• Dec 23, 2018 Fourth Sunday Advent Cycle C

    Children’s Liturgy Instructions

    Welcome children to their worship space.

    Ask them to sit down in a circle.

    Introduce yourself and your helpers

    Remind them why we come together to hear the readings. 

    Ask:  Today is the fourth Sunday we have gathered together.  Do you remember what season this is? (Advent)  And which candles do we light today?  <all of them>

    Introduce the symbol
    Say: Today’s symbol is a special flower - a lily.  Does anyone remember who the lily represents?  <Mary>  What was special about Mary?  <mother of God, she said “yes” to God without needing to understand, she had a lot of faith>

    Introduce readings
    Explain: Our first reading is from the book of the prophet Micah.  (Micah 5:1-3)    In this reading, we hear again how the Lord would choose someone to rule (or take care of) His people. 
    Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light all 4 of the candles)

    Have the first reading

    Ask:  Did you hear anything in this Old Testament reading that you have heard before in the New Testament?  Is there a description of this ruler that sounds familiar?  <the image of the shepherd>

    Say:  Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm
    Your part will be to say:
    Rouse your power, O Lord, and come to save us.  (hold up the poster)

    Have reader read the psalm

    Explain:  The Gospel reading today is from Luke.  (Luke 1:39-45)  It is about two cousins who had very important babies.  One of the women was much younger and came to visit the older one.  Listen closely and see if you can name the two women who were cousins and their children.

    Say:  Now we will stand so that we can hear the Gospel
    Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

    Read:  Read the Gospel

    Ask: Who were these women?  <Mary and Elizabeth>  and who were their children?  <Jesus and John the Baptist>  How important was it that these two people said “yes” to God’s will? 
    Do you think anybody who knew Mary and Elizabeth back then would have ever thought they were important?  What about us…. plain old us… is it important that we say “yes” to God? 

    Explain:  Quite often, we don’t know how we affect others.  Perhaps Mary and Elizabeth didn’t really understand why their lives happened the way that they did.  And we don’t always understand why our lives are the way they are, either.  But it is true that when we act the way God wants us to act, we are helping Him in His plan for the world.

    Hand out the Offertory symbols to color and the small poster symbols so that the children can write their names on them and glue them on the poster. 

    Explain: Color the lily to show that you learned about Mary and her great faith.

    While they are coloring, explain how we will go back into the church, up to the front with our gifts and rejoin our families.

    Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.

    Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

    Use this graphic for the communal attendance poster
    Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the coloring sheet (Offertory symbol)

    Parent Letter
    4th Sunday Advent  C
               Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Micah 5:1-3, Luke 1:39-45
    To reinforce at home:

    Today’s readings emphasize faith – NOT understanding, but faith. Mary was the ultimate Christian.  She said yes to God without understanding how things would turn out.  She meets with her cousin Elizabeth who would also bear a very important child.  What a support the two women would be to each other!

    Pray that you are like Mary and follow God’s law of love and acceptance even when you don’t understand.

    Activities to do at home:

    *Read Scripture.  Read the story of Mary and Elizabeth again to your child.  Talk together about how they must have helped each other.  Certainly Elizabeth, as a very old woman, could not have had an easy pregnancy – and Mary, in her strange circumstances must have felt frightened and very alone.  How can the story of Mary and Elizabeth help us in our lives today?

    *Light the fourth purple candle and reflect on your Advent journey.  The wait is almost over.  Is it easier or harder to wait now that it’s almost over?  How do you think Mary felt as she came closer to the birth of Jesus?

    *Spend some time together.  These last few days before Christmas can be very hectic!  Plan in some time to just be together and enjoy each other!

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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