The Advent and Christmas seasons present opportunities to teach children the importance of their Baptismal call to Mission — and the related call to prayer and sacrificial giving, so that others may come to know Jesus, and experience the love, hope and peace that comes through faith in Him. Learn about the Missions during Advent, and see how your children can help other children around the world through their prayers and sacrifices!
Kick off this beautiful Season of Waiting for our Lord, Jesus, with this Prayer service. It reflects on the needs of children in 1,108 Mission Dioceses that may hear the Christmas story for the first time this Advent.
Prepare for Advent Prayer – Bringing Jesus to the Nations
For the entire season, plan time for prayers and activities for your family, friends, school, Parish Religious Education program or any group with this Family Advent to Epiphany program. It includes calendars filled with daily ideas for Missionary Discipleship.
2017 Advent to Epiphany Family Prayers and Activities
Bless your Advent Wreath, Christmas Tree and Creche as they appear in your home, at school or at work:
MCA Advent Wreath Prayer Service Simple Version
MCA Advent Wreath Prayer Service Elaborate Version
Family Prayers for Blessing Your Creche
Blessing of a Christmas Tree from the USCCB
On December 9, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Juan Diego, a Missionary Disciple. Here is his story and activities geared toward specific ages of children for the Feast Day:
Story and Mission Activities St. Juan Diego
The Advent/Christmas Season does not have to end with the Birth of Jesus. Traditionally, in many countries, there is the celebration of Little Christmas when the Three Kings visit the Jesus, our new-born King. This is also known as the Epiphany. Learn more and plan the Epiphany Door Blessing here: Epiphany Family Prayers and Activities
For each week of Advent, there is a simple Missionary-oriented activity for each candle on the Advent Wreath.
There are additional ideas for each week also included below:
Week 1: Star of Hope Have students create their own H.O.P.E. acrostic, like this one: Helping Other People Everywhere. These can be displayed throughout your classroom or on a prayer table.
Week 2: Peace Paperchain Ask students to make a collage of what they think peace in the world would look like. This can be done by providing old magazines, newspapers, cards, etc. for children to look through. Children can also draw what they think peace would look like or write a poem.
Week 3: Joyful Angel Teach students that JOY stands for Jesus, Others and You [in that order]. Have them think of something that they could do for Jesus, Others and for Themselves. Some suggestions include visit Jesus in the Tabernacle or go to Mass on a day other than Sunday; say or do something nice for someone or provide a sacrifice for a Mission child; do something they enjoy doing or spend time with friends.
Week 4: A Gift for the World Have students write a poem, song or play about the Christmas story. Learn how to say Merry Christmas in a different language. Ask your family to help you!
Download the past Advent issues of It’s Our World below for more Missionary Childhood Association stories and photos. They are as relevent today as they were a couple of years ago.