Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Building Faith, a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, and is shared today with permission. —Allison
When asked, what is your favorite season? I am always compelled to say, “Advent!” (even though I know they probably expect one of the traditional four). As a child, I was drawn to the beautiful centering act of lighting an Advent wreath each evening at supper. Although my family attended church every week growing up, we didn’t observe many formal faith rituals at home, and so I knew from early on that this act marked something special. Perhaps before I could even articulate it, I began to understand deep in my core that preparing our hearts for God’s gifts is sacred work.
The Advent wreath ritual formed me, shaping me in the theology of Advent and deepening my understanding of hope, peace, love, joy, and more. And even now as an adult, I love the countercultural elements of waiting and wonder in Advent, the hymnody, and the traditions.
In fact, if I’m honest, perhaps I love Advent so much that sometimes I forget to fully embrace that which we are waiting for – the season of Christmas! Sometimes in the excitement of the celebration we may miss some of the theological depth, nuance, and foundation that the gift of the incarnation offers.
In a humble effort to help provide space for soaking in the theological gifts of Christmas, I created simple prayer cards to use beginning Christmas Eve through Epiphany. The prayers seek to address some of the core theological components of Christ’s birth in a basic and accessible way for all ages.
Households may be in a rhythm of setting aside extra space for God during the season of Advent and so these cards are an easy way to extend that space during the season of Christmas. Households can use them at mealtime or on the go (as printed cards attached with a metal binder ring), and congregations can use them as quick, focused text message or social media devotions.
Entitled “Prayers for the Journey: Carrying Christmas With Us” (as many folks are on the move during the holidays!), these daily prayer cards are a small, simple way for households to encounter the gifts of the incarnation and to explore the meaning of Christmas.
Just as Advent rituals can help us prepare our hearts for God’s gifts, may we continue to find ways to help households do the sacred work of embracing God’s gifts at Christmas, too.
Download the Prayer Cards
Download prayer cards pdf with four (4) cards per page here.
Download prayer cards pdf with one (1) card per page here.
Download prayer cards as individual images here.