Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer

Adapting to new practices during the Advent and Christmas Season has been a challenge during the last two years. As the ability to gather increases our activities, our level of stress surrounding Christmas greetings and gift giving may escalate. Decide to make this year different by bringing a spiritual dimension to ordinary tasks. You’re invited to participate by giving this gift of blessing to yourself and others while unwrapping the gift of God in prayer. The Program is named, “Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer.”

How Do You Wrap a Gift in Prayer?

Our Christmas traditions of sending greetings and gift giving are intended to be visible symbols of love and Christian service in action. The simple steps below can be a source of bringing love, joy and peace to this Holy Season and Blessed New Year.

1. You are invited to pray for the recipient of your Christmas greetings and gifts. Several prayer methods and practices are explained below.
2. After your prayer, attach a downloadable Gift Prayer Tag to the gift.
3. When sending an electronic communication, such as email or social media post, add the following Electronic Gift Tag to the greeting that reads, “Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer.”

Your prayer and witnessing to it by attaching a prayer tag may be what are needed to both invite and inspire someone to embrace and be embraced by the Lord this Christmas and always.

Prayer Method and Practices

Choose from the prayer guide below or pray in your own way.
Imagine – visualize the person for whom you pray. Picture the Lord blessing them.
Speak – pray aloud, “Lord surround (name) with your light, fill (name) with your peace.”
Sing – a Christmas carol.
Gesture – dedicate the use of your hand motions in wrapping as your prayer.
Hear – simply repeat the person’s name knowing that the Lord hears our every prayer.
Recite – a pre-written prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Rosary…
Act – reach out to someone in need with the gift of your care.
Struggling – in a relationship you can still pray in this way, “Lord, bless (name) and transform me to set me free.”

HOMILIES

Hear good news for everyday lives told through stories that may bring a smile or a tear but always touch the heart.
Your Gift is Wrapped in Prayer – Week I

Fr. Joe shares a story about a boy traveling alone on a train in England. We learn what it means to love like God who is our “Emmanuel” – God always with us. Read More >>

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Emmanuel is a Hebrew word that means: God is With Us.

You are invited to use these words and familiar tune as part of your prayer and reflection.

Refrain:
O, come, O come, Emmanuel,
Deep within, as gift, your Spirit dwells.
With Advents dawning light, draw us near;
Teach us to love as peacemakers here.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
May this our gift of Prayer your glory tell. (Freely Adapted goodnewsthemes.com)

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
O, come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
O, come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
O come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by Thy drawing night;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all humankind;
Bid thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our Prince of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Prayer Practices

There are as many ways to pray as there are people. Experiencing prayer in new ways enriches our relationship with self, others and God.