The Family Zone

Lectionary-Based Playlist /Issue 37/December 13, 2020

"I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul..."

Happy Gaudete Sunday; the third Sunday of Advent that reminds us to celebrate with joy in anticipation that Christ's coming in near!

Watch this 3 minute video to better understand this special day in the Advent season!

Gaudete Sunday



Family Stories:

  • Joy by Corrinne Averiss
  • Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed - by Emily Pearson

  • Mary, the Mother of Jesus, by Tomie DePaola

  • Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne and Donna Clair

Parent Article:

Contemplate the gift of Mary's Yes with this article on Mother Mary (see the pdf "My Soul Proclaims" link below)

For Teens: What would the Nativity scene of your life look like?


  • When Mary went to see her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth calls Mary and the fruit of her womb, Jesus, blessed. Mary replies with a song of praise we now call the Magnificat. Read the Magnificat together and write your own song of praise to God; what wonderful things can you name?
  • St. John of the Cross, whose feast day is December 14, was a poet, among other things. Write an Advent poem in honor of him! You could make an acrostic poem, a haiku, or even a free verse poem. To learn about different poetic forms, you can visit:
  • Do you know all the words to the Hail Mary? Hold a contest with a family member and see who can write all the words to the Hail Mary prayer , correctly, first!
  • Mary said YES. Write a paragraph about how you believe you are being asked to say YES to God in your life.
  • Create a mind map about how you can bring God's joy to others. Use this graphic organizer with the word JOY in the middle to get you started!


Having Joy in Uncertainty..take a listen to the Father Mike Schmitz podcast


Have you ever prayed the O Antiphons? They are an ancient prayer prayed between December 17 and December 23. It is a short prayer every day that you can pray at the dinner table or in front of your crèche to fully prepare your hearts for the birth of Christ!

And, as always, we invite you to pray and reflect on this week's psalm!
My Soul Rejoices


Choose one of these videos to watch and have a conversation about what you see and hear!
Mary's Fiat HD
The Night of Las Posadas - Tomie dePaola (read aloud)
Mary Meets Elizabeth
Find the Perfect Gift | Las Posadas



Marian Art is art that includes a depiction of Mother Mary, mother of Jesus. The Blessed Mother has been a subject of art for centuries and many famous paintings exist of Mary. Watch the video below to hear how a modern day artist created his own Marian art and then create your own drawing, painting or sculpture of Mary!
Mary's FIAT Painting | An Interview with the Artist

Have a Las Posadas Party for your family at home!

Decorate with your nativity and poinsettias. Enjoy some Mexican food and music. Fill a piñata for the kids to break open. Dress the kids up as Mary and Joseph and gather some battery operated candles and parade through your house stopping from door to door to ask if there is room at the inn. End at the manger and share this prayer together:

Here is a prayer from Loyola Press:


  • Am I extraordinary? How has God given me special gifts?
  • What would I do if God called me to do something amazing and uncertain?
  • What's the difference between happiness and joy?
  • John the Baptist was very humble and said that one would be coming whose sandal straps he wasn't fit to untie. How can I take use the witness of John the Baptist and be more humble in my life?


FIAT: an official decree to give sanction to something. Fiat is a term we associate with the Virgin Mary as her submission to the will of God. When visited by the angel Gabriel, and told she would give birth to Jesus though she had no relations with a man, she answered God: "may it be done to me, according to your word."

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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