4 December (Second Sunday in Advent)
'Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.' (Romans 15:7)
with the silent welcome of Zechariah
with the fearful welcome of the angel
with the sung welcome of an excited mother
with the confused welcome of a surprised father
with the embraced welcome of a pregnant cousin
with the curious welcome of night-shift shepherds
we welcome you, the light of the world,
into our lives and our homes this Advent.
11 December (Third Sunday in Advent)
'He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.' (Luke 1:52)
May Mary’s song be heard through the ages,
drowning out the din of Christmas chaos.
May it be heard by the victims of violence
in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
May it ring in the ears of the traumatised
in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
May it sing in the hearts of those stuck
in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan and Greece.
May it be an earworm song of hope
for all standing strong for land rights.
May it be the rally cry of peace
for the war-weary of South Sudan.
May it nourish hope in the bellies
of those fearful of failed harvests.
May it be a song that stirs reverent fear
in the hearts of those who assume power.
And may the joyful promises of justice
and overturned power fill all our hearts
to overflowing action.
18 December (Fourth Sunday in Advent)
'Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.' (Isaiah 7:14)
Immanuel, God with us;
In muscle and sinew, breath and bone.
In vulnerability and risk, escape and refuge.
In parable and healing, encounter and sign.
In suffering and death, word became flesh.
In resurrection, ascension, and spirit come down.
In justice and grace, patience and peace.
Immanuel, God with us,
Creator, Son and Spirit.
Glory be to God.
25 December (Christmas Day)
'For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' (Isaiah 9:6)
Wonderful Counsellor, grant wisdom
to political leaders to govern with kindness and care,
to campaigners to creatively challenge injustice and inequality, and
to peacemakers to find lasting solutions to protracted conflict.
May the light of your wisdom dawn in the darkness of selfish ambition.
Mighty God, grant courage,
to those having to escape their homes to find refuge,
to those dreading the next violent outburst, and
to those unsure of the future for their families.
May the light of your courage dawn in the darkness of fear.
Everlasting Father, grant us inspiration,
to imagine a world free from species extinction and climate chaos,
to make economic decisions so all the earth may flourish,
to commune with creation as creature before consumer.
May the light of your inspiration dawn in the darkness of eco-despair.
Prince of Peace, grant the peace
that silences gunfire and bombs,
that stills us to recognise complicit choices,
that reconciles war-weary enemies.
May the light of your peace dawn in the darkness of conflict.
We pray in the authority of the child that has been born for us,
the son given to us this day.
Thanks be to God,
For more of our prayers, please use the red arrows below to see our prayers from previous months.