Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed your glory to all nations.
God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality.
We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy
all citizens of the United States,
that we may be blessed in the knowledge and in the observance of your holy law.
May we be preserved in union and that peace which the world cannot give;
and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal.
We pray to you, who are Lord and God,
for ever and ever.
(Composed by Archbishop John Carroll
for the inauguration of George Washington in 1789)
Formed as your servant from the womb,
Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world,
The Light through whom your salvation
Reaches to the ends of the Earth.
Confirm in us the grace of our own Baptism,
That the Spirit may descend on each of us with power
And remain with us to transform every aspect of our lives
Into a living and joyful proclamation of the Gospel.
By the light of a star
You guided the nations to the Light of the world.
With the Magi we have found Jesus,
Who gives us light in the darkness.
In Christ, and through his Gospel
Draw the ends of the earth into your family,
So that a variety of cultures and conflicted nations
May be gathered into unity and peace.
O God of peace,
You guide the changing seasons
Of every year and all our lives.
In the fullness of time
You fashioned in Mary
A dwelling place for your Word
Whom you sent to live among us.
Bless with the joy of your Holy Spirit
The first day of this new year
So that we, like Mary,
May rejoice in grace and embrace your will.
In the beginning was your Word
And now in time your Word becomes flesh,
The light which shines unconquered
Through the darkness of the ages
And has made a dwelling place among us,
Transforming the gloom of earth into the glory of heaven.
Upon the deep darkness of the world
Shine the light of your face
That our hearts may exult and proclaim with joy
The Good News of the birth of Jesus,
Together with Mary and Joseph, and
With all people of good will who long for your peace.
Higher than the heavens,
Deeper than the sea,
Is your steadfast mercy and unwearied love,
Revealed to us in Jesus, Emmanuel,
God-with-us until the end of time.
Make us as obedient as Mary,
And as unafraid as Joseph,
In welcoming the mystery of your will
And the unfolding of your purpose.
This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sustain us on our Advent journey,
As we go forth to welcome Jesus,
The One who came and yet still the One to come.
Give us the strength of your Spirit
So that we may tell others what we see and hear.
Give us patience until we see
The precious harvest of your Kingdom,
When the return of Jesus
Will make your saving work complete.
Stir up in us, O God of peace and mercy,
A sincere desire for repentance,
So that, baptized with the Holy Spirit,
And enkindled by the fire of your love,
We may bring to every place and nation
The justice, gentleness and peace
Which the birth of Jesus, your Word,
Has brought to the face of the Earth.
Merciful and faithful God,
You sent your Son Jesus
To gather the warring nations of the world
Into the peace of your everlasting kingdom.
Stir up in us a spirit of joyful expectation
That we may run to greet Jesus, the Light of the World,
When he comes in glory to save us.
You have rescued us from the power of darkness,
And brought us into the Kingdom of your Son.
Grant that we may walk with him,
Laying down our lives, as he did,
For our sisters and brothers,
In the sure and certain hope
That Jesus will remember us when he comes into his Kingdom,
And share with us the glory of Paradise.