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Prayers as we end Advent 2019

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As we’re just a week away from Christmas, Here are some prayers for your family.

The O’Antiphons:

The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

December 17
O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18
O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19
O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!

December 20
O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!

—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

Blessing of a Christmas Manger or Nativity Scene

In its present form the custom of displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus Christ owes its origin to St. Francis of Assisi, who made the Christmas crèche or manger for Christmas Eve of 1223. The blessing of the Christmas manger or nativity scene may take place on the Vigil of Christmas or at another suitable time. When the manger is set up in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another family member.

All make the sign of the cross as the leader says:

Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/. Who made heaven and earth.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Luke 2:1 (lines 1-8) or Isaiah 7:10 (lines 10-15, the birth of Emmanuel).

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.
R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The leader prays with hands joined:

God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
you have made manifest your love:
when our need for a Savior was great
you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.
To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy, and love.

Lord,
bless all who look upon this manger;
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
and raise our thoughts to him,
who is God-with-us and Savior of all,
and who lives and reigns forever and ever.
R/. Amen.

—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

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