12 Days of Christmas: Prayers and Lessons for Families and Individuals
The Twelve Days and the Epiphany are a great time to spend a few moments each day in prayer, scripture, and praise. These simple devotions, based on traditional feasts and fasts, along with other devotional areas, are designed to be short but focused. A printable version may be found here.
24 DECEMBER • Christmas Eve
Psalm 89:1-29 • Philippians 2:5-11
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the revelation of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
25 DECEMBER • Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day
Psalm 98.1-6 • Matthew 1.18-25
O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
26 DECEMBER • Feast of St. Stephen
Psalm 31 • Acts 6:8-7:2a,51-60 • Matthew 23:34-39
Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of your truth, we may steadfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and being filled with the Holy Spirit, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of your first martyr Stephen, who prayed for his murderers as did his Lord and Savior; who now sits at the right hand of God to intercede for all who suffer in his Name, and who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
27 DECEMBER • Feast of St. John the Evangelist
Psalm 92 • 1 John 1:1-9 • John 21:19b-24
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
28 DECEMBER • Feast of the Holy Innocents
Psalm 124 • Matthew 2:13-18
Almighty God, out of the mouths of children you manifest your truth, and by the death of the holy innocents at the hands of evil tyrants you show your strength in our weakness: We ask you to mortify all that is evil within us, and so strengthen us by your grace, that we may glorify your holy Name by the innocency of our lives and the constancy of our faith even unto death; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who died for us and now lives with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
29 DECEMBER • Remember the Poor
Psalm 20 • John 7:53 – 8:7
Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
30 DECEMBER • Remember the Saints
Ps 149 • Rev 7:9-17
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
31 DECEMBER • New Year’s Eve
Psalm 46 • John 8:12-19
O God our Creator, you have divided our life into days and seasons, and called us to acknowledge your providence year after year: Accept your people who come to offer their praises, and, in your mercy, receive their prayers; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 JANUARY • The Holy Name, New Year’s Day
Philippians 2:5-11 • Luke 2:15-21
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was circumcised for our sake in obedience to the Covenant of Moses, and given the Name that is above every name: give us the grace to faithfully bear his Name, to worship him in the Spirit given in the New Covenant, and to proclaim him as the Savior of the world; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
2 JANUARY • Mission
Psalm 68 • Matthew 28:16-20
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you, bring the nations into your fold, pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
3 JANUARY • Living in Light of the Incarnation
Psalm 93 • John 1:1-18
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
4 JANUARY • Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
Psalm 139 • 1 Corinthians 12 • John 14:15-31
Almighty and most merciful God, grant that by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened for your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
5 JANUARY • Eve of Epiphany
Psalm 98 • Isa. 66:18-23 • Romans 15:7-13
Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
6 JANUARY • The Epiphany
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 • Matthew 2:1-12
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.