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Assembly Title
Christmas Mass 3

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group

To celebrate the arrival of Christmas

Faith Group

Hosts, wine, water, candles, chalice, ciborium, cloths, crown, crucifix, Infant Jesus from the Nativity crib, Advent wreath, altar frontal showing a scene from the Gospel
Large sheets of paper showing the Responsorial 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

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 Light

'When the Lord Returns'

PRIEST - Idea for Penitential Rite
As we call to mind the goodness of God and the value of each person, we confess that we have not always treasured that dignity, and have not treated people with the respect that is their due.
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 are getting ready to welcome your Son. Help us.
You sent him to bring us your love. During this time, when we celebrate his first coming, help us to remember that we must listen to what he teaches, otherwise our rejoicing and our welcome are not what you want.
We ask for your help through this same Son, Jesus ...

CHILD - First Reading (Is. 9:2-3 60:1, 26, 29)
The First Reading is from the prophet Isaiah. He wrote this a long time before Jesus was born. He was looking forward to the new life that Jesus would bring, like a new day dawning. Jesus is like the sun that fills the world with daylight. He fills the world with happiness, goodness and joy.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them. You have given them great joy, Lord; you have made them happy. They rejoice in what you have done.

In the beginning, the world was filled with darkness, and it was as black as night. But God came and changed all that! He filled the world with his light instead, just like the sun that shines in the sky every morning."

The word of the Lord...

CHILD - Responsorial Psalm
The response is: Lord, you are my light.

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


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


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

CHILD - Second Reading
The Second Reading is from one of St. Paul's letters.
He is reminding us how much we need Jesus.

"My friends, there was a time when we knew nothing and spent all our time choosing to do wrong. Now the love and kindness of God has sent Jesus to help us. He has come to bring us the chance of a new kind of life with God. Now we can share God's own life, and look forward to living for ever with Him. You can be sure of this."
The Word of the Lord...

HYMN - 'Alleluia (8 fold)' first 3 verses, (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 36)

PRIEST - Gospel (Luke 2:1-20)
When it was nearly time for Mary's child to be born, a law was announced by Augustus Caesar that all the people in the world should be registered. Everybody had to go to the town where they had been born, for this registration. Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Although they looked everywhere for a room the town was full, so they had to sleep in a stable. Here Mary's baby was born, and she wrapped him up and laid him in a manger.

Not far away, there were some shepherds looking after their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared before them and there was a great light. The shepherds were very frightened.

The angel said: "Do not be afraid. I bring you wonderful news. Today in David's city a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will find him wrapped up and lying in a manger."

Then there appeared with the angel a great throng of angels, saying, "Glory to God in Heaven and on earth peace to men who are good."

The angels left, and the shepherds said to each other,
"Let's hurry to Bethlehem and see this for ourselves."

They travelled quickly and found Mary, Joseph and the baby. Having seen them, they told everybody about the child. They returned to their sheep, marvelling at what had happened.

The Gospel of the Lord...

CHILDREN - Prayers of the Faithful
The response is... hear our prayer.
In the darkness, it's easy to feel that the Lord is not there.
But God made a world with light AND darkness.
He is always there,
like a hand to guide our steps,
like a voice to tell us the way,
like a light in the darkness.
May we always be ready to accept his help.
Lord in your mercy...

2. We think of candles, sometimes difficult to light - and easily blown out.
We are like those candles, sometimes slow to spread cheer and goodwill, sometimes quick to give up.
We pray for help to shine this Christmas.
We ask for help to make this a happy Christmas for everyone.
Lord in your mercy.

3. We think of God the Father, who always keeps his promises.
He promised Isaiah the prophet that he would send a saviour to put right the wrong in the world and to forgive us all the wrong we do.
We pray for help to admit when we are wrong, and help to ask for and accept forgiveness.
Lord in your mercy...

4. We think of the fun of Christmas:
presents and parties,
secrets and surprises,
Christmas trees and coloured lights,
stockings stuffed to the toe,
exploding crackers full of gifts,
children singing carols,
delicious and unusual food.
Amid all the hustle and bustle, let us remember that we do it all in honour of Jesus and his birthday.
Lord in your mercy...

5. We think at Christmas time of those who have little or no food.
We also pray that they will find warmth, shelter and something to eat.
Those of us who have food, help us not to take it for granted.
Lord in your mercy...

6. We think of people who have died or been injured in recent world disasters.
Help the injured to recover and the bereaved to be comforted.
May they find peace this Christmas.
Lord in your mercy...

7. We pray that while we enjoy ourselves this Christmas we do not forget the true meaning of the celebrations.
Make us realise that without Christ there would be no Christmas.
Lord in your mercy...
Now let us think of Mary, who gave us her son at Christmas. Hail Mary...

HYMN - 'Come, come, come to the Manger', (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 124)

CHILDREN - Offertory

1. We bring Jesus. Jesus our friend has come.
2. We bring candles. Jesus our Light has come.
3. We bring a crown. Jesus Prince of Peace has come.
4. We bring a crucifix. Jesus our Saviour has come.
5. We bring our love, with the bread, the wine and the water.

PRIEST - Second Prayer
Father, we bring you bread and wine. We bring too some of the things that remind us of Christmas. Accept our offerings, as we celebrate the birth of your Son, Jesus. Let us be ready to receive him, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.

PRIEST - Eucharistic Prayer for children

HYMN - 'Echo Our Father' (Songs of the Spirit number 100)

HYMN AFTER COMMUNION - 'O little town of Bethlehem', P. Brooks (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 540)

PRIEST - Third Prayer
We pray, Lord God, that each person here may have a happy Christmas, and bring that happiness to family, friends and all we meet. Help us to stay close to Jesus and to try to help other people to know him.
We need your help for this, through the same Jesus, your Son...

HYMN - 'Ding dong! Merrily on high', by G. Woodward (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 146)

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 23-7-2016.