The Introit

For to us a child is born, to us a son is | given;*
and the government shall be upon his | shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful | Counselor,*
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, | Prince of Peace.
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done | marvelous things!*
His right hand and his holy arm have worked salva- | tion for him.                               Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
                   Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done | marvelous things!*
His right hand and his holy arm have worked salva- | tion for him.      

The Collect of the Day

Almighty God, grant that the birth of Your only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free from the bondage of sin; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 
   The Adoration of the Christ Child,  Late 15th Cenutry ,Biagio d'Antonio da Firenze, Italian , from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Adoration of the Christ Child, Late 15th Cenutry,Biagio d'Antonio da Firenze, Italian , from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

Blessèd is he who comes in the name | of the LORD!*
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine up- | on us.
This is the LORD’s | doing;*
it is marvelous | in our eyes.

The Old Testament

Exodus 40:17–21, 34–38

And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up. So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars. And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys

The Epistle

Titus 3:4–7

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 
   Nativity,       Late 1420s - early 1430s,Paolo Schiavo, Italian from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Nativity, Late 1420s - early 1430s,Paolo Schiavo, Italian from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

John 1:1–18

Alleluia . A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, all you nations, and worship the Lord. Alleluia.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.