2016 - Midnight Mass from St Chad's Catholic Cathedral Midnight Mass

2016 - Midnight Mass from St Chad's Catholic Cathedral

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# The hopes and fears of all the years


Loving Father, we gather together on this holy night to celebrate


the birth of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.


We ask for your special blessing on this crib and upon those


We ask you to bless our homes, our families and our friends,


In particular, we remember those who are at work and those


who are on their own this Christmas night.


Almighty and merciful Father, from the beginning of time you have


When our need for a Saviour was great, you sent your Son to be


We ask you to bless this manger scene.


May it be a reminder of your love for us and that


you restore our human dignity in the birth of your Son.


We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,


who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Welcome to St Chad's Cathedral, close to the centre of Birmingham -


Pugin's gem on the edge of the city's Jewellery Quarter -


where we gather to celebrate anew the birth of the Prince of Peace


into a world full of fresh uncertainties as 2016


I welcome all those joining us tonight from their own homes.


Your hopes and concerns together with your prayers are joined


to oursas we come to the crib and as we celebrate this


We are especially mindful at this time of the recent terror attack in


Berlin. In a moment of prayerful solidarity, in the course of this


mass, the Cathedral choir will sing the first verse of Silent Night in


German. I invite you to welcome the new-born


Son of God with the wonder and joy of Mary and Joseph and the shepherds


at Bethlehem and to ask him Brothers and sisters,


let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves


to celebrate the sacred mysteries. Lord Jesus, you are mighty God


and Prince of Peace. You are the Son of God


and the Son of Mary. You are the Word made flesh,


the splendour of the Father. May almighty God have mercy on us,


forgive us our sins, # et in terra pax


hominibus bonae voluntatis # gratias agimus tibi propter


magnam gloriam tuam, # Domine Fili unigenite,


Jesu Christe, # Domine Deus, Agnus


Dei, Filius Patris, # qui tollis peccata


mundi, miserere nobis; # qui tollis peccata mundi,


suscipe deprecationem nostram. # Qui sedes ad dexteram


Patris, miserere nobis. # Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus


Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, # Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu:


in gloria Dei Patris. Let us Pray O God, who have


made this most sacred night radiant with the


splendour of the true light, grant, we pray,


that we, who have known the mysteries


of his light on earth, may also delight in his


gladness in heaven. Who lives and reigns


with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one


God, for ever and ever. The people that walked in darkness


has seen a great light. On those who live in a land of deep


shadow, a light has shone. You have made their gladness


greater, you have made their joy increase, they rejoice


in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy


when they are dividing the spoils. For the yoke that was


weighing on him, the bar the rod of his oppressor,


these you break as every cloak rolled in blood,


is burnt and consumed by fire. For there is a child born for us,


a Son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders -


and this is the name they give him, Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,


Eternal-Father, Prince of Peace. Wide is His dominion


in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David


and for His royal power, which He establishes and makes


secure in justice and integrity. From this day onwards and for ever,


the jealous love of the Lord He will rule the world.


all the people. He will judge


the people with His truth. A reading from the letter


of St Paul to Titus. we are waiting in hope


for the blessing which will come with the appearing of


the glory of our great God He sacrificed himself for us


in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify


a people so that it could be his very own and would have no


ambition except to do good. I bring you news of great joy: today


a Saviour has been to us. I bring you news of great joy: today


a Saviour has been born to us. DEACON: A reading from


the Holy Gospel according to Luke. Caesar Augustus issued


a decree for a census This census - the first - took


place while Quirinius was governor of Syria,


and everyone went to his own So Joseph set out from the town


of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea,


to the town of David called Bethlehem, since


he was of David's House and line, in order to be registered together


with Mary, his betrothed, While they were there the time came


for her to have her child, and she gave birth to


a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling


clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them


at the inn. In the countryside close by,


there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns


to watch their flocks The Angel of the Lord appeared


to them and the glory They were terrified, but the angel


said, "Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great


joy, a joy to be shared Today in the town of David,


a Saviour has been born to you; And here is a sign for you:


you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes


and lying in a manger." And suddenly


with the angel there was a great praising God and singing: "Glory


to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who


enjoy his favour." ALL: Praise to you,


Lord Jesus Christ. Today is the birthday


of Jesus Christ. Let us be silent and


let the child speak. By spending time contemplating His


face and cradling Him in our arms, we are invited to be carriers


of His joy, love and peace. In her Christmas message and in the


words that recalled the Christian ministry of her father, as well has


her own faith in Jesus Christ, the Prime Minister encouraged us, as


Christians, to speak publicly of our faith and to witness to its impact


on our lives and on the Christian virtues and values that form the


historic foundations of our country. Mrs May said our Christian heritage


is something we can all be proud of. And we can proudly celebrate the


birth of Christ and the message of forgiveness, love and hope that he


brings. Faith in Christ is always


personal but it can never be The child born at Bethlehem wants


to transform our lives not only as individuals but as families


and as communities. As people are drawn to Jesus


they are drawn to one another. Friendships in Christ,


deeper relationships and an obligation to reach out


and serve others are formed which are not incidental


to being a Christian - they lie at the heart


of Christian discipleship. So tonight we gather as the Church,


united in an enduring fellowship by bonds of faith and affection that


lead us from Christmas to Easter and Pentecost in a recurring cycle


of faith that has brought us back to the crib tonight and that will


send us out in service of the world. For the last 15 years


here in Birmingham a crib provided by the Lowenthal family has stood


at the heart of the German Market. This year it symbolized our sense


of solidarity with the families and communities grieving over


the loss of life and injury caused by the attack a few days ago


at the Christmas Market in Berlin. We pray for their


intentions tonight. The same crib, which we have just


blessed here in the cathedral, is not simply a tableau of that


night in Bethlehem. It helps us understand


the future direction His birth at Bethlehem comes


at the end of a long and uncomfortable journey for Mary


and Joseph, travelling for days on foot and by mule from Nazareth


to comply with the demands No sooner is he born than,


like so many of the Syrian refugees we have seen on TV,


his family have to up sticks They are forced to make an equally


uncertain journey into Egypt. Jesus knew from the outset what it


meant to be anxiously on the road - the insecurity of not knowing


where to find safety, food or rest. His ministry in Galilee


was travelling from town to town as a wandering preacher,


curing sickness, casting out devils As his followers, we must also be


on the move ourselves - and we cannot turn away the refugee


or asylum seeker because we can see Jesus' face reflected


in their trouble and distress. The first witnesses


to the birth of the Saviour were the shepherds who lived


in the fields and took it in turns to watch


their flocks during the night. These were not settled people


or regarded as respectable folk - they didn't occupy an important


or central position but they were peripheral,


at the edge of society. From the beginning of Jesus' life


God's plan unfolded and was revealed not to the great and the powerful


but to those on the margins of society, and these


were the people he always sought Our Christmas faith


is simple, yet profound. God became man in a helpless


baby at Bethlehem, grew to maturity in Nazareth,


preached his mission in Galilee, died and rose


from the dead in Jerusalem. To some it is incredible -


make-believe for children or the gullible - but for nearly


a third of the world's population it is the belief that


sustains us day by day, that makes us reach out


with the love of God to our neighbours and those most


in need, that enables us to seek forgiveness and mercy and to be


forgiving and merciful ourselves. Later today, I have no doubt


that Her Majesty the Queen will refer to her personal faith


in Jesus Christ during her annual Christmas broadcast


and to the instinct for good that faith makes fruitful in our lives


and our communities. Those references will be welcome


not only to the Queen's I know from the friendships that


I enjoy within the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group that the personal


witness of Christian faith in those who serve us in public life


is welcomed by men and women A few weeks ago I was in Bethlehem


on an ecumenical pilgrimage with Anglicans and Catholics


from the Black Country We prayed at the Church


of the Nativity and visited the Holy Places but we also met


with the living stones of Bethlehem, members of the Christian communities


who continue to witness, despite increasing challenges


and hardships, to their abiding and ancient faith in Jesus Christ


in the town of his birth. We witnessed their deep desire


as people of faith for peace - peace with their Jewish and Muslim


neighbours, peace for Jerusalem as the key to unlocking the gift


of peace for Israel and Palestine - peace for Syria and


throughout the Middle East. This quest for peace in a world


whose political realities are constantly changing,


and where the many-headed serpent of terrorism is constantly


insinuating itself in new ways, lies at the heart of every authentic


expression of religious life and it is the dominant message


of Christmas every year. May Christ the new-born Prince


of Peace answer every prayer for peace offered up in all parts


of the world on this holy night. and it is the dominant message


of Christmas every year. May Christ the new-born Prince


of Peace answer every prayer for peace offered up in all parts


of the world on this holy night. As we join with the angels


to celebrate with joy the birth of the Son of God,


let us offer our prayers to God who gives new birth


to His sons and daughters We pray that all Christians


never tire of the May it give us the courage to be


heralds of great joy bringing the light of hope


to our brothers and sisters. We pray for the nations


of the world, on this May all peoples be blessed


with peace, justice and reconciliation -


especially in the land of -- especially in Syria and Aleppo at


this time. We pray for those who exercise


power and authority. and give shelter to


all who are in need, especially the refugee


and those who are destitute. We pray for all those who live


alone. May be experienced the nearness of God and the warmth of


human kindness -- a the nearness of God. Lord, here is.


especially those who have lost their lives


We pray for those who have lost their life in Berlin.


May they experience the fullness of the salvation


We turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who carried God's love


asking her intercession as we pray together


In silence, let us offer our own prayers to the Father.


Grant us, Lord, as we honour with joyful devotion


the Nativity of your Son, that we may come to know with


fullness of faith the hidden depths of this mystery


# Hodie in terra canunt angeli, laetantur archangeli,


# Hodie exsultant justi, dicentes


Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours


may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.


May the oblation of this day's feast be


pleasing to you, O Lord, we pray, that through this most holy exchange


we may be found in the likeness of Christ,


Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,


always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father,


For in the mystery of the Word made flesh


a new light of Your glory has shone upon the


eyes of our mind, so that, as we recognize in Him


God made visible, we may be caught up through Him


And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions,


and with all the hosts and powers of heaven,


we sing the hymn of Your glory, as without end we acclaim.


# Pleni sunt cali et terra gloria tua.


# Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.


You are indeed Holy, O Lord, and all You have created


rightly gives You praise, for through Your Son


our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working


of the Holy Spirit, You give life to all things and make them holy,


and You never cease to gather a people to Yourself,


so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice


Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore You, by the same Spirit graciously


make holy these gifts we have brought to You for consecration,


that they may become the Body and Blood of Your Son, our


Lord Jesus Christ, at Whose command we celebrate these mysteries.


For the night He was betrayed He himself took bread,


and giving You thanks, He said the blessing,


and broke the bread and gave it to His disciples saying...


Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is My body,


In a similar way, when supper was ended,


He took the chalice, and giving You thanks,


He said the blessing, and gave the chalice


Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this


is the chalice of My blood, the blood of the new and eternal


covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many


Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the


memorial of the saving Passion of Your Son,


His wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven,


and as we look forward to His second coming,


we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.


Look, we pray, upon the oblation of Your Church and, recognizing


the sacrificial Victim by whose death You willed to reconcile us


to Yourself, grant that we, who are nourished by the Body


and Blood of Your Son and filled with His Holy Spirit,


may become one body, one spirit in Christ.


May He make of us an eternal offering to You, so that we may


obtain an inheritance with Your elect, especially


with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Blessed Joseph


her spouse, with Your blessed Apostles and glorious


Martyrs, with Saint Chad and with all the Saints,


on whose constant intercession in Your presence we rely


May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation, we pray, O Lord,


advance the peace and salvation of all the world.


Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity Your pilgrim Church


on earth, with Your servant Francis our Pope and Bernard


our Bishop, the Order of Bishops, all the clergy, and the entire


Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, whom You have


summoned before You, in Your compassion, O merciful Father,


gather to yourself all Your children scattered throughout the world.


To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing


to You at their passing from this life, give kind admittance


There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of Your glory


through Christ our Lord, through whom You bestow


Through Him, and with Him, and in Him,


O God, Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,


all glory and honour is Yours, for ever and ever.


At the Saviour's command and formed by divine teaching,


Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,


as we forgive those who trespass against us.


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously


grant peace in our days, that, by the help of Your mercy,


we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress,


as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour,


ALL: For the kingdom, the power and the glory


Lord Jesus Christ, who said to Your apostles


Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,


look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,


and graciously grant her peace and unity


Who live and reign for ever and ever.


The peace of the Lord be with you always.


DEACON: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.


Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away


Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.


# ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, that we, who are gladdened


by participation in the feast of our Redeemer's Nativity,


may through an honourable way of life become worthy


Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


As we come to the close of our celebration as we come to the close


of our celebration together, I want to thank all those who have been


involved in the arrangements for tonight's mass. I particularly wish


to thank all those who have joined us in this celebration from their


homes and I wish you and your families are very happy and blessed


Christmas. May Almighty God bless you, the


father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Go in peace, glorified by your life.


Thanks be to God. # Hail the heav'n-born


Prince of Peace! # Hark!


The herald angels sing


A traditional Christmas Eve Midnight Mass led by the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley. Features favourite carols including Away in a Manger and In the Bleak Midwinter, sung by the renowned St Chad's Cathedral Choir.

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