Mohr, the Fr. Joseph lost no time and hurried to see his friend. As
parish priest, was beginning to feel the heat of a big problem Franz Gruber read the poem, he also felt inspired. In just a
that had developed most unexpectedly: the organ of the par- couple of hours he came up with a melody that was as simple
ish church had broken down and did not seem to have any and as touching as the lyrics. There and then, Fr. Joseph and
intention to resume its service in time for the Midnight Mass. the composer sang together the improvised composition several
As the worried priest was called to baptize a newborn child, times. It sounded even better than they had anticipated. Now
he left the repair of the organ in the hands of the sacristan, the only uncertainty was how the people would react.
hoping that on his return it might finally be fixed. But when he That night, soon after the proclamation of the Gospel,
came back one hour later, the situation was still the same. Fr. Joseph announced that he had a surprise for all: a new
Fr. Joseph felt as if the whole world was tumbling down Christmas carol entitled “Stille Nacht, Heilege Nacht” (Silent
on him, as he could anticipate the disappointment of the pa- Night, Holy Night). Franz Gruber and himself would sing it
rishioners at not hearing the familiar sound of the organ during for them to the accompaniment of a guitar since the organ was
the Midnight Mass. Christmas without the organ, in Austria, is out of order . . . .
like a wedding without the cake . . . . But, being a man of faith, As the singing proceeded, one could see the eyes of the
the middle-aged priest did not totally lose hope. He knelt down parishioners, young and old, twinkle with deep feeling. A few
in front of the Blessed Sacrament and prayed fervently for a elderly women furtively wiped their tears. Soon, almost all found
few minutes, seeking strength and consolation from the Lord. themselves swaying their heads to the rhythm of the composi-
Those minutes spent in prayer proved particularly effec- tion. Before the third stanza was over, the entire congregation
tive. When Fr. Joseph rose from his kneeler, his eyes were was humming the tune with gusto and devotion. No one was
unusually bright. He had found a solution, or so he thought missing the organ any more.
. . . . Immediately he dashed to his writing desk, grabbed a When the Mass was over, the parishioners almost mobbed
pen, and began to scribble the lines of a simple poem that all the poor Fr. Joseph and Franz Gruber, demanding a copy of
of a sudden had started bubbling up in his mind. The child he the new composition.
had baptized a short while earlier and his mother had been Such was the origin of “Silent Night,” the Christmas song
the source of his inspiration. that has been translated and sung in almost all languages of
When he had finished, he was visibly elated at the thought the world.
that he could recite that newly composed poem during the
Midnight Mass, as a way to make up for the absence of the Jess P. Balon

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