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Top Planning Resources for Sunday


4B Advent

“Tools” for the Classroom or at Home: activities, crafts, games, puzzles, worksheets, lesson plans, classroom tips, etc. for all ages.

Gods Greatest Gift December 20

FEATURED VIDEO – A weekly series featuring Kim Scott at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, California. Archives of the previous reflections

Intro to the Readings

4B Advent

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Key Images

  • You are truly blessed
  • Nothing is impossible to God
  • I am the Lord’s servant
  • Family of King David
SOURCES: Catholic Diocese of Auckland

Memory Verse

“Blessed are you, Mary, because you believed and trusted in God.”

Mary was Jesus’ mother. She was special because when God asked her to do something important she said yes. It was very hard, because she didn’t understand what was going to happen, but she trusted that God loved her, like he loves all of us, and wouldn’t want her to do something that would make her sad.


SOURCE: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Southbury, CT

Getting Started

Mary’s “Yes” and commitment

The Gospel speaks of an event that is very different from the ordinary and Mary’s reaction to it. Joy is an emotion that is not commonly expressed these days. Mary’s commitment is something else that is not now common. Her acceptance of the will of God for her provides an example of obedience that has inspired the lives of thousands of people down through the years.

She is the perfect model of the perfect Christian. Accepting her call in life as God’s will for her, accepting with joy, having faith and hope in the favourable outcome of this divine intervention in her life, without understanding or questioning. We are told she pondered these things in her heart.

Well might we draw an example for our own behaviour from that of the mother of Jesus. How often we question and worry away at something we are told to do, how often we argue against some decision that we dislike or that inconveniences us, unwilling just to accept and live with it. Mary’s example is to do the opposite. Accept and try to live with what life gives us.

The first reading and the Gospel can be contrasted. God’s will and inscrutability are everywhere evident.

  • King David wishes to build a concrete building to house the sacred meeting place of the Jews and their God, where the sacred scrolls are to be kept. But the Lord tells him not to worry about it, that he the Lord will provide a house for him in the form of a dynasty.
  • In the Gospel God is shown constructing the last rooms of the promised dynasty through the person of Mary. In her will grow the crowning point and the cornerstone for the new covenant.

Discuss with the children ways in which we can say yes in our own lives. Situations where they are asked to do something for someone else is one simple and common occasion when practising saying yes is possible. To say yes shows faith and confidence in the person we are saying yes to.

SOURCE: Catholic Diocese of Auckland; Accompanying cartoon from The Cartoon Gospel, Used with permission.

Children’s Videos

4B Advent

DISCLAIMER: Some videos are from non-Catholic sources. Therefore, be sure to preview before showing to your children.
DISCLAIMER: Some videos are from non-Catholic sources. Therefore, be sure to preview before showing to your children.
DISCLAIMER: Some videos are from non-Catholic sources. Therefore, be sure to preview before showing to your children.
Cropped image from this week’s CATHOLIC MOM coloring activity.

Children’s Handouts PDF’s

3B Advent

CATHOLIC MOM is a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries offering children’s handouts of Gospel Reading, a coloring page, lesson plans, Mass Worksheets for ages 7-10 and 11-14, Word Search, and Crossword puzzle.
Words in this week’s word search
The S.D.C., a Catholic Society in the UK, provides worksheets for use in Sunday Liturgy groups for children.

Download Worksheet (PDF)
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Click below to access Sermons4Kids‘ sermon, coloring page, dot to dot, word search, multiple choice, etc. handouts related to Sunday’s Gospel.

HOLY HEROES (1:58): Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38 GO TO LESSON

Children’s Skits

4B Advent

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

by Larry Broding

Reader 1:

God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman named Mary. Mary lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and was engaged to Joseph.

Reader 2:

After entering, the angel greeted Mary. “The Lord is blessing you, for he is with you now!” Mary wondered why he greeted her and was upset by what he said. “Don’t be afraid,” the angel told her, “you are blessed by God. You’ll have a son named Jesus. He will be great. God will call him ‘Son’ and will give him the throne of his ancestor David. He will rule over Israel forever because his reign will never end.”

Reader 1:

“How can this happen?” Mary asked the angel. “I’m not married!”

Reader 2:

“God’s own power, his Holy Spirit, will come down on you,” the angel answered. “So, the boy to be born will be called holy and Son of God. Listen! Your relative Elizabeth who is so old no one thought she could have children is now pregnant. This is her sixth month. With God, anything is possible.”

Reader 1:

“I serve the Lord!” Mary exclaimed. “Let what you said happen to me.” Then, the angel left her.

SOURCE: Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com (Copyright 1999-2017). Viewers may copy any material found in these pages for their personal use or for use in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold or used for personal financial gain.

Church Skits by Tanis Harms

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 1:26-39
Style: drama, conversation:  Mary reacts to the news she has just heard from the angel
Set & Props:  table, chair, broom (OPTIONAL: light blanket to act as a bundle, cot, clothing, etc.)


(The stage is dark.  MARY enters and sits at the table. As the angel’s voice is played or spoken, Mary reacts mildly as if she is replaying the message in her mind. Angel’s voice is whisper-like with reverb sound effects.)

GABRIEL:  Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.

(LIGHTS come up.  MARY always speaks to herself or God. She never addresses the voice of Gabriel.)

MARY:     Favored one?  My mother would not always agree with that…  Although, I always try my best to be obedient.  (looking up)  Lord God, You know I lean on Your strength to do my best. And now – I need Your strength more than ever.

(MARY stands up anxiously, then sits back down.)

MARY:     This all still seems like a dream. Did I hear right?  Could I have imagined it all? I was so scared…  I WAS scared – so it DID happen.

GABRIEL:  Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

MARY:     But what the angel said was – very – incredible. Did I correctly understand the words being said?

GABRIEL:  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

MARY:     And I am to have a son – now? Let me try to remember… I know the angel  explained the reason.

GABRIEL:  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High;  and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;  and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

(MARY stands up again and then looks down. She carefully touches her stomach, then looks up.)

MARY:     I still cannot grasp this, Lord.  I am a virgin.

(MARY wrings her hands and paces.)

GABRIEL:  The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

MARY:     But yet – I am to have God’s Child. (touches her stomach again) Strange.  I seem to feel His presence already. I am carrying God’s Son.  I will give birth – to God’s Son – who will be King. (shaking head)  How can this be?

(MARY picks up the broom and sweeps the floor nervously. Thinking of something, she pauses.)

MARY:     I remember Father talking about our family tree. We ARE some of King David’s descendants.  But – so many others are, too.  WHY me?

(MARY quickly continues sweeping, but stops short as if she remembers the angel’s words.)

GABRIEL:  Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

(MARY leans the broom against the table.)

MARY:     I am nothing that special. I still make mistakes.  I am just a girl, and not that strong.  I am constantly needing to lean on YOUR strength, Lord. And I am to raise Your Son – Your HOLY Son? How could I ever be a worthy mother – to raise and nurture a Holy Being? HE will be teaching ME!
(MARY pretends to hold a baby and look down at it
tenderly.  MARY smiles.)

MARY     What will it be like to hold God in my very arms?  To look down into the face of the King of Kings?

(MARY quickly looks with realization.)

MARY:     But I am just a girl – engaged to be married!

(MARY sits.)

MARY:     I am engaged to be married.  To Joseph! And soon he will find out that I am with child. What will he say?  What will he DO? (shaking head in fear)  He could think that I had an affair, and have me stoned. Will Joseph believe me when I explain this? Who will believe this?

GABRIEL  Do not be afraid, Mary –

(MARY stands up anxiously, crying.)

MARY:     But WHO will ever believe this?

(MARY sits down again, restraining her tears.)

MARY:     I’m sure You have some plans, Lord. I just wish I could have a little more insight.  Just a little more assurance.  I feel so alone right now.

(MARY puts her head to her hands, fighting tears.)

GABRIEL  Behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.

MARY:     (fondly)  My dear sweet aunt Elizabeth, so wise in her years. (suddenly looks up, remembering.) My aunt Elizabeth?!  She cannot be pregnant too?!  She was never ABLE to have children. And she is WAY past that time in her life.

(MARY gets up to pace and think.)

MARY:     If – if – my aunt Elizabeth is pregnant – if this miracle truly happened –  she will understand.  She will most certainly understand!

(MARY wipes the tears from her eyes with hope.)

MARY:     I must go see her.  I am NOT alone in this.

GABRIEL  For nothing will be impossible with God.

(OPTIONAL: MARY quickly bundles up her clothing, OR she could just look up as if speaking to God.)

MARY:     I know You are always with me, and that I can lean on Your strength for everything. For everything IS possible with You. But – I also thank You for letting me know about aunt Elizabeth.  Protect me on my journey. I will trust in You – to work everything out. I am Your bondslave.  May it be done to me according to Your word.

SOURCE: Church Skits by Tanis Harms; used with permission.
MINISTRY TO CHILDREN (8:01): Prepared by Kristin Schmidt, who serves at the Epiphany Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, CO.


4B Advent

Christmas Angelic Trio

There are many marvelous variations possible when considering crafts that relate to angels. We might not know exactly what angels look like, but the traditional notion of white winged creatures lend themselves to fun creative creations.


Catholic Families

Hail Mary full of grace…

Think of one area of your family life that you think is impossible. Mary said “yes” to God’s call without knowing what it would mean.  Her story shows that nothing is impossible with God.  During prayer time this week, ask God for assistance with that family situation.

Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary together with your family. Ask Mary to give you the courage to listen to God as she did.

Each of us has a place in the unfolding story of our family history. How have you carried on the story of faith in your family?

Review the Hail Mary with your children. Make sure they can each say it from memory.

SOURCE: Our Sunday Visitor

Object Lesson

“That’s Super!”

OBJECT: a few superhero figures or pictures

THEME/MAIN IDEA: We celebrate superheroes in our culture. Often, around Christmastime, the Hollywood studios try and put out a superhero movie to capture our imaginations and draw a lot of people to the movie theater. The angel spoketo Mary and affirmed what we all know to be true: nothing is impossible for God, or the “word of God will never fail.”So, if God says something is going to happen that we think is not possible…well, it clearly is possible.God is more powerful thanany superhero we could imagine!


Who are these toys? What do we call them? Yes…they are superheroes. Perhaps you recognize some of them or have a similar character or figure in your toy box at home? Wehave superheroes that can fly, shoot webs, have amazing strength, and so much more! Amazing isn’t it. — click link below to READ MORE —>


SOURCE: Intermountain Ministry, Restoring Hope for Children

Discussion Questions

4B Advent

Sunday Connection

The angel Gabriel visits Mary to announce the birth of Jesus

Reflection Questions for Grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-8 which help connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.

SOURCE: Loyola Press


CAFOD stands for the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development. We are an international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Preparing people for the coming of Jesus


The angel Gabriel comes to tell Mary that she will have a very special baby, that he will be the Son of God and will be called Jesus.

How do you think Mary felt when she heard this news? (Mary was frightened at first. Her life was going to change forever. But she trusted in God and said “yes” to all that God asked of her.)

The angel Gabriel is God’s messenger to Mary and he brings some very important news.

Have you ever been told a very important piece of news? Who was the messenger? Was it someone in your family, a teacher or a friend?

What did they tell you? For example was it about a new baby brother or sister, or was it that someone was coming to visit? Or something else?

How did you feel? Were you happy, excited, sad or frightened?

CAFOD Connection

God wants us all to be his messengers in the world. To share the message that God loves everyone and that we are all part of one global family.

What do you think it means to be a global family? It means that we believe that people all over the world are our brothers and sisters, wherever they live, whatever they believe. That is a message that God wants us to share.

USE AS NEEDED: This is what the organisation called CAFOD does. They are part of our Church and they help people in the poorest countries get things like clean water, enough to eat, a safe place to live, or a chance to go to school.

This is especially important at this time of year with Christmas coming so soon. Even though we are very busy and excited, we should take time to think about the true meaning of Christmas – that God loves all of us, rich or poor, happy or sad, big or little.

Saba and her family live in a refugee camp in Bangladesh after they had to leave their own country of Myanmar because it wasn’t safe.

Nazmul is one of the people that works in the camp, helping people like Saba and her family have a safe place to live. He does this job because he knows that the people in the camp are just the same as he is, even though they come from a different country.

He said, “I am a human being, they are the same, a human being like me.”

This week, could you be a messenger of good news to someone in your family, local community or around the world? Will you share God’s message of love by loving others?

Christmas is nearly here. Spend some time this week remembering why Christmas is so special. That we are celebrating God’s love for us which he showed by sending his Son Jesus to live among us.

And let’s remember all our brothers and sisters around the world in our prayers this week, because we are all part of one global family.

Diocese of Auckland

What did you hear?”

Diocese of Auckland provides the following starter questions for children to stimulate discussion about Sunday’s Gospel.

⚪  Ask the children to tell you what they know about angels. No one really knows, but often they are depicted as beautiful winged creatures dressed in white and with a halo on their heads. Whenangels appear they are usually seen as messengers of God.

⚪  In the Old Testament, God sent an angel to stop Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac to prove his love for God. In the New Testament, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to marry Mary, and many angels appeared to some shepherds on a hillside to tell them about the new-born saviour. Later an angel appeared in a dream to warn Joseph to take his family to Egypt to escape from King Herod.

⚪  How do you think Mary, felt when the angel appeared to her? At first she was frightened and confused by the angel, but he was able to reassure her and calm her fears. What message did the angel have for Mary? That she would become the mother of God and that her cousin Elizabeth was already expecting a baby.

⚪  How did Mary react to Gabriel’s message? She listened carefully to his words and agreed to do God’s will. At the moment she agreed to become the mother of God, she also became the mother of us all.

SOURCE: Catholic Diocese of Auckland

Kid’s Bulletin

4B Advent

Teacher and mom, THERESA, creates Kids’ Bulletins, a resource for Catholic kids about the readings for Sunday’s Mass every week. More resources from Theresa can be found at Teachers Pay Teachers website. Click on image/text to download entire bulletin for your children.


Doctrine of the Week

4B Advent


The Incarnation is one of the central doctrinal teachings of Christianity. It could be described as the linchpin of the faith, because the affirmation that the eternal Word of God became flesh affects our whole understanding of Christ, including his paschal mystery. In the Nicene Creed we confess our belief that for the sake of all humanity, the eternal Word “came down from heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.”


Primary Session

A Chain of Love

Invite the children to create a chain of love for Christmas. Cut enough pieces of red and green construction paper 1” x 4” so that each child has three strips. Invite the children to write on each strip of paper one way that they can show love to others. …


Intermediate Session

Personalized Christmas Cards

Invite the children to create personalized Christmas cards that announce the birth of Jesus. Provide various colored construction paper, markers, and crayons. Invite volunteers to share their Christmas card with the large group….


Junior High School

News Article: Saying “Yes” to God

Invite the youngsters to imagine that they are journalists, working for a newsmagazine. Divide the large group into small groups and have the young people create an article that tells the story of someone saying “Yes” to God….


SOURCE: RCL Bensiger Lectionary Resources
BETTER BIBLE TEACHERS (3:57): Nathan is dedicated to teaching the Bible to kids in crazy interesting ways. GO TO LESSON

Virtue of the Week

4B Advent


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

First Reading

God is calling David and his prophet Nathan, and all of us to be PERSONS OF FAITH, to trust that God’s presence is always within us, individually and collectively.

Second Reading

St. Paul is encouraging the people to remain STEADFAST IN THEIR FAITH.


In the story of the Annunciation, we see the great courage and FAITH OF MARY in her call from God.


SOURCE: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; “Build. Plant. Grow.” = a free faith formation resource which aligns with the Liturgical Year of the Roman Catholic Church. Videos on this page are NOT affiliated with Markkula Center.
LETS READ TOGETHER (8:48): This story of Cinderella is based on the version collected and published by the seventeenth-century author Charles Perrault. Perrault’s Cinderella echoes the elegance and luxury of the French court of King Louis XIV, and it’s from his version that we get Cinderella’s famous glass slippers.

Children’s Stories

4B Advent

Book of the Week


Charles Perrault’s Cinderella is one of the best re-tellings of an age old story. The illustrations themselves help to convey a story of inner beauty and not something that is solely on the exterior of a person. It is clearly a story of believing, of having hope and faith, even in the midst of dire circumstances and immense odds. This story might well be used in conjunction with the fairy tale unit which is often part of the literature program for early readers. Although it would be a story well known to most children, it allows the opportunity to take a piece of well known literature and put into a faithperspective.


SOURCE: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University; “Build. Plant. Grow.” = a free faith formation resource which aligns with the Liturgical Year of the Roman Catholic Church. The accompanying video is NOT associated with Markkula Center.

Children’s Readings

Promises and anxiety

In the story for the first reading, Jesse fumed over all the broken promises people made to him in the rush up to Christmas. Then, Jesse realized Jesus came to keep God’s promises, despite the fact Jesus must have felt alone, like Jesse felt.

“Promises, promises, promises,” Jesse fumed. “Everyone makes promises, but no one keeps them!” Jesse was waiting for that special day his parents promised him. It was Christmas vacation, and his parents promised they would go up to the mountains so he could play in the snow. —>

In the story for the gospel, Sunny’s German Shepherd was pregnant. It was tense time around her house. When would the puppies arrive? The Annunciation presented uncertainty to Mary, but not a loss of faith in the power of God.

The closer it got to the delivery, the higher the tension rose in the house. Finally the time came. Late one night, Sunny woke up to the sound of a dog howl. She got up to see her parents taking towels into a dark closet. “What’s going on?” Sunny asked. “Is it time?” The looks on her parents’ faces said it all. —->


SOURCE: Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com (Copyright 1999-2017). Viewers may copy any material found in these pages for their personal use or for use in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold or used for personal financial gain.
Ministry-to-Children (8:02)

Children’s Sermons

4B Advent

Believe and obey

Mary is a celebrated Biblical leading lady, and with incredibly valid reason! We aren’t sure exactly what virtues caused her to be chosen as mother of the Messiah, but she found favor in God’s eyes, and was called to bear the Lord Jesus. This Gospel passage focuses on the angel’s annunciation to Mary that she would carry God’s son. The important highlight to communicate is that God can do anything, if we are willing to let Him work through us.


SOURCE: Copyright © 2007-2020 Ministry-to-Children. Please use our children’s ministry curriculum and Sunday School material for any purpose that brings honor to Jesus.

Sermon Writer

The children’s sermon excerpts below are linked to Sermon Writer, which was operated by Niell Donavan, a United Christ clergyman from 1997 until his death in 2020. His wife Dale is graciously keeping his website online FREE, subscription no longer required. As Catholic Catechists, be sure to adapt if necessary before presenting to children.

In God’s time

FOCUS: First Reading

God has a plan for each of us. When we pray and seek God’s guidance, we open ourselves to God’s Spirit. We are then ready to learn how God wants us to live and what God wants us to do. God told King David, “I have been with you wherever you went…” (7:9). This is true for us as well – God is with us and has a plan for each one of us.


We are lights

FOCUS: Gospel

Once there was a long, dark hallway. No one could see the rug in front of the bedroom door. No one could see that Tommy had left his toy dump truck just outside his door. And, no one could see Twinkle, the little puppy, is sleeping at the end of the hall. What might happen if someone walks down that hallway in the dark? (Allow children to respond. They might trip over the rug. Someone might step on Twinkle’s foot and she would cry. Someone might step on the truck and it would roll and the person could get hurt.)


The Annunciation

FOCUS: Gospel

I have an announcement to make! But before I do, let me ask you about that word. What is an announcement? (Solicit children’s answers.) That’s right – an announcement is a special kind of message, usually one letting us know that something important is going to happen. You might have received certain kinds of announcements in the mail. Sometimes when people graduate or changing jobs they send out announcements. The leaders of our government make announcements on TV or in the newspaper. Your parents probably make announcements at home – like announcing when dinner is ready or when it’s time to take a bath.


Fear of the unkown

FOCUS: Gospel

When we don’t understand what is happening we may become afraid. Have you ever been in a situation in which you didn’t know what to expect and it made you feel upset? Maybe, on your first day at school, you felt excited by all the new activities and the new people you would meet, but also a bit frightened. It helps when someone, a parent or a teacher, explains what will happen and what you can expect. As you become familiar with your new situation you begin to feel more comfortable.


SOURCE: Sermon excerpts from Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan