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

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

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

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

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

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

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who are on their own this Christmas night.

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

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

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We ask you to bless this manger scene.

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

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

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

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who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

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

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

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

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

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into a world full of fresh uncertainties as 2016

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

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Your hopes and concerns together with your prayers are joined

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

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

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

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

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German. I invite you to welcome the new-born

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

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at Bethlehem and to ask him Brothers and sisters,

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let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves

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

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and Prince of Peace. You are the Son of God

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

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

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forgive us our sins, # et in terra pax

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hominibus bonae voluntatis # gratias agimus tibi propter

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magnam gloriam tuam, # Domine Fili unigenite,

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Jesu Christe, # Domine Deus, Agnus

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Dei, Filius Patris, # qui tollis peccata

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mundi, miserere nobis; # qui tollis peccata mundi,

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suscipe deprecationem nostram. # Qui sedes ad dexteram

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

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

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

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made this most sacred night radiant with the

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splendour of the true light, grant, we pray,

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that we, who have known the mysteries

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of his light on earth, may also delight in his

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gladness in heaven. Who lives and reigns

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with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one

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

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

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

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greater, you have made their joy increase, they rejoice

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

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

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

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these you break as every cloak rolled in blood,

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

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

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

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

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

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and for His royal power, which He establishes and makes

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

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

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all the people. He will judge

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the people with His truth. A reading from the letter

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of St Paul to Titus. we are waiting in hope

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for the blessing which will come with the appearing of

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the glory of our great God He sacrificed himself for us

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

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

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

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

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

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the Holy Gospel according to Luke. Caesar Augustus issued

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

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place while Quirinius was governor of Syria,

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

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of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea,

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to the town of David called Bethlehem, since

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

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

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

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

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

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at the inn. In the countryside close by,

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

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to watch their flocks The Angel of the Lord appeared

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

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

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

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

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you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes

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and lying in a manger." And suddenly

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

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

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enjoy his favour." ALL: Praise to you,

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Lord Jesus Christ. Today is the birthday

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of Jesus Christ. Let us be silent and

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let the child speak. By spending time contemplating His

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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brings. Faith in Christ is always

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

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to transform our lives not only as individuals but as families

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and as communities. As people are drawn to Jesus

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they are drawn to one another. Friendships in Christ,

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deeper relationships and an obligation to reach out

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and serve others are formed which are not incidental

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to being a Christian - they lie at the heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of solidarity with the families and communities grieving over

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

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at the Christmas Market in Berlin. We pray for their

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intentions tonight. The same crib, which we have just

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

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night in Bethlehem. It helps us understand

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the future direction His birth at Bethlehem comes

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at the end of a long and uncomfortable journey for Mary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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was travelling from town to town as a wandering preacher,

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

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

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or asylum seeker because we can see Jesus' face reflected

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in their trouble and distress. The first witnesses

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to the birth of the Saviour were the shepherds who lived

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in the fields and took it in turns to watch

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their flocks during the night. These were not settled people

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

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or central position but they were peripheral,

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

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

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but to those on the margins of society, and these

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were the people he always sought Our Christmas faith

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

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baby at Bethlehem, grew to maturity in Nazareth,

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preached his mission in Galilee, died and rose

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

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

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

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sustains us day by day, that makes us reach out

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with the love of God to our neighbours and those most

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

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

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that Her Majesty the Queen will refer to her personal faith

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in Jesus Christ during her annual Christmas broadcast

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

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and our communities. Those references will be welcome

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

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I enjoy within the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group that the personal

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

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

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on an ecumenical pilgrimage with Anglicans and Catholics

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from the Black Country We prayed at the Church

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

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

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who continue to witness, despite increasing challenges

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

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

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

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

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of peace for Israel and Palestine - peace for Syria and

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

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whose political realities are constantly changing,

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and where the many-headed serpent of terrorism is constantly

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

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expression of religious life and it is the dominant message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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let us offer our prayers to God who gives new birth

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to His sons and daughters We pray that all Christians

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

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heralds of great joy bringing the light of hope

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to our brothers and sisters. We pray for the nations

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of the world, on this May all peoples be blessed

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with peace, justice and reconciliation -

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

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this time. We pray for those who exercise

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power and authority. and give shelter to

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all who are in need, especially the refugee

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

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

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

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especially those who have lost their lives

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

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May they experience the fullness of the salvation

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

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asking her intercession as we pray together

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

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Grant us, Lord, as we honour with joyful devotion

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

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fullness of faith the hidden depths of this mystery

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# Hodie in terra canunt angeli, laetantur archangeli,

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# Hodie exsultant justi, dicentes

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Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours

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may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.

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May the oblation of this day's feast be

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

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we may be found in the likeness of Christ,

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Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

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Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

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

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

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For in the mystery of the Word made flesh

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a new light of Your glory has shone upon the

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

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God made visible, we may be caught up through Him

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

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and with all the hosts and powers of heaven,

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

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# Pleni sunt cali et terra gloria tua.

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# Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

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

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rightly gives You praise, for through Your Son

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our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working

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

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and You never cease to gather a people to Yourself,

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

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

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

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

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

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For the night He was betrayed He himself took bread,

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and giving You thanks, He said the blessing,

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

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

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In a similar way, when supper was ended,

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He took the chalice, and giving You thanks,

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He said the blessing, and gave the chalice

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

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

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

:51:54.:51:55.

Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the

:51:56.:52:49.

memorial of the saving Passion of Your Son,

:52:50.:52:53.

His wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven,

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and as we look forward to His second coming,

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we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.

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

:53:06.:53:10.

the sacrificial Victim by whose death You willed to reconcile us

:53:11.:53:13.

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

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

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may become one body, one spirit in Christ.

:53:22.:53:27.

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

:53:28.:53:32.

obtain an inheritance with Your elect, especially

:53:33.:53:36.

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

:53:37.:53:42.

her spouse, with Your blessed Apostles and glorious

:53:43.:53:45.

Martyrs, with Saint Chad and with all the Saints,

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on whose constant intercession in Your presence we rely

:53:50.:53:52.

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

:53:53.:53:59.

advance the peace and salvation of all the world.

:54:00.:54:06.

Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity Your pilgrim Church

:54:07.:54:13.

on earth, with Your servant Francis our Pope and Bernard

:54:14.:54:16.

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

:54:17.:54:21.

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

:54:22.:54:32.

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

:54:33.:54:37.

gather to yourself all Your children scattered throughout the world.

:54:38.:54:41.

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

:54:42.:54:45.

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

:54:46.:54:49.

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

:54:50.:55:00.

through Christ our Lord, through whom You bestow

:55:01.:55:02.

Through Him, and with Him, and in Him,

:55:03.:55:13.

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

:55:14.:55:19.

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

:55:20.:55:27.

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

:55:28.:55:40.

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

:55:41.:55:57.

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

:55:58.:55:59.

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

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

:56:04.:56:12.

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

:56:13.:56:18.

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

:56:19.:56:21.

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

:56:22.:56:24.

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

:56:25.:56:27.

ALL: For the kingdom, the power and the glory

:56:28.:56:32.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to Your apostles

:56:33.:56:39.

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

:56:40.:56:45.

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

:56:46.:56:48.

and graciously grant her peace and unity

:56:49.:56:50.

Who live and reign for ever and ever.

:56:51.:56:55.

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

:56:56.:56:57.

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

:56:58.:57:19.

Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away

:57:20.:01:53.

Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

:01:54.:03:01.

# ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,

:03:02.:03:39.

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

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

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may through an honourable way of life become worthy

:13:47.:13:52.

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

:13:53.:14:00.

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

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

:14:16.:14:20.

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

:14:21.:14:23.

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

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

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Christmas. May Almighty God bless you, the

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

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

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Prince of Peace! # Hark!

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The herald angels sing

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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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