For each Sunday of Advent, our diligent catechist Iva Maričić has prepared something special for you to experience this Advent as a home Church. Although no prayer and activity can replace or surpass the sacraments, we find ourselves in a period when many are forced to remain in their homes due to illness or isolation. Here is an opportunity to turn that disadvantage into an advantage and revive fellowship and prayer in your families!

Joy in hardships, hope in hardships, anticipation in gloomy everyday life – this is Advent, always has been and always will be. This truly special year we will have, like never before, a special Advent and a special Christmas. Media reports on the tragedy of this year’s Advent for us Christ lovers and worshipers are just a bunch of fake news because, as they say, this year “there is no Advent” and “there is no special Christmas spirit”.

We know that Advent happens at both convenient and inconvenient times. We do not despair because of mulled wine and sausages, but we plan how to design a quality family time together, how to bring the word of God closer to our loved ones, how to be truly ready for the return of Christ. It cannot distract us even if we cannot go to Holy Mass, because we are the Church and our families are small home Churches that live their autonomous spiritual life and that firmly believe in the words of Jesus. We know that in the Holy Spirit we can be united and united in the same faith and the same grace as the community of the Churches, even if each of us sat in our own home. To make our Advent more beautiful and different, more fulfilling and joyful, I designed a new Advent game that you can easily play with your family.

Who are you in the manger? – instructions for making the game

To make this game, you need a piece of harder paper or cardboard, a few pieces of rubber or any other tape, a pencil, scissors, a paper punch, a little time and good will.

The game is modeled on the game Guess who you are. Cut a few pieces of cardboard measuring 7 x 5 cm and pierce them in the middle on both sides with a paper drill. Thread a rubber thread or thinner elastic band through the holes to make a forehead band. Draw characters from the crib on paper or write their names. Characters can be: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Melchior, Balthazar, Gaspar, shepherd, sheep, cow, donkey, hen, angel, raptor star, camel, straw, gold, incense, myrrh and / or others you want to include in the game. In addition, create cards with questions that players will use and that will make the game more interesting. Questions can be, “Am I a plant?”, “Am I an animal?”, “Am I walking?”, “Do I have four legs?”, “Can I sing?”, “Am I strong?”, “Am I tall? ? ”,“ Do I like to eat weed? ”,“ Am I crying? ”Include other similar questions that you find interesting.

Rules and course of the game

To each player, another player places a card with an individual character on his head, and he must not know what is written on his forehead; he then takes the question card and is allowed to ask three questions. He can then try to answer the question of who he is in the manger. After him, another player plays until all the players guess who they are in the manger. After everyone has discovered who / what is in the manger, they should, in the order in which they revealed their identity, introduce themselves to the other players with the words: “I am in the manger _________. I found myself there… “Teammates are allowed to ask the introducing player three sub-questions, for example:” How was it for you to lie in the manger? “Or” Was it cold? “

In addition to having a good laugh and fun while playing this game, it will be easier for you to conform to the characters from the nursery: you will better understand their position and feelings at the time, so you will be able to stage Christmas at home. alive cribs playing major roles in them. “

Material for prayer-catechetical celebrations in Advent

In addition to this game, I have prepared for your families material for prayer-catechetical celebrations: “Advent in the Family: Prayer Catechetical Celebration of the House Church”, which you can download here.

The material was published in collaboration with the head of the Catechetical Office of the Đakovo-Osijek Archdiocese, Ph.D. Teutom Rezo. In it you will find answers to the questions: what are prayer-catechetical celebrations, can parents or other family members catechize, what is the importance and role of the house Church in its mission, and how to organize family prayer at the moment to unite with to the whole Church, consecrating the family, time, and daily objects by the word of God.

I wish you and your families a fruitful, playful and joyful anticipation of Christmas!

Iva Maričić – An excellent woman
Photo: Iva Maričić