Week Fifteen–Third Week in Advent, “Gaudete Sunday”


“On Gaudete Sunday, we light the rose (pink) candle on the Advent wreath and shift our reflection from ‘the Lord is coming’ to ‘the Lord is near.'”

Source:  Family Advent Calendar 2017 USCCB.org

For Families to Share Together:

Pray the Rosary with your children.  Use the Rosary crucifix to cross yourselves:

Several weeks ago, I saw a portion of “How to Pray the Rosary” of EWTN. The small part that I saw was so helpful. The speaker, Dr. Edward Sri, stated that there was a “hinge” between the first portion of “Hail Mary” and “Holy Mary” and that the hinge is the name “Jesus.” He suggested that we give the name of Jesus special attention and that we could reflect on one of the Mysteries, when we say His name. I have been using this technique and it makes a huge difference in giving this prayer the depth and reverence it deserves. Try saying the name, “Jesus” with a special emphasis or intonation, that indicates He is God.

How to Pray the Rosary Source: Catholic Child’s Prayer Book  By Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy St. Joseph Junior Books, Page 15 “We begin the Rosary with the sign of the Cross (for this is the way that we begin all of our prayers.)

After this, we pray the Apostles’ Creed. This is a very ancient prayer that proclaims the important truths of our faith.

After the Apostle’s Creed, we pray one Our Father, three Hail Marys and one Glory Be.

Now we come to the most important reason we pray the Rosary: to meditate on the Mysteries of our Faith. We proclaim each of the five Mysteries, followed by one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.

Remember, the reason for praying the Rosary is not to tally how many prayers we can say. It is to meditate on God’s love as shown in the lives of Jesus and Mary. This is why we hold the Rosary while we pray, so that we can keep track of the number of prayers we have said.”

For the month of Advent, let’s recite the Five Joyful Mysteries, in preparation for the coming of the infant, Jesus Christ.

We Recite the Mysteries

Beginning with The Joyful Mysteries (Normally, these are recited Monday and Saturday.)

  1. The Annunciation “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to you word.” (Luke 1:38)
  2. The Visitation “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. (Luke 1:46-47)
  3. The Nativity “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
  4. The Presentation “My eyes have seen your salvation.” (Luke 2:30)
  5. The Finding in the Temple “Did you not know that I needed to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-52)

Source: Magnifikid! Vol. 14.Part 9. Section 4
And, from COMPENDIUM Catechism of the Catholic Church Appendix A. Common Prayers Page 189

Happening This Week

December 17  Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) “Abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian…”  Source: FranciscanMedia.org

“Between 1152 and 1162, Hildegard often preached in the Rhineland. Her monastery was placed under interdict because she had permitted the burial of a young man who had been excommunicated. She insisted that he had been reconciled with the Church and had received its sacraments before dying. Hildegard protested bitterly when the local bishop forbade the celebration of or reception of the Eucharist at the Bingen monastery, a sanction that was lifted only a few months before her death.”
“In 2012, Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.”

We Learn Through Prayer

Mary’s Prayer, “The Magnificat”

“My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.”

“The Magnificat provides great material for meditation on the Visitation, the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, pictured above. When the angel Gabriel informs Mary that she is to be the Mother of God, he also tells her of her relative Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist.

“After Mary gives her famous consent to becoming the Mother of God, — “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) — she goes “with haste” (1:39) to help Elizabeth, who is delighted to see her. Our Lady then expresses her joy in the Magnificat.”
Source: OurCatholicPrayers.com

We Learn Through Reading

Source: USCCB.org
Gospel JN 1:6-8, 19-28

“A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,'”
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.”

We Learn Through Storytelling

The word, “Gaudete” means “Rejoice!” in Latin. In grammar, this one-word order is called an “imperative.” It is a command. Parents use commands in their language through the normal day in raising children: “Stop!,” “Eat!,” “Hurry!,” “Study!,” and so on. Today, we are commanded to “rejoice!” because the coming of Christ is near. Saint Paul in his letter to the  Thessalonians, chapter 5  states to his followers,

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Jesus Christ.” 

                           Source: USCCB.org

We are entering the week before Christ’s birth. It is a time of joy, jubilation and rejoicing. Besides hearing or reading the Bible readings, it is lovely for children to hear the story of the Nativity as a beautiful story with illustrations. Stories from the Bible 17 treasured tales from the world’s greatest book is a wonderful book for a family library:

“Upon the birth of Christ, angels appeared and shared the joyful news with the poor shepherds in the fields:”

“The angels of heaven could no longer silence their joy. Their jubilant song of praise shook the sky as they sang:

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and peace to those who have found favor with God.’

‘The angels swirled and vanished back into heaven.'”  Source:  Stories from the Bible Page 81

This week, we prepare ourselves for receiving the light of Christ and the joy of his birth. What a beautiful, if not startling, sight it must have been to see angels lighting up the sky above dark Bethlehem. Perhaps  children can try to picture this scene mentally and in art.

Parents, please talk with your children about the meaning of the words in bold–Rejoice, joy, joyful, and jubilant.

Stories from the Bible


We Learn Through Writing

Advent is a wonderful time to express our love to God, to Mom and Dad, and to other family members.




We Celebrate Through Song

“Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”  Source: Hymnary.org


1 Joyful, joyful, we adore You,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before You,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

2 All Your works with joy surround You,
Earth and heav’n reflect Your rays,
Stars and angels sing around You,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Praising You eternally!

3 Always giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
Ocean-depth of happy rest!
Loving Father, Christ our Brother,
Let Your light upon us shine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

4 Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
God’s own love is reigning o’er us,
Joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life.

African American Heritage Hymnal, (2001)

To Hear The Tune (“Ode to Joy”)


We Celebrate Through Art

“…And so, with Angels and Archangels,/ with Thrones, and Dominions,/ and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,/ we sing the hymn of your glory…”
Source: Magnifikid! December 17, 2017 Vol. 15. Part 1. Section 4, Page 9



Provide watercolor paper, black Sharpies, and watercolor paint for this simple angel art project using geometric shapes (circles, triangles, semi-circles, rectangles, etc.) to form the angel. First make the drawing with a black Sharpie. Then fill in with watercolor and decorate as desired.


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