Time For Assembly

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Assembly Title
Christmas Mass 1

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group

To celebrate the arrival of Christmas

Faith Group

Hosts, wine, water, candles, chalice, ciborium, cloths, crown, crucifix, Advent wreath, altar frontal showing a large golden sun surrounded by several red candles with golden flames i.e. (God and us)
Large sheets of paper showing the Psalm and Bidding Prayers responses

Time of Year
The end of the autumn term, just before Christmas

Other Details
This is written as a Mass for a Catholic school, but could be adapted for other services

The Prayers of the Faithful were written by children

If your school has an Advent wreath, all four candles could be lit for this Mass as the children will not be in school at the correct time for the fourth candle to be lit. This can be explained to the children

The theme is the usual Christmas one of light

"How Dark was the Stable" by Michael Cockett (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 267)

PRIEST: The theme of the Mass is the usual one of light. (Explain the importance of using light as a symbol at the darkest time of the year.)

PRIEST: Idea for Penitential Rite
As we call to mind the goodness of God - and the value of all his children - we confess that we sometimes forget God.
We forget that he made us.
We forget that he gave us his special son, Jesus.
We forget that he wants us to be kind to others, like Jesus.
We forget to follow the good example of Jesus.
Now we ask Jesus to help us to remember all these things, especially at this busy time leading up to Christmas.

Lord Jesus, you are our light and the Prince of Peace;
Lord have mercy ...

Lord Jesus, you come with hope and goodwill for all your people;
Christ have mercy ...

Lord Jesus, you are the Saviour of the world;
Lord have mercy ...

PRIEST: First Prayer
God our Father, we thank you for the brightness of light.
We thank you too for sending us Jesus - a light for us to follow.
Jesus is the true light which leads us from the darkness of sin, to the brightness of your kingdom.
Help us to follow him always. We make our prayer through Jesus, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

CHILD: First Reading Gen 1: 1-4
The First Reading is from the Book of Genesis, which tells us how the world was created. God knew how terrible it would be without light, so he gave us light.

"In the beginning, God made the world.
The earth lay empty and dead. Everything was dark and gloomy.
Darkness blacked out the deep seas. Great winds lashed the water.
But God was there - and God spoke. "Let there be light!"
And the world was filled with light. God was pleased."

The Word of the Lord ...

CHILD: Responsorial Psalm Ps 17: 2, 4, 29
The response is: Lord you are my light.

1. I love you, my Lord,
for you have made me strong.
Response ...

2. I thank you, my Lord,
for you have heard my prayer.
Response ...

3. You have been like a light before my eyes.
You have made my darkness into light.
Response ...

CHILD: Second Reading 1 Jn 1: 5-7
We need light to see what we are doing - and we need to follow God's light to make sure we are doing the right thing.
In the Second Reading, Saint John tells us that if we follow God's light we will be staying close to God.

"Dear friends, God is light! There is no darkness at all in him. But if we do wrong, we turn away from the light of God - and go off into the dark.
Some people think they can be close to God and still do wrong. But they are making a mistake!
The light of God shines on us, to help us to do things right. Then we will be close to God - and we will be happy with everyone."

The Word of the Lord ...

HYMN: Alleluia (8 fold) first 3 verses (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 36)
ALL: Spoken Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia,
I am the Light of the World,
Says the Lord,
Anyone who follows me will have the light of life.

PRIEST: Gospel Lk 2: 23-32
When Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary took him to the Temple in Jerusalem, and offered him to God, as the Bible told them to do.
When they came to the Temple, they met an old man called Simeon. Simeon was a good man and the Holy Spirit was very close to him. As soon as he saw Jesus, he took him in his arms and said,
"Thank you, God our Father. Now I am happy to die, for I have seen Jesus, the Light of the World!"

The Gospel of the Lord ...

God our Father, we know you are with us, and that you listen to us. We bring our needs before you now, in prayer...

CHILDREN: Prayers of the faithful
1. The response is... "Hear our prayer."
We think of God the Father, at Christmas time. It was God who sent Lord Jesus our Saviour, on that special day. We are sorry if we sometimes forget the real Christmas.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

2. We think of light. Light is important to us. We need light so we can see what Jesus wants us to do. We will try harder to follow Jesus.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

3. We pray for the people who will not be able to celebrate Christmas as we do, because they are too poor. We also pray for the people who are in hospital and cannot celebrate in the usual way.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

4. We think of people living on the street. They will not have a Christmas like ours, with celebrations, decorations and presents. May we think of a way to help them.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

5. We think of people in other countries, who do not know what Christmas means. Help us not to be selfish at Christmas, but to spare a thought for others.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

6. We pray for the children who have no place to live this Christmas, because they have no mum or dad.
Lord, in your mercy... hear our prayer.

We now pray with Mary, who first showed us Jesus, the Light of the World. Hail Mary...

(Alternative Prayers of the Faithful, to use instead of the prayers above.)
1. We pray for our Pope, our bishops and our priests.
Be a light to them, and help them as they lead us to you.

2. We pray for our country.
Be a light to our leaders, and bless their work for peace and happiness.

3. We pray for our families.
Be a light to us in our homes, and help us to follow your way of love.

4. We pray for missionaries.
Be a light to them, and help them to bring your light to people in faraway places.

HYMN: "Come, come, come to the Manger" (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 124)

CHILDREN - Offertory
1. We bring candles. Jesus our light has come.
2. We bring a crown. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has come.
3. We bring a crucifix. Jesus our Saviour has come.
4. We bring our love, with the bread, the wine and the water.
(The word 'bring' can be replaced by the word 'offer'.)

(Optional Offertory prayer, to come after number 1 above)
We bring a torch (or Christmas lantern). We will walk in the light.

PRIEST: Second Prayer
God our Father, take our gifts of bread and wine. Take our lives too, and help us to live in the light of Jesus. We ask this through Jesus, your son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

PRIEST: Eucharistic Prayer for children

HYMN: "Echo Our Father" (Songs of the Spirit number 100)

HYMN AFTER THE SIGN OF PEACE: "Shalom" by Steven Jones (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 639)

HYMN AFTER COMMUNION: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Phillips Brooks (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 540)

PRIEST: Third Prayer
Father, in this Communion, you have filled us with the light and love of Jesus. May this light always burn brightly within us, so that everyone may see your glory.
We ask this through Jesus your son ...

(Alternative Third Prayer, to replace the prayer above.)
God our Father, you have given us Jesus, our Light. May we follow his way of life, and find true peace and happiness in our lives. We make this prayer through Jesus, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

HYMN: "Ding dong! Merrily on High" by George Woodward (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 146)

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 23-7-16.