A (Very Short) Ancient Prayer for Christmas Day

English speakers share a rich past of devotional writings. Take a moment to meditate on the following prayer by Thomas Cranmer written in 1549 for Christmas day. Though our lives and languages change, our hope does not.

On Christmas Christ put on our human nature; ever since Christmas we’ve hoped to put on his divine nature,

Almighty God, which hast given us thy only begotten son to take our nature upon him, and this day to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily by renewed by thy holy spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holy ghost now and ever. Amen.

Jesus’ first coming transformed the world. His second coming will remake it. Christmas should set our heart’s longings on eternity,

God, which makest us glad with yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only son Jesus Christ; grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge, who liveth and reigneth forever. Amen.

From The Collects of Thomas Cramner, edited by C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl.


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