Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Whereby Thou Hast Become the True Seed of Abraham”: The Collect and Festival Prayer for Christmas Day

Here are the prayers for Christmas Day from the Order of Worship for the Reformed Church in the United States. The Collect is the same as that found in The Book of Common Prayer, which connects Christ’s being born of the Virgin to our being born again or regenerated such that we, too, may become children of God. Jesus is the Son of God by nature; but through the Son’s assumption of our nature and its redemption, we can become the sons of God by adoption.

To this Collect is added a Festival Prayer that draws together the Son’s eternal and temporal begettings through allusion to John’s Prologue. By becoming incarnate, “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,” the eternal Son of God entered the line of Abraham so that the promise to Abraham might be fulfilled. We are made partakers of this promise by faith, such that even gentiles can become children of Abraham and all the nations can join with the angels and all the host of heaven in praising Christ. By this same faith, we feed on Christ’s body and blood, partaking of the incarnate Son “as the true meat and drink of our souls unto everlasting life.”

Christmas Day–Nativity of Our Lord


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit after the image of this same blessed and glorious Christ: who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


O THOU only begotten Son of God, who in the fullness of time coming forth from the bosom of the Father, wast made flesh and didst dwell among us, full of grace and truth, we bless Thee for thy conception by the Holy Ghost and for thy birth of the blessed Virgin, whereby Thou hast become the true seed of Abraham and didst take upon thyself all our sins and infirmities, that we might have salvation from sin and eternal life in Thee. With the multitude of angels who proclaimed thy joyous Advent, and with thy people among all nations we unite in saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men. Amen.

O GOD, merciful Father, vouchsafe unto us, we humbly beseech Thee, the continual help of thy grace, that we may acknowledge and confess thine incarnate Son as our true and only Lord and Savior, and that receiving Him with childlike faith we may ever feed on his precious body and blood as the true meat and drink of our souls unto everlasting life. Amen.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.