Common Prayer for Children and Families

Jenifer Gamber and Timothy J. S. Seamans, Foreword by Wendy Claire Barrie

Feb/2020, 112 Pages, PAPER, 8 x 10

ISBN-13: 9781640652644

  • A prayer book for children at home, school, or church
  • Whimsical, simple illustrations and prayers drawn from Episcopal prayer resources

Common Prayer for Children and Families is a collection of prayers and liturgies written for kids and the adults or communities who pray with them. Whimsically illustrated with pen and ink, this book contains prayers for morning, midday, and evening; prayers throughout the Church year; and prayers for all sorts of occasions.

At the heart of this book is the belief that prayer shapes our lives and should be accessible and meaningful for children. The prayers in this book are called "common" for a variety of reasons; like the Book of Common Prayer, it seeks to provide a language, form, and theology that binds Episcopalians in shared prayer. In addition, prayers reflect themes with which children are commonly familiar, like home, school, and camps. Most of all, these prayers are held in common—always done within God's holy community that includes family and friends, the living and the dead, saints and sinners, angels, archangels, and the company of heaven.

Audience: Families, priests, Christian educators, school chaplains, hospital chaplains, camp counselors

JENIFER GAMBER is a trusted author of several best-selling books for youth in the Episcopal Church, including My Faith, My Life and Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People. She is a sought-after speaker on topics related to Christian formation, teen spirituality, and Christian parenting. She serves as Chaplain at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School and Assistant Rector at St. Patrick's Parish in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Ed, have two adult children.

TIMOTHY J. S. SEAMANS is the Associate Chaplain for Service and Justice at the Episcopal School of Los Angeles (grades 6–12) in Hollywood. He has served at Episcopal High School in Virginia and Holy Innocents' Episcopal School in Atlanta, where he developed a love for child-centered prayer and teaching children how to lead worship. He speaks regularly on how Christian spirituality intersects with racial justice, interfaith relations, and liturgical creativity. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marissa; daughter, Nico; and their old dog, Walter Benjamin.

Part 1 : The Lord's Prayer and Mealtime Prayers
The Lord's Prayer
Mealtime Prayers

Part 2: Praying through the Day
Sunday: Celebration and Recreation
Monday: Love and Faith
Tuesday: Righteousness and Justice
Wednesday: Wisdom and Hope
Thursday: Healing and Peace
Friday: Sacrifice and Forgiveness
Saturday: Renewal and Rest

Part 3: Praying through the Church Year
Lighting the Advent Candles
Blessing the Christmas Tree
Setting Out the Crèche
Feast of the Epiphany
Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
Ash Wednesday
Season of Lent
Palm Sunday
Monday of Holy Week
Tuesday of Holy Week
Wednesday of Holy Week
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil
Season of Easter
Feast of the Ascension
The Day of Pentecost
Trinity Sunday
The Body of Christ
All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

Part 4: Praying through the Growing Season
For Myself
Joy
Visions
Inner Peace
Health
Safety
Anger
Disappointment
Patience
Self-dedication
Forgiveness
Loneliness
Sadness
Courage
Surrender
Fear of the Dark
Life at Home
Family
Friends
Birthdays
Overnight at a Friends
Planting a Garden
Walking a Pet
Brushing Teeth
Bedtime
Dreaming
Wiggly Tooth
Learning To Ride a Bicycle
Traveling
Going Out for the Day
Death of a Pet
Death of a Friend
Death of a Parent
Death of a Grandparent
Life at School
First Day of School
Schools
Students
Teachers
Parents
For All Who Work at This School
For a New Student
A Friend Who Is Leaving
Graduating Students
The End of a School Year
Before Taking a Test
Before a Competition
Before a Performance
Before a Class Trip
A Snow Day
Life at Camp
Leaving for Camp
Blessing of a Cabin
Gathering around the Fire
Counsellors
Campers
Family at Home

Part 5: Praying with the Saints
Blessed Virgin Mary
Song of Mary
Guardian Angels
Unexpected Angels
Francis of Assisi
Teresa of Calcutta
Patrick of Ireland
Evelyn Underhill
Teresa of Avila
Oscar Romero of El Salvador
Julian of Norwich
Pauli Murray
Joanna, Mary, and Salome
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Part 6: Praying with the World
Refugees
People Who Are Imprisoned
People Who Are Homeless
People Who Are Hungry
People Who Live in Poverty
People Who Are Sick
People Suffering with Addiction
People Who Suffer from Bullying
People Who Art Hurt and Abused
People Harmed by Gun Violence
Our Care of Creation
People Serving in the Armed Forces
Jewish Friends
Muslim Friends
Hindu Friends
Buddhist Friends
Indigenous Friends
We Are One Family
Topic Index
Scripture Index
Endnotes
About the Illustrations

Part 1 : The Lord’s Prayer and Mealtime Prayers

The Lord’s Prayer

Mealtime Prayers

 

Part 2: Praying through the Day

Sunday: Celebration and Recreation

Monday: Love and Faith

Tuesday: Righteousness and Justice

Wednesday: Wisdom and Hope

Thursday: Healing and Peace

Friday: Sacrifice and Forgiveness

Saturday: Renewal and Rest

 

Part 3: Praying through the Church Year

Lighting the Advent Candles

Blessing the Christmas Tree

Setting Out the Crèche

Feast of the Epiphany

Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Ash Wednesday

Season of Lent

Palm Sunday

Monday of Holy Week

Tuesday of Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil

Season of Easter

Feast of the Ascension

The Day of Pentecost

Trinity Sunday

The Body of Christ

All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day

 

Part 4: Praying through the Growing Season

              For Myself

Joy

Visions

Inner Peace

Health

Safety

Anger

Disappointment

Patience

Self-dedication

Forgiveness

Loneliness

Sadness

Courage

Surrender

Fear of the Dark

              Life at Home

Family

Friends

Birthdays

Overnight at a Friends

Planting a Garden

Walking a Pet

Brushing Teeth

Bedtime

Dreaming

Wiggly Tooth

Learning To Ride a Bicycle

Traveling

Going Out for the Day

Death of a Pet

Death of a Friend

Death of a Parent

Death of a Grandparent

              Life at School

First Day of School

Schools             

Students

Teachers

Parents

For All Who Work at This School

For a New Student

A Friend Who Is Leaving

Graduating Students

The End of a School Year

Before Taking a Test

Before a Competition

Before a Performance

Before a Class Trip

A Snow Day                                 

              Life at Camp

Leaving for Camp

Blessing of a Cabin

Gathering around the Fire

Counsellors

Campers

Family at Home

 

Part 5: Praying with the Saints

Blessed Virgin Mary

Song of Mary

Guardian Angels

Unexpected Angels

Francis of Assisi

Teresa of Calcutta

Patrick of Ireland

Evelyn Underhill

Teresa of Avila

Oscar Romero of El Salvador

Julian of Norwich

Pauli Murray

Joanna, Mary, and Salome

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Part 6: Praying with the World

Refugees

People Who Are Imprisoned

People Who Are Homeless

People Who Are Hungry

People Who Live in Poverty

People Who Are Sick

People Suffering with Addiction

People Who Suffer from Bullying

People Who Art Hurt and Abused

People Harmed by Gun Violence

Our Care of Creation

People Serving in the Armed Forces

Jewish Friends

Muslim Friends

Hindu Friends

Buddhist Friends

Indigenous Friends

We Are One Family

Topic Index

Scripture Index

Endnotes

About the Illustrations

"The best gift to little ones is to share what we know of God's love, trustworthiness, and genius. We first hear of those things in the stories of the Bible and the prayers of the church. This little book of prayers will help keep children and families fastened to God in prayer and praise for generations."
––The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

"Common Prayer for Children and Families will become your go-to resource at home or church for prayers on any occasion. Easy to use, practical and spiritual, this book will bring those who use it closer to God and each other. The old standards and new prayers will become so familiar to those who read and share them. I wish I had this book when I was growing up!"
––Pattie Ames, Christian Formation Missioner, The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia

"As a children's pastor for more than a quarter century and now also as a grandmother, I am particularly attuned to books that enrich and create meaning in the lives of children and their families. This is such a book. I could say it is the adorable illustrations that I love about this book, and I could say it is the mealtime prayers and praying throughout the days of the week that add meaningful context to daily family life; however, the real depth of this book is that it will encourage prayer and prayer life with children and especially create a meaningful rhythm through the liturgical seasons of the church year. It also provides prayers for the victories and challenges that life inevitably brings. I am especially drawn to the personal stories of the authors that grace the beginning of each section. This is a prayer book that I intend to keep on my own bookshelf as well as a book I will want to gift to young families at baby showers or baptism celebrations or gift just for no reason other than it is a book that will encourage prayer and prayer life with children and their parents."
––Trevecca Okholm, adjunct professor of practical theology, Azusa Pacific University, author of Kingdom Family: Re-Envisioning God's Plan for Marriage and Family

"Common Prayer for Children and Families is a wonderful collection of prayers, but more importantly the personal stories, encouragement, and ideas that Jenifer and Timothy share provide inspiration for busy parents hoping to make faith the foundation of their family life. These prayers use language that is easily accessible for children without sacrificing depth of meaning. The most beautiful thing about this work is the way it encourages families to pray together in so many circumstances, putting God at the center of their lives."
––Sarah Bentley Allred, Director of Children and Family Ministries, St. John's Episcopal Church, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Associate for Christian Formation and Discipleship, Department of Lifelong Learning, Virginia Theological Seminary

"Jenifer Gamber and Timothy Seamans have crafted an accessible, beautiful resource for families. Rooted in the tradition of common prayer, it is expansive in its creative use of language and illustration and well-organized for the seasons of the church. While intended for children, it is applicable to all who seek the daily rhythm of prayer for life."
––The Rev. Michael Sullivan, President and CEO of Kanuga

"A much-needed, beautifully written compendium that honors children and celebrates the rich prayer traditions of the Episcopal Church. A wonderful way to enrich prayer life at home, in church, or in school chapel."
––Ann Mellow, Associate Director, National Association of Episcopal Schools

"What a gift to the church! These accessible ideas for weaving prayer through the week will help households discover a rhythm of life which has God at its heart. There needs to be a copy in any home which has children at its heart. Gamber and Seamans have written a book which will help parents, grandparents, and godparents share prayer and worship with their children. In its simplicity, it offers the possibility of a rhythm of prayer which will sustain and nurture the spiritual life across the generations. I'd love to see churches gifting this widely."
––Mary Hawes, National Children and Youth Adviser for the Church of England

"As a children's minister and parent of a toddler, I'm always looking for at-home faith formation resources for families with young children. Gamber and Seamans fill a void with this beautiful volume of prayers, liturgies, songs, and illustrations. Common Prayer for Children and Families offers accessible and theologically sound ways for everyone in the family to worship and wonder together."
––Amanda Wischkaemper, Director of Children's Ministry, St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas

Keywords

  • children
  • prayer
  • Common Prayer
  • youth
  • faith formation
  • education
  • family

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