Week Fourteen–The Second Sunday of Advent “Light”

“Emmanuel! God is with us! Come Lord, Jesus!”

“Advent is our time in preparation for the visit of the most important guest ever, Jesus! This week we hear John the Baptist telling people to ‘prepare the way of the Lord.’ …Let’s begin right now through prayer and forgiveness!”

Source:  Magnifikid! December 10, 2017 Vol. 15. Part 1. Section 3. Page 3

For Families to Share Together:

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

Recently, 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

We Learn Through Prayer–“The Angelus”

“Although the Angelus has been traditionally said three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, you can pray it at anytime! It is still accompanied by the ringing of a bell (the Angelus bell) in some places such as Vatican City and parts of Germany and Ireland.” Source: OurCatholicPrayers.com

The Angelus

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Source: OurCatholicPrayers.com

Russian Christmas Tree Ornaments Celebrate Mary and the Holy Family

Happening This Week

December 12  Our Lady of Guadalupe  Source: FranciscanMedia.org

“Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego as one of his people is a powerful reminder that Mary–and the God who sent her–accept all peoples. In the context of the sometimes rude and cruel treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, the apparition was a rebuke to the Spaniards and an event of vast significance for the indigenous population. While a number of them had converted before this incident, they now came in droves.”

“Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Juan Diego on a hill in Mexico. The Blessed Virgin told Juan Diego: ‘I am your most merciful Mother,’ and she asked that a chapel be built there. Volunteers built the chapel quickly. Today, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas.”
Source: Magnifikid! Prayers for Schools Page 114

“Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of:

The Americas

Source: FranciscanMedia.org

We Learn Through Reading

(During Advent, it’s important the children hear or read the readings directly from a Catholic Bible rather than a children’s Bible.)

Gospel MK 1:1-8 Source: USCCB.org

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
‘One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'”

We Learn Through Storytelling

Last summer, on my trip to Israel and the Holy Sites, I learned so much by seeing the important locations where Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead. When I now think of Mary’s walk from Nazareth to Ein Kerem to visit Elizabeth, I realize what a long and difficult journey–about 80 miles!– that must have been. I am able to imagine Joseph and Mary, almost ready to give birth, on their equally long and difficult trek to Bethlehem to enroll in the census. When my son and I took a quick taxi from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, I was a bit dazzled. We westerners have always seen the peaceful stable with the straw in the manger in Christmas art. I was able to receive the Eucharist from my son, Father William, in the Grotto of the Nativity in the Church that commemorates the birth of Jesus. It was not in the peaceful stable, but a tiny cave. I was somewhat overwhelmed by all that I was seeing and learning. But as months have past, I understand now how profoundly difficult the region and the life were for the people at the time of Christ. I am so glad to have been able to make this journey and experience Israel and Jerusalem in the unique manner I did, receiving communion from my son in the most holy Christian sites.

Beautiful and informative Bible stories from a literary and historical perspective on “The Birth of John” (Luke 1) pages 188-189 and on “The Birth of Jesus” (Matthew 1; Luke 2) pages 190-191  can be read in The Children’s Illustrated Bible.

The Children’s Illustrated Bible

We Celebrate Through Song

O come, O come, Emmanuel  (A Traditional Advent Song) Source: Hymnary.com

“1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain
5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain
6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain”
Psalter Hymnal (Gray)


The Hear The Tune:

We Learn Through Writing

We can be a light to others by being kind, loving and helpful. “Love notes” from children to their parents are a great way for kids to express their gratitude and appreciation during Advent.

We Celebrate Through Art

“The People who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Stars light the way. A great star is coming to shine light on the world! Provide your children with colorful cardboard stars (available at Michaels’ and other crafts stores) to trace or decorate directly. With glue sticks,  pastel chalk, and Sharpies they can decorate and paste the stars onto white watercolor paper. Talk to them about being a light to others through their actions.