Once your family has gathered around the Christmas Dinner table, there should be a moment of quiet, a pause of anticipation before Christmas dinner. The family is waiting for the signal that they can begin eating. Watch for it! That’s when the leader of the Christmas Dinner Prayer begins:
A Catholic Christmas Dinner Prayer for Families
(An adult should lead the Christmas Dinner Prayer. Two children are chosen to read short passages from the bible. Everyone makes the sign of the cross. )
Leader: In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Father, we have celebrated the birth of Our Savior in Church with our parish community. We know that the Eucharist we have shared this Christmas is a foretaste and promise of the eternal banquet of heaven. Now, before we eat our Christmas Dinner, with thankful hearts, we pray the prayer your Son taught us to pray:
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; 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. Amen.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior as been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 8-11)
“Suddenly, a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying. “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men upon whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
Loving Father, on this Christmas Day (Christmas Eve) we thank you for the blessing of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Bless our family and friends gathered around our Christmas Dinner table. Help us to show love to one another on this Christmas and throughout the year. Please grant peace to our world and happiness for everyone everywhere. (Then, together )”Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ, Our Lord.Amen.”
Hints and Helps on how to pray a Christmas Dinner prayer for Catholic Families.
Use a bible –the family bible, if you have one. Locate the passage for each reader and have her/him read the Christmas story from the Good Book.
Let the children be heard at the “Our Father.” The “Our Father” is the one prayer that children feel confidant in praying with adults, so slow it down. Let the children be heard on this day when we remember the birth of the Christ Child.
Keep it simple but make it reverent. Pray the prayers slowly and devoutly.
No handouts, please.(Sorry….) Only the leader needs a copy of this service. Let everyone participate without the distraction of papers.
The above Christmas Dinner prayer for a Catholic family can be used by any Christian family and should be adapted to the traditions of your own home.
New International Version, Holy Bible (1984)