The Vigil of Christmas

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OREMUS for December 24

The Vigil of Christmas

Lord, open our lips,

and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.


Blessed are you, God of Abraham and Sarah,

the God of David and his descendants

unwearied is your love for us

and steadfast is your covenant;

wonderful beyond words

is your gift of the Saviour, born of the Virgin Mary.

You count us among the people in you delight,

and by this night’s marriage of earth and heaven,

you draw all generations into the embrace of your love.

For these and all your mercies, we praise you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessed be God for ever!


An opening canticle may be sung.

Psalm 119:1-8


Happy are they whose way is blameless,*

who walk in the law of the Lord!

Happy are they who observe his decrees*

and seek him with all their hearts!

Who never do any wrong,*

but always walk in his ways.

You laid down your commandments,*

that we should fully keep them.

O that my ways were made so direct*

that I might keep your statutes!

Then I should not be put to shame,*

when I regard all your commandments.

I will thank you with an unfeigned heart,*

when I have learned your righteous judgements.

I will keep your statutes;*

do not utterly forsake me.

How shall the young cleanse their way?*

By keeping to your words.

With my whole heart I seek you;*

let me not stray from your commandments.

I treasure your promise in my heart,*

that I may not sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord;*

instruct me in your statutes.

With my lips will I recite*

all the judgements of your mouth.

I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees*

than in all manner of riches.

I will meditate on your commandments*

and give attention to your ways.

My delight is in your statutes;*

I will not forget your word.

Deal bountifully with your servant,*

that I may live and keep your word.

Open my eyes, that I may see*

the wonders of your law.

I am a stranger here on earth;*

do not hide your commandments from me.

My soul is consumed at all times*

with longing for your judgements.

You have rebuked the insolent;*

cursed are they who stray from your commandments!

Turn from me shame and rebuke,*

for I have kept your decrees.

Even though rulers sit and plot against me,*

I will meditate on your statutes.

For your decrees are my delight,*

and they are my counsellors.


My soul cleaves to the dust;*

give me life according to your word.

I have confessed my ways and you answered me;*

instruct me in your statutes.

Make me understand the way of your commandments,*

that I may meditate on your marvellous works.

My soul melts away for sorrow;*

strengthen me according to your word.

Take from me the way of lying;*

let me find grace through your law.

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;*

I have set your judgements before me.

I hold fast to your decrees;*

O Lord, let me not be put to shame.

I will run the way of your commandments,*

for you have set my heart at liberty.


FIRST READING [Zechariah 2:10-13]:


Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all people, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.



Words: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1885

Tune: Gartan, Hermitage


Love came down at Christmas,

love all lovely, love divine;

love was born at Christmas:

star and angels gave the sign.


Worship we the Godhead,

love incarnate, love divine;

worship we our Jesus,

but wherewith the sacred sign?


Love shall be our token;

love be yours and love be mine,

Love to God and to all men,

love for plea and gift and sign.


SECOND READING [Romans 16:25-27]:


Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.


The Benedictus (Morning),

the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.



The time is at hand and your promises are fulfilled.

With joyful hearts we pray:

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming:

come to those who are destitute and alone.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

come to the homeless, the addicted, and all held in bondage.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

to liberate your creation and set us free.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming,

to those who long to be taken to their eternal home.

Today we shall see your salvation!


We eagerly await your coming

upon the Church that we may proclaim

the good news of your birth.

Today we shall see your salvation!


Almighty God,

you make us glad with the yearly remembrance

of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:

grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,

so we may with sure confidence behold him

when he shall come to be our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Awaiting his coming in glory,

let us pray as our Savior has taught us:


– The Lord’s Prayer


Make our hearts leap with joy

and fill our mouths with songs of praise,

that we may announce glad tidings of peace,

and welcome the Christ in our midst. Amen.



The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The

Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.


The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary

Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops’ Council, 2002.


The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized

Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education

of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by

permission. All rights reserved.


The collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the

Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is

copyright (c) The Archbishops’ Council, 2000.


The closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common

Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common



The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from a collect in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at

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