Liturgy Guide
Feast of Sto. Niño
[Proper Feast in the Philippines]


Greeting [based on 2nd Reading]

Praised be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.
May his peace and love be always with you.

Introduction & Litany of Praise

Devotion to the Holy Child - Santo Nino
- is the oldest and one of the most popular feasts in the Philippines.

[According to tradition, when Legazpi landed on the island of Cebu in 1565,
one of his soldiers found an image of the Child Jesus. It is believed
to be the same statue Magellan had given many years earlier to the wife
of the local chieftain after her baptism.]

[The Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate this Feast
every year on the 3rd Sunday of January.]

In today's Gospel Jesus declares
that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven
we must become humble… like children.


Lord Jesus,
when you became a member of the human family
you sanctified all families:
Lord, have mercy.

Christ Jesus,
you grew up in Nazareth and worked in a carpenter's shop:
Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you accepted to live
under the authority of Mary and Joseph:

Lord, have mercy.


Opening Prayer

Loving God, guardian of our homes,
when you entrusted your Son
to the care of Mary and Joseph,
you did not spare them the pains
that touch the life of every family.
[Teach us to rely on your word,
that in our trials as in our joys
we may be clothed in gentleness and patience
and united in love. ]
Make us ever thankful
for the blessings you give us
through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendor of eternal light,
God for ever and ever. AMEN.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading (Isaiah 9:1-6)

Responsorial Psalm  'Let heaven rejoice..' verses 5 & 6

CM    In response to God's word we sing:

Ref.   Let heaven rejoice and earth be glad; let all creation sing.
         Let children proclaim through ev'ry land: "Hosanna to our King."

Nations tremble, wise men amazed, a child has been born this night.
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, a Father, Prince of Peace. Ref.

Songs of angels, "Glory on high, and peace to all on earth.
I bear glad tidings; born this day, your Savior and your God" Ref.

Second Reading (Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-16)

Celtic Alleluia

The Word of God became flesh
and came to dwell among us..
He enabled us to become the children of God.

Gospel   (Matt. 18: 1-5,10)




P         On this feast of the Santo Nino, let us pray with confidence
            to the Father…
for we are all his children. Let us say together:

             With confidence we pray:

CM     Lord, listen to the prayers of your children. (Please repeat)

    1. For children who beg or scavenge for food or sell their bodies; (pause)
      May their hope for a better tomorrow sustain them
      amid the difficulties they face each day, we pray:
    2. That caring adults and committed organizations
      may attend to the needs of children from broken homes
      and those who suffer because of irresponsible parents, we pray:
    3. For parents and grandparents: (pause)
      that like Mary and Joseph they may be models
      of upright living for the young, we pray:
    4. That our devotion to the Santo Nino may help us
      to grow in "wisdom and grace" before God and humankind,
      we pray:
    5. For the victims of the Tsunami. …
      and the on-going war in Iraq; (pause)
      that with the help of others they can re-build their lives.
      We pray:

[The Presider may add a Petition that is local / relevant]

P      Lord, grant that we may praise rather than criticize,
        sympathize rather than condemn,
        so that our homes may become places where love and peace reign.
        We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord of All Creation,
we are mindful that these gifts of bread and wine
have already been blessed by sun, earth and rain.
And we are grateful for all the Blessings of Life
that you have given us.
We pray that in our families
we may be nurtured by forgiveness and understanding
and nourished by friendship and care.
All this we ask through Christ our Lord. AMEN

Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer

In union with the family of all the children of God
we pray the prayer taught to us by our Brother, Jesus: Our Father ...

Deliver us Lord

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and let the peace of Christ
live in our hearts and our homes.
Give us compassion, gentleness and humility
that we may prepare in hope and joy
for the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer for Peace

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
"Whoever becomes humble like this little child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Look not upon our sins of pride
but rather on the trust of your children
and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom
where you live for ever and ever.

May the peace and joy of the Santo Nino be always with you.

Exchange of Peace
We are the family God has chosen as his own.
Let us recognize Christ in each other as we offer a sign of his peace.

Optional Prayer to accompany the ‘Breaking of Bread’

P      When we break this Bread and share this Wine,
        we declare that we are willing to see all people
        as our sisters and brothers.
        With God as our Father
        we are all members of his one family:
A     LAMB OF GOD.....

Invitation to Communion

Behold Christ Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary.
Blessed are we who are invited
to the banquet of the children of God.

Lord, I am not worthy…

Post Communion Prayer

Creator God,
you have nourished us at the banquet
in honor of your Son Jesus.
We pray that, like him,
we may grow in wisdom and works of service,
so that we may find favor in your sight.
Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Solemn Blessing

With St Paul I pray:

'May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory,
give you a spirit of wisdom and insight to know God clearly". AMEN.

"May God enlighten your inmost vision
so that you may know the great hope to which he has called you." . AMEN.

"May you also know
what are the riches of Christ's glorious heritage
to be distributed among the members of the church"

And may the blessing of our loving God,
+ the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
come down upon you and remain with you for ever.  AMEN.


Our celebration is ended.
Go and live lives of humble service.

Related Resources
Daily Scripture Readings
from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops
Liturgy Alive
Models of Liturgical Celebration                  
About the Author
Fr. Kevin McHugh
is a Columban Missionary from Ireland
who has served in the Philippines for many years.
He has devoted much of his time and efforts to make the liturgical participation
come alive in our Christian communities.

P.O. Box 1608 MACAU, China
Tel. (+853) 28939-174 • Fax: (+853) 28937-596