THE FAMILY ZONE

Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 74/ 11.28.21

Advent: Darkness to Light

Today we begin the liturgical season of Advent and our new liturgical year. It is a time to slow down and allow ourselves to experience the Advent attitudes of peace, patience and hope. During this season, we take the time to bring the light of Christ into the dark spots in our world and we make space for Jesus to enter our hearts on Christmas. How can you dismiss some of the hustle and bustle of the holiday and embrace the peace of Advent? It's a great time to consider how you and your family will make this season feel different.

JOURNEYING WITH ST. JOSEPH

Learn more about St. Joseph during this YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH!


The year of St. Joseph is coming to a close on December 8, but that does not mean St. Joseph is going away. We can still turn to him as an inspiration and as a model for us. St. Joseph has been an inspiration to Christians for over 2,000 years – and will continue to be for many, many more. Learn more about him, and the other Saints, as a way to find inspiration in your own life at https://www.catholic.org/saints/.

READ!

SUNDAY READINGS:

Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday's Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the grey button below.


12/5/21 Second Sunday of Advent: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120521.cfm

12/12/21 Third Sunday of Advent: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121221.cfm


Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message.

  • Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
  • Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff
  • 24 Christmas Stories to Welcome Jesus by Eric Puybaret

Parenting Articles: Traditions to help you slow down: https://www.catholicherald.com/faith/three_advent_traditions_to_slow_you_down/

Celebrating Advent as a Family from AXIS Christian resource site: https://info.axis.org/blog/10-ways-to-celebrate-advent-as-a-family

Ideas for Celebrating the season: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/young-voices/busy-catholics-guide-advent-10-tips-observing-season

WRITE!

  • Instead of writing a Christmas list of things you WANT, take some time to make a list of ways you can bring Christ's light to others. Choose a few or more items on your list to do during the season of Advent!
  • Take one of your favorite Christmas stories and write it into a play for your family to perform together! It could be a presentation for the relatives on Christmas Eve!
  • Handwrite notes of gratitude to family and friends to share the Light of Christ this season!
  • THE STAR film has downloadable kids' activity sheets to accompany the movie if you are watching it during the Advent season! http://www.thestarmovie.com/thestaractivities/

LISTEN!

We invite you to make this song playlist a part of your Advent prayer. The Advent playlist has Christmas-y sounding songs that aren’t about Christmas. They’re all about waiting and preparing for Jesus, with a couple “let’s-stop-and-reflect-on-Mary” songs too. Find the playlist at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1InGUi8bigq7sr4B27Hjm5?si=7658bff230764425

WATCH!

Pop-Up Catechesis: Advent
Advent

CREATE!

Make your own Advent Candles! If you need help making the candles, this is a great guide: https://www.catholicicing.com/craft-your-own-advent-candles-the-easy-way/

PRAY!

Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill!


Add this prayer to your bedtime prayers with young children to build anticipation about Jesus coming on Christmas Day! https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/prayer/childrens-prayers/seasonal-prayers/awaiting-baby-jesus/


Use these resources to get your house and family ready for the season through prayerful remembrance of its reason! https://www.holyspiritfresno.org/advent-wreath-manger--christmas-tree-blessings.html

PLAY!

Play this Advent Traditions game with your family! What a great way to reflect on this wonderful time of year!


https://goodgroundpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/AdventTraditionsgame2019.pdf

BE WELL!

Embrace the Advent season by working quiet time into each day. Quiet time, free of stimulation, noise and screens can have a tremendous effect on our health. Silence can reduce stress and at the same time, increase our creativity.

Here are some ways to embrace silence during Advent:


1. Bring your family to church to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament

2. Turn down the lights in the house and sit only in the light of the Christmas tree and manger

3. Take a snowy evening walk

4. Place a sleeping bag in front of the tree for a nap time

5. Put out colored pencils and paper and doodle..no talking!

Word of the Week!

On December 8, we observe the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation. But what does "immaculate conception" mean? Many think the day is connected to the conception of Jesus. However, when we speak of this Solemnity, we understand it is a day attributed to Mary, Mother of Jesus. It is part of our dogma that Mary could not bear the Son of God if she was a sinner, and so, from her conception in the womb of St. Anne, Mary was free from sin; even the original sin of Adam and Eve. This was also given to Mary by the grace of God, preparing her to be the mother of Jesus.

TEACHABLE MOMENT

It is easy to get caught up in the magic that Santa Claus brings to the Christmas season because children love a great story and someone to wonder about. Take the time, during Advent, to share the story of the amazing birth of Jesus. There are so many miraculous and exciting things that took place! Be sure to share the mystery of the dream of King Herod, the long journey by donkey, no place to stay except among the animals, a magical star that guided the Wise Men and the angel that appeared to the shepherds in the fields. You can also connect the magic of Santa Claus to the work of St. Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who gave food and small gifts to the impoverished and inspired us to give at Christmas! How can Christmas become a time for your family to share the excitement of the miraculous birth of Jesus, both human and divine, who came to the world to save us all?!

WONDER WITH THE HOLY FAMILY

As the Year of St. Joseph and the Year of the Holy Family come to a close, think about how the Holy Family’s story started – traveling together to be counted in Cesar’s census. Joseph guiding a pregnant Mary, and then taking care of Mary and Jesus when she gave birth in the most unusual of settings. It’s a story we are familiar with, but which shows us just how amazing they are.


Parents – As the foster father of Jesus, St. Joseph shows us a lot about being a good parent. He taught and formed Jesus, but respected and loved him. How do you do the same?

Children – St. Joseph loved Mary and Jesus, and he showed it by providing for them and keeping them safe! Together they were a family we can all look up to. How do you show your family you love them?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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