one more sleep …

Dec 24, 2021

..

… just keep breathing 😊

Children often count the sleeps until Christmas. Adults are more likely to feel the pressure of all that needs to be completed before Christmas and year’s end.

Whatever our feeling this Christmas eve, take a moment to be still, to be silent, and to breathe deeply knowing that every beat of your heart is a reminder that God is giving you life. You are not keeping yourself in existence.

Just keep breathing and give Jesus whatever joy, hope, grief or anxiety you feel in these hours before Christmas.

Just keep breathing, and breathing deeply. God is giving you that breath. Relax.

Even with the great mix of family and friends of all faiths and none gathered at one table for Christmas Dinner, there is still a sense that a dignified moment is appropriate to begin the meal.

In the past praying a well-known grace may have been an option, but these days it is a bit more complex with a greater diversity of beliefs and perspectives gathered around the Christmas table.

I offer this grace below as a way to begin your Christmas meal this year.

A Grace before Christmas Dinner

One of the more senior people
at the dinner begins saying:

Before we share this Christmas meal together,
Let us take a moment of silent prayer
to give God thanks
for all the blessings we have received this year
and the burdens we bear, shared and personal.

A moment of silent reflection follows
Then the leader continues

Let us remember those
we have shared Christmas with in past years,
those who have died,
and also those who are not able to be with us today
because of distance and illness and Covid restrictions.
Let us now share aloud
the names of those we especially wish to remember.

Those at table take a moment
to share the names of those
they wish to remember.

When the names have been shared
a candle is lit in the centre of the table
(perhaps by one of the children).
Then the leader prays

May the light of this candle
lead us to Christ
who overcomes every darkness.

And for what we receive in this meal,
the food, drink, and family and friendship,
let us be deeply grateful.

Amen

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