a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
Massacre of the Innocents / Bruegel, Pieter, ca. 1525-1569 / 1565-1567 (Click the picture for more information)
Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available though Augsburg Fortress [link].
  • Thematic
  • O Holy One,
    heavenly angels spoke to earthly shepherds
    and eternity entered time in the child of Bethlehem.
    Through the telling of the Christmas story,
    let our temporal lives be caught up in the eternal
    in that same child,
    that we might join shepherds and all the heavenly host
    in praising the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

    OR

    God of glory,
    your splendor shines from a manger in Bethlehem,
    where the Light of the world is humbly born
    into the darkness of human night.
    Open our eyes to Christ's presence in the shadows of our world,
    so that we, like him, may become beacons of your justice,
    and defenders of all for whom there is no room. Amen.

    OR

    Light of life, you came in flesh,
    born into human pain and joy,
    and gave us power to be your children.
    Grant us faith, O Christ, to see your presence among us,
    so that all of creation may sing new songs of gladness
    and walk in the way of peace. Amen.

    OR

    We bless you, Abba, Father,
    for you have visited your people
    in one like us in all things but sin,
    and in human fragility you have revealed
    the face of divinity.
    Gather into your arms
    all the peoples of the world,
    so that in your embrace
    we may find blessing, peace,
    and the fullness of our inheritance
    as your daughters and sons. Amen.
  • Intercessory
  • Nurturing God,
    remembering the exile of the holy family
    and Herod's slaughter of the children,
    we remember all who need our sustaining love.
    Hear our prayers for the church and the community in the world.

    Prayers of the People concluding with:

    Grant that all people may hear together the song of joy,
    and find their homes in the garden of justice and hope,
    that we may experience the fullness of life,
    which is your will for all,
    in the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • Scripture
  • Praise is our cry, O Holy One of Israel,
    for you have come among us and borne our burdens.
    Give us open hearts,
    that we might embrace our suffering sisters and brothers,
    and welcome Jesus in the hospitality
    we show to exiles. Amen.