3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C


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That’s the Spirit!

Objects suggested: A beautifully wrapped Christmas gift.

Christmas is only a few days away. How much thought have we given to what we can do for others during the Christmas season? We have been given so much… shouldn’t we share what we have with others who may not have as much? What are some ways that we can do that? There are many wonderful organizations which help people who have special needs. (The Salvation Army, Angel Tree, and Operation Christmas Child, for example.) We can give to help them help others. We can give to mission offerings in our own church which help those in need. (There may be food or clothing drives going on in your own church or community that you might mention here to make the message more relevant to your own situation.)

Sharing with others — that’s the spirit — the spirit of Christmas. Let’s all show the true spirit of Christmas this year!



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SOURCE: SERMONS 4 Kids – All Rights Reserved


By Lois Parker Edstrom

Objects suggested: Cones, especially fir, spruce or hemlock cones, if available.

Squirrels are active, energetic animals and they really know how to prepare for winter. They like to eat the seeds that are held inside cones. Squirrels climb up tall evergreen trees and bite the stems of cones so they fall to the ground. Then they gather the cones and hid them in a cache. A cache is like a squirrel’s treasure chest. Cones protect the seeds that are held inside so the seeds will last until the squirrels need food later.

Evergreen trees provide squirrels with food for winter, but the squirrels also help the trees. When cones are carried to different locations and then hidden in holes in the ground, some of the seeds inside are released and have a chance to grow. Squirrels also collect tree pollen on their fur and spread it to the seed cones. This encourages a new tree to grow. We can think of squirrels as being like little tree planters.

SOURCE: Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Video added by SermonPrep.org


By Dr. Carol J. Miller

Objects suggested: A picture of John the Baptist; Google “ San Juan Bautista el Greco” for a picture of John

God sent a man named John to tell the people that a very, very special person—Jesus, God’s own Son, was coming to help those who needed help. John came to the people and started telling them to get ready and to get ready now!

If you have ever seen a picture of John you would see that he was sort of a scary looking person. (We call him John the Baptizer because he baptized so many people). [If you have a picture of John, show it to the children now]. Well, John lived out in the desert, so he probably didn’t take too many baths or get his hair and beard cut. He wore a short leather robe; he ate (weird stuff – did you ever eat something strange? He ate grasshoppers and wild honey!) a kind of grasshopper and wild honey. Did you ever eat a strange kind of food? [Accept all answers]. John really got people’s attention with the way he looked and with his loud, booming voice.

SOURCE: Sermon Writer: Children’s Sermons – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Video added by SermonPrep.org


Objects suggested: None

Look at this beautiful Christmas gift — there are already a lot of gifts under the tree at our house. Are there a lot of gifts under your tree? Have you looked to see how many of the gifts have your name on them?

I heard about a little boy who checked the presents under the tree every day. As he checked to see if any new presents had been added, he grouped the presents together according to the names on the gifts. Then, after he had them arranged, he counted the gifts.


Coloring Page
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SERMONS 4 Kids– All Rights Reserved

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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.
Society of Christian Doctrine

Speak, Lord — Sunday Worksheet

SDC is a society of lay catechists that started in Malta in 1907. Worksheets can be downloaded and printed for use during Sunday Mass or handed out to children at school prior to the weekend. They are also used by parents who download them to use with their children at home.


Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.

Clipart  © McCrimmons used with permission. All rights reserved; Text  © 2018 Diocese of Salford Office for Liturgy

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Gospel Reading, Sunday Coloring Page,Lesson Plans, Mass Worksheets, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search


This Week’s Resources

The readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year C (Gaudete Sunday) encourage us to rejoice at the new life being offered to us through Jesus Christ. In the first reading we hear that the Messiah is a mighty savior who will bring joy and love. In the second reading Paul tells us to rejoice for the Lord is near. And in the gospel, John the Baptist tells his followers that a great savior is coming.

SOURCE: Young Catholics: Posts related to upcoming Sunday Mass readings and feast days for saints

Family Activities

Choose one of the following activities as a way to further reflect on the Sunday readings:

  • We are called to live the promise of our Baptism each day and be signs of Jesus’ presence in the world. Ask each family member to tell how he or she can be a sign of Jesus to others. Together, decide on a family project for this week, such as preparing a meal for a family that has experienced hardship or is new in the community.
  • For your family prayer one day this week, place a bowl of water in a central location in your home. Have family members come to the water and bless themselves in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As they do this, remind them of their Baptismal promise to be examples of God’s love in the world. Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.
  • This is the Third Sunday of Advent, a day to rejoice. Do a fun activity with the family, such as sledding, making cookies, or driving together to see the holiday lights.
  • Light three candles (two purple and one pink) on the Advent wreath. Have each family member offer a prayer of thanks for someone who has shown the presence of Christ by his or her love, patience, or forgiveness. Conclude by praying the Lord’s Prayer together.
SOURCE: Our Sunday Visitor: Lifelong Catechesis

Kids and the Sacraments: Baptism

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PARACLETE PRESS (2:39) – Introduce your kids, your classroom to the sacrament of Baptism with this lively new video presentation. Each segment includes explanations from Father Ken, interviews with kids, on-screen storyboard Bible teaching, images from around the world, and ‘on the road’ field trips to explore in depth the meaning of water and why it is used in Baptism. Your class will enjoy paying attention to this way of instruction!

Changing People’s Attitudes Toward the Poor

Ask the children to talk about how we know God is present in our world. Talk a little bit about how we can help God in establishing peace and changing people’s attitude toward the poor and underserved of the world. Share about how we might respond to John the Baptist’s challenge: What can we do?

SOURCE: Children’s Liturgy
Word Sunday

The Gift of Togetherness

Children’s Readings

Opening Question: Opening Question: Have you ever been at a party when you would have rather been at home? What happened?

In the story for the first reading, Steve dreaded a visit to his cousin Larry’s house. Larry usually ignored his younger cousin. But one night changed all that. Distance was turned into joyful friendship, the same relationship God wants with his people.


Bridging Question: Have you ever really wanted something, only to find it wasn’t really that special? What happened?

In the story for the gospel, Courtney wanted a doll for Christmas in such a bad way, her desire ruined her holiday spirit and that of her family. John asked people to focus on the needs of others, not themselves. Would they be like Courtney, or would they listen to the his words for respect?


Closing Question: Did Courtney treat people with respect? If she did, don’t you think she would have enjoyed Christmas more? How can you enjoy Christmas more with others?

Word Sunday

Rebuilding Bridges

John the Baptist preached fairness, even to those people considered sinners. Luke mentioned two groups that used legal bullying to extort money from the populace: tax collectors and soldiers. Any money a tax collector was paid over his quota was personal gain. Low paid soldiers stole, cheated, and extorted money from the local peoples to supplement their income. In both cases, John did not condemn their work, but forbad activities that abused others.

God calls all of us who sin to change and renew relationships, just as John preached to the sinners in his audience. We may have hurt others, or they may have hurt us. This special season of healing can be the time to rebuild bridges. Consider sending a holiday card and a personal note to those against whom we have built walls. Make card sending a family affair. Pray over the cards as a family. And send them out as a family.

SOURCE: Word-Sunday.com All materials found in word-sunday.com are the property of Larry Broding (©1999-2021). 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.


Building Gifts Snacks for the Joy of Christmas

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Holy Mary Feast day Card

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ADVENT 3 FOR ALL GRADES (39:52) = This week is very special for all Marian Devotees. We are making a feast day card to celebrate Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception. So get out your craft materials and lets get creative.


RECOMMENDED: Resources for Catholic Educators

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“What is Advent” for Kids


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What is Gaudete Sunday?

THE RELIGION TEACHER (3:51) – 3 Things to Know about the 3rd Sunday of Advent


John the Baptist Teaches the Path of Repentance and Announces Christ

Gospel Reading:

John the Baptist teaches the path of repentance and announces Christ.

Making the Connection (Grades 1,2, and 3): 

Younger children may struggle to be patient when they have to wait. You can support them by teaching them about the joyful and active waiting we do as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Materials Needed: Advent wreath, with battery-operated candles if possible

  1. Display the Advent wreath. Ask: Who knows what this is? (Advent wreath) Say: This is the third Sunday of Advent. We light three candles on the third Sunday, two violet candles and the rose candle. If you have battery-operated candles, invite volunteers to come up and “light” the three candles. We need to wait to light the fourth candle. Ask: When do we light it? (in a week, next Sunday) Say: Sometimes it can be hard to wait. Imagine if we just sat here all week waiting to light the candle. That would not be fun! But waiting can be joyful.
  2. Say: The season of Advent is a time of joyful waiting as we prepare to welcome Jesus. As we light another candle on the Advent wreath, we remember that Christmas is getting closer. In today’s Gospel, we hear John the Baptist tell the crowd that there are things they can do to prepare as they wait for Jesus.

John the Baptist

6_John the BaptistScripture Reference:  Luke 3:2-18 and Matthew 3:1-12

Suggested Emphasis: We should have soft and repentant hearts so that we can learn about God




Images from the Readings

Reflection for 8-12 Year Olds

  • Who was the man who appeared in the desert? Tell the children a little about how John was specially chosen by God (Luke 1:5-17), and about John’s family relationship with Jesus. Mention Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.
  • What did he tell the people to do?
  • Show a map of the places John began proclaiming his message. How did John travel?
  • What does John mean where he speaks about filling in valleys and straightening roads for the coming of the Lord?
  • What can children do?
SOURCE: the Liturgy Centre, Catholic Diocese of Auckland
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HOLY ANGELS CATHOLIC SCHOOL (4:11) – “I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations,” by Connie Bowen

I Believe in Me

In I Believe in Me, children learn to believe in themselves by developing a type of self-talk that can allow them to seek the joy that resides within them because of the Holy Spirit. Throughout this book, a silhouetted figure is present in each illustration to represent the Holy Spirit that lives within us. As a book of affirmations, this story gives children the opportunity to recognize, cultivate, and speak the truth that is within themselves.

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.
Virtue of the Week


Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. -Karl Barth

Zephaniah 3:14-18a

Like other prophets, the prophet Zephaniah delivers a message of both warning and comfort. In today’s passage, Zephaniah tells the people to shout for joy and be glad because the Lord is removing all judgment against them. On this Third Sunday of Advent, joy is evident because the period of waiting and preparations is almost over and the great joy of welcoming and celebrating the Lord’s Incarnation is just days away.

Philippians 4:4-7

Saint Paul continues to set the tone for this joyful Third Sunday of Advent. At the very beginning of this passage, Saint Paul calls the people to rejoice and repeats this emphasis on the joy that is ours in Jesus. The message from Saint Paul in this letter to the Philippians is this: Whatever our circumstances are, nothing can change the fact that we are loved by God and have reason to rejoice because we have been created in the love of God in Christ. This Third Sunday calls us to be aware of the fact that we are about to celebrate God becoming one of us to illustrate just how much God loves us.

Luke 3:10-18

John the Baptist, a stern figure, is about to deliver the message of great joy. Both John the Baptist and Jesus will call the people to be joyful—they are to continue seeking to improve their lives, but should also be joyful and grateful for what they have. Christians are called to live lives of gratitude. Oftentimes, people can get caught up in wants and can forget to be grateful for what they already have. We are certainly called to improve our lives, but by overemphasizing things that are external, we can forget the joy that lives within us.

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.
ACTIVITY of the Week

Look Inside

Step One: Provide each student with a clear acrylic container and art supplies so that they can decorate the container as a representation of themselves. You should create a model so that they can see that the decorations should be done in a way that makes it possible to see inside the container.

Step Two: Give the students strips of paper and have them write different affirmations that they heard in the book I Believe in Me.

Step Three: Invite the students to look at each affirmation individually, and then have them read them out loud before placing them into the container. Store these containers in a place that is accessible for students to return to when they are having a difficult day.

What could you do today?

Make a list of the affirmations that you heard in the story I Believe in Me and share them with your family at home. Ask your parents to help you rewrite the affirmations so that they are more personalized and specific to you! With your parent’s permission, ask if there is a way that you can put these affirmations on your bedroom wall or bathroom mirror so that you can be reminded of the wonderful things about yourself.


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.

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