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Advent Wonder December 20: Love for All People

One of Kim McKnight's beautiful nativity scenes—

made with natural materials, appearing full of movement!

During the Advent season leading up to Christmas, Incarnation families are gathering together at home, or in another cozy spot, for a relaxed time of prayer and Advent wonder—and this Sunday, there’s caroling at 5pm! Here’s this week’s prophecy:

For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Make room for a response to this beautiful scripture. Some options:

  • Gather scissors, glue sticks, markers, and beautiful paper—make a collage of the names of Jesus.

  • Choose a favorite name and make a beautiful prayer card.

  • As we near Christmas, sing another verse of O Come Emmanuel each day, reflecting on yet another name for Jesus.

Jesus has so many names that we can think about as we learn more and more about him. (Similarly, we’ve been looking at all kinds of art to experience more and more flavors of Emmanuel!)

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

And then, of course: music! Singing hymns and carols and canticles has been and continues to be a universal response to the gift of love we celebrate at Christmas.

When most everything else has fallen away, let's sing together:

  • After reading scripture in our family prayer times, begin the habit of asking the kids if there’s a song they’d like to sing. Singing with joy is the most natural way to pray for young children. (Simple ones are “Jesus Loves Me” and “God is so good,” and there are many Christmas songs. Parents can be ready with a suggestion of their own, even if the kids don’t know the words—it’s our prayer time too!)

  • There are several “canticles” listed at the bottom of our Advent Family Prayer doc that come straight from scripture.

  • Join the Incarnation family at 5pm on Sunday for caroling—it will be so lovely and fun for the whole family.

Listen and watch: “Rise, Shine for Thy Light is A Comin” by The Fisk Jubilee Singers, from Isaiah 60:1.

Some Anglicans strictly listen to only Advent music until Christmas, and then switch to the boisterous carols! Whatever camp you fall into, you might like to check out our Advent and Christmas mixes if you’re at that point in December when you're tired of your own music. Both Spotify playlists are collaborative (you can add songs!) and multicultural.

Coming up on the church calendar:

  • Christmas Eve worship over zoom at 4pm: kids are invited to dress as a favorite nativity character, and to be ready with a nativity scene.

  • Christmas Day pajama church: join in a simple liturgy to mark Christmas morning.

  • Family Prayer at Christmastide. We’ll be taking a break from any official Wild Wonder gatherings (virtual or otherwise!) for the 12 Days of Christmas. Please adapt our Family Prayer at Christmastide liturgy to use at home. It has the same structure that we’ve been using, with more rejoicing: Place Baby Jesus in the manger! Light all the candles! Ring the bells and sing with gusto.

Advent Family Prayer for December 20

Opening sentence & lighting the Advent wreath:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3


Our King and Savior now draws near*:

O come, let us adore him.

Light Advent candles, and sing:

Light one candle for hope.

One bright candle for hope.

Christ brings hope to every heart;

He comes, he comes.

Light one candle for peace.

One bright candle for peace.

Christ brings peace to every heart;

He comes, he comes.

Light one candle for joy.

One bright candle for joy.

Christ brings joy to every heart;

He comes, he comes.

Light one candle for love.

One bright candle for love.

Christ brings love to every heart;

He comes, he comes.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah:

“For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Reflect as you’d like. (Discuss; reflect using art; color or copy the prophecy; listen to a song.)

Prayer. Pray together, including any of these options:

  • Silence

  • Song or canticle

  • Prayers of the people: take turns by passing a cross or similar around the family circle. If anyone prefers to pray silently, take a moment, then pass to the next person!

  • Open prayer time—for ourselves and others, including our neighbors, and our country and ministry of the week: Central African Republic, One Voice Fellowship

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect of the Day

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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Incarnation Anglican Church

716 S Glebe Rd.

Arlington, VA 22204  |  Entrance at 8th St S

(657) 522-2041


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