Into our often inconvenient and inhospitable world, may we make welcome a family forced to travel at a less-than-optimum time.

Into our overcrowded, busy lives, may we make space for this family, even if it means offering them one of the hidden and untidy hollows we keep within ourselves, cool, damp, dark, and seldom-visited.

As this woman, this man, this swaddled babe make entry as far as we will permit (until we know them better, and draw them more nearly to us) may they fill up every molecule of space allowed with the graces they bring to bear—even unto our fearful and anxious little hearts, our shriven souls, so often as chilly and dark as our deepest caverns—until there is light, and we let it be.

God of our Ancients, have mercy on us.

Heralding angels, pray for us.

Shepherds and Kings, pray for us.

O Mary, Bearer of the Christ, pray for us.

O Joseph, Great and Humble Protector, pray for us.

O Christ Jesus, Manger-lain Food for the World, have mercy on us.

O Christ Jesus, Face of Justice, have mercy on us.

O Christ Jesus, Bright Promise Kept, give us peace.