Christmas Angel Prayers

Christmas angels with baby Jesus
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Angels are especially popular during the Christmas season. Since angels announced the birth of Jesus Christ in ancient Bethlehem on the very first Christmas, God's angelic messengers have played important roles in Christmas holiday celebrations worldwide. Here are some famous Christmas angel prayers that are read or recited in worship services:

"Christmas Eve Prayer” by Robert Louis Stevenson

The renowned Scottish writer's Christmas poem begins like this:

"Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels,

the gladness of the shepherds,

and worship of the wise men."

Stevenson, who wrote many other famous poems and novels (like Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) encourages readers to celebrate the first Christmas in their lives today by reflecting on the Christmas joy and peace that originally inspired the angels and people who witnessed Jesus come to Earth. Even though many years have passed since that event in history, Stevenson says, we can all share in the celebration in fresh ways in our own lives.

"Angelus” (Traditional Catholic Prayer)

This famous prayer is part of Christmas worship services in the Catholic Church, the largest group in Christianity. It starts like this:

Leader: "The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary."

Responders: "And she conceived of the Holy Ghost."

All: "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death."

Leader: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord."

Responders: "Be it done to me according to your word."

The Angelus prayer refers to the miracle called the Annunciation, in which Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that God had chosen her to serve as Jesus Christ's mother during his earthly lifetime. Although Mary didn't know what would happen to her in the future after responding to God's call, she did know that God himself could be trusted, so she said "yes" to him.

"Prayer for the Feast of Christmas" (Traditional Orthodox Prayer)

Orthodox Christians pray this during their Christmas worship services. The prayer begins:

"Before your birth, Oh Lord, the angelic hosts looked with trembling on this mystery and were struck with wonder: for you who have adorned the vault of heaven with stars has been well pleased to be born as a baby; and you who hold all the ends of the earth in the hollow of your hand laid in a manger of beasts. For by such a dispensation has your compassion been made known, Oh Christ, and your great mercy: glory to you."

The prayer describes the great humility that Jesus showed when he left heaven and transformed from his glorious form as a part of God to incarnate among the human beings he had made. At Christmas, this prayer reminds us, the Creator became part of his creation. Why? He was motivated by compassion and mercy, the prayer says, to help suffering people find salvation.