Looking for Good News Advent Prayer

In these trying times,
there is so much to be thankful for.
Thank you for the taste of gingerbread and chocolate,
for the cheeriness of twinkly lights at night,
for the fragrance of cedar and pine,
and the feel of warm drinks in our hands on a cold day.
Thank you for the way familiar carols sink into us
bringing back memories of Christmases long past.

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Labour Day Prayer in an Ongoing Pandemic

Thank you, God, for the changes that fall brings:
the sun sleeping in a bit longer each morning,
the cooler temperatures, the quiet dark evenings.
As peaches disappear from the market,
we have early apples, fresh and crisp.
The usual bustle of preparation for school and fall routines
feels different this year.
We are filled with uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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God our Mother: Mother’s Day Prayer

Loving God, we give thanks today for mothers!
Thank you for mothers who gave birth to us,
and women who have treated us as their own children.
Thank you for good mothers,
cherishing and protecting the children among us.
This pandemic year has been particularly challenging for mothers
who have had to cope with more togetherness, and less support.
Help them mother lovingly, fairly, wisely and with great joy.

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Strange Epiphany Prayer

It has been a strange epiphany this year, God.
We’ve had sudden insight into how fragile democracy can be.
Many of us are disturbed and shocked by the violence and mayhem
that filled the halls of power in Washington DC this week.
Spaces sacred to government were violated by intruders
carrying weapons and symbols of racism.
We see the injustice of how government responds to protests;
when black people marched peacefully last year
they were met with a massive show of force.
We worry about a president who both refuses to concede
and fans flames of violent protest,

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Our Prayer this Christmas

Our prayer this Christmas is beyond words.
You find it in the silence of the sleeping forest,
down under the ice.
You find it with the wind sweeping in cold gusts,
rattling the windows.
Our prayer is the snow that’s falling.
Inside, it’s the table being set, the preparations,
it is every twinkling light and piece of greenery.
Our prayer floats on the fragrance of food in the oven.
We pull this prayer with us 
as we remember Christmases long ago,

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Pandemic Prayer this Christmas

It’s the eve of another celebration of Jesus’ birth–
but this year is different than any other.
It’s hard to cast our thoughts to Bethlehem
when the here and now is so heavy.
On this Christmas Eve, we feel like we are on the eve of everything.
Are we on the eve of sickness or health;
will this pandemic touch the lives of those we love?
Will our hospitals manage this second wave of patients
in the long winter ahead?
We are on the eve of loneliness;
there are too few chairs around our holiday tables

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Advent Pandemic Prayer

Thank you, God, for thick, warm socks on crisp winter days.
Thank you for the smell of pine needles,
for the taste of a juicy orange,
for packages delivered in trucks,
and colourful lights dancing in the dark.
Thank you for the poignant pleasures
of unpacking Christmas ornaments,
and looking at photos from years gone by.

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Zooming to Bethlehem: A Virtual Christmas Pageant

A pageant designed for Zoom, that can be recorded ahead of time, and played at an in-person service (no stress on Christmas Eve!), or shared on-line. For an intergenerational cast of 15-18 participants. You can look on YouTube for examples of how this has been staged.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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