Franciscan Spirit Blog

A Short Christmas Prayer

People gather for Midnight Mass

The prayers of the new translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition have been in use for several weeks now. These Sundays of Advent have been a time of implementation, of “starts and stops,” as presider and assembly have struggled to integrate the new prayers into their prayer at Mass.

Earlier this year, I heard liturgical theologian and musician Father Michael Joncas speak at a workshop for priests. He urged us to become familiar with the so-called “Collect” prayers, the opening prayer of each Mass. He suggested that we pray over the new English texts so that we might proclaim them well. I have tried to do this for several weeks. I must admit to some frustration, as well as success, in matching up the more literal translation from an ancient language (Latin) and “voice” it for a contemporary English-speaking assembly.

At some point, if we all keep our focus on the purpose of the liturgy, the new words will gradually become part of that larger prayer, the prayer of the Church, the prayer of Jesus to the Father, in the Holy Spirit. Here is the Roman Missal’s new translation of the Collect prayer for the Christmas Mass at Dawn:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, as we are bathed in the new radiance of your Incarnate Word,
the light of faith, which illumines our minds,
may also shine through in our deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May this prayer enliven our observance of this sacred time. It is Franciscan Media’s prayer for you and your family in this holy season!

Prayer resources | Franciscan Media

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