Saturday, November 19, 2011

Advent 2011: Mary Hidden in Advent links

The Nativity by The Master of Gerona, late 1200's
     In order to help you more easily navigate the Mary Hidden in Advent posts and correlate them with Advent 2011 dates, I have listed links to each post and the dates you could use them.  Because Advent is long this year, the last few days continue onto the Nativity itself. 

Basic Information on the Mary Hidden in Advent series

Introduction and How to Use
Summary Chart with Bible references, ornaments, Marian titles
Crafting Ideas for Ornaments 
Other Ornament Ideas 

First Week of Advent

Sunday, 11/27/11                         Day 1: Creation
Monday, 11/28/11                        Day 2: Adam and Eve 
Tuesday, 11/29/11                       Day 3: The Fall
Wednesday, 11/30/11                  Day 4: Noah 
Thursday, 12/1/11                       Day 5: Abraham
Friday, 12/2/11                            Day 6: The Sacrifice of Isaac 
Saturday, 12/3/11                        Day 7: Jacob's Ladder 

Second Week of Advent

Sunday, 12/4/11                         Day 8: Joseph's Youth 
Monday, 12/5/11                        Day 9: Joseph in Egypt 
Tuesday, 12/6/11                       Day 10: Moses in Basket 
Wednesday, 12/7/11                  Day 11: The Exodus 
Thursday, 12/8/11                      Day 12: Moses and the Law 
Friday, 12/9/11                           Day 13: Ruth 
Saturday, 12/10/11                     Day 14: Samuel 

Third Week of Advent
Sunday, 12/11/11                       Day 15: David the Shepherd 
Monday, 12/12/11                      Day 16: David before the Ark 
Tuesday, 12/13/11                     Day 17: Solomon 
Wednesday, 12/14/11                Day 18: Elijah 
Thursday, 12/15/11                    Day 19: Tobias and Raphael 
Friday, 12/16/11                         Day 20: Daniel 
Saturday, 12/17/11                     Day 21: John the Baptist 

Fourth Week of Advent

Sunday, 12/18/11                       Day 22: The Annunciation 
Monday, 12/19/11                      Day 23: The Visitation 
Tuesday, 12/20/11                      Day 24: St. Joseph
Wednesday, 12/21/11                 Day 25: Journey to Bethlehem
Thursday, 12/22/11                     Day 26: The Birth of Jesus
Friday, 12/23/11                          Day 27: The Wise Men
Saturday, 12/24/11                      Day 28: The Flight into Egypt



Mary Hidden in Advent-Introduction

     After several years of doing a Jesse Tree devotion, I wanted to add some more "meat" to our annual review of the story of salvation.  I decided that I wanted to add to my daily reading some comments that linked the stories to the role the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in our salvation.  This series of posts is the fruit of that effort.  I hope you will use and enjoy them in your own domestic church.

Sources for the stories:
    This series of posts uses The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean as a spine.  This book was not very interesting to my children when they were younger (under 7), but this year they seem to be enjoying it a lot.  It is not the best choice for younger children.  For the under 7 crowd, I would recommend a children's bible, while for older (than 10), I suggest reading the stories directly from a regular Bible.  Don't feel it is necessary to purchase or use The Jesse Tree to enjoy this devotion. I did add a few stories later that are not included in The Jesse Tree, such as the story of Tobias and Raphael.

Benefits I Observed:  
     The first year we did this devotion, at the Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I suddenly realized the great benefit the children were receiving as we faithfully learned a little each day about the titles of Mary.  They had already been tremendously blessed by Meredith Henning's lovely book, Mondays with Mary , and so had been exposed to many of the titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loreto.  As we read through the stories of salvation and linked them to some of Our Lady's titles and roles, they were getting a deeper picture.  They were being exposed to the typology of the Church and to the reality of St. Augustine's idea that " the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New." (CCC #129).  I was pleasantly impressed with their understanding of Fr.'s homily, which referred to Mary as the New Eve, a perpetual virgin, and several other ideas we had discussed at home.

How to do each lesson:

     This is what we do for each day:

          1) Read story/bible story. Put up your Jesse Tree
              ornament if you wish to do that.
          2) Read the "comments" for the day.
          3) Look at the picture of Our Lady and discuss the 
              title very briefly.
          4) Hang Marian ornament.  (If I need to make an
              ornament, we do that at another time.)
          5) Say the prayer.

That's it!  Short and sweet! I would recommend doing just a regular Jesse Tree devotion for a year or two before adding in the Marian element. In this way, the children can learn and understand the stories from Scripture first, and then they can add to that understanding a further knowledge of how Mary fits into the plan of salvation.  The extra information in each post can be used as a lovely meditation for adults, or it could also be used for more in-depth study for older students.  I haven't checked out all the posts on every site I link to, so you might want to preview them for yourself before assigning them to your students.

summary chart of each days readings, Bible reference, ornament, and Marian title is available for you to download.

For the ornaments, see the separate post on ornaments! Thanks!


Mary in Advent Summary Chart

I have posted a chart summarizing the stories, ornament ideas, Scripture references, and titles of Mary on one handy page here.  Please enjoy this resource!

Also, I have gone through the posts I wrote this year and done several editing tasks to make them easier to use next year.  Rather than list these tasks on each post, I summarize them here for you:

     1.  I moved all explanatory notes and ornament notes to the Introduction.

     2.  I re-numbered the posts to allow for a 28-day Advent season.  I have noted which posts to add for the longer season.  These are also the ones you can skip for a shorter season or if you want to just do this devotion during the calendar month of December (as short as 24 days, December 1-24).

     3.  Since the length of Advent varies, I have moved the O Antiphon posts and re-labeled them by their respective dates.  They are tagged "O Antiphons".  They are not currently posted, but will be published again next year (I already scheduled them). 

     4.  If I noticed any typos, I fixed those, too.

So, if you would like to use these posts in order for either Advent or for a unit study on Mary in salvation history, just click on the "Mary in Advent" tag on the left and they should all be in proper order, numbered from 1 to 28.  Count the number of days you plan to use this devotion during Advent, and then determine which posts you need to skip.  Posts labeled "Add this for an x-day Advent season" are the optional posts.  You decide which ones to delete.

I have loved praying my way through this Advent with you.  May God bless you and keep you in 2011!

Crafting ornaments for Mary Hidden in Advent

     Since I was asked if I had created any ornaments to go with the Mary Hidden in Advent series, I will now confess to all--I am totally craft-challenged. Why did I ever say I would post ornaments as I made them??? Did I hope no one would read that?  Did I just have a wild flight of fancy, thinking I would suddenly become crafty? No? Too bad!  But I will share with you what we are doing here, and maybe it will help those who, like myself, can just barely glue!
     Above is the set we are using (mostly) for the Bible stories.  This set is sold by Leaflet Missal for around $21.00.  You have to assemble the figures using the provided pattern, felt (provided also), and glue. If I can do it, so can you. Truly.  There are a few stories we will cover that aren't in this kit, so when we get there I will (hopefully!) post pictures of what I come up with to represent those stories.

As far as the Marian ornaments, I'm making those this year as I go along.  We will review them and hang them on our main tree when it goes up (Gaudete Sunday).  This is what I have, but if anyone else has a better thought, please contribute it on your blog! I will apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures below; my camera is out-of-order so I used my phone, which tends to be a little bit dark. 

I like to use what I have around and I have been collecting can lids (I use an Oxo can opener that creates a smooth lid edge, but is not so great if you want to drain your tuna...). I also have a miser's hoard of cardboard Amazon boxes, so I begin with:

Step One: Collect jar lids, cardboard, or whatever for a backing:

Step two: Print out the Marian pictures from the lessons and cut them to fit whatever size/shape of cardboard or jar lid you like.  (Really, you don't need a picture for this one.) I used photo paper to get a better quality image and a bit of shine. I copied some of the images onto a Word document and reduced the sizes to 2 1/2"-3" across. 

Step three:  Spray painting everything gold:

Step four:  Glue the Marian pictures to the golden lids and rectangles with Mod Podge, and you can cover them with Mod Podge, too, for a decoupage effect:
ETA:  I decided not to Mod Podge the rest of the ornaments.  If they are printed on photo paper, it isn't necessary at all.  Also, I found it best to glue the hanging ribbons between the cardboard and the picture.

Step five:  Add ribbon, beads, etc. to complete the ornament: 
ETA:  Glue ribbon between cardboard and picture.

     I think I still want to add blue beads around the edge of the New Eve ornament.  But the Mystical Rose ornament is complete:

The Mod Podge works well to glue the hanger ribbon to the cardboard, but I think a hot glue gun would have been better on the metal.(ETA:  yeah, that would definitely be easier!)  I did use Mod Podge and I'll let you know if the ribbon detaches.  Also, the edges of the cardboard ornaments would look a lot nicer with golden cording glued to them or beads, but they are not noticeable from the front.  I'm just leaving mine plain.  No one is going to inspect them, right?  Right???

ETA:  Well, I could see the edges, so I did end up putting ribbon or glitter glue on them!

So, voila! ornaments with a lovely pictures of Our Lady on them.  We are looking forward to hanging these on our tree!  Hope this inspires you!

Here are a few more pictures (not too clear, I'll try to upgrade them later) of the tree we have our Mary ornaments hanging on.  ETA: You can see that we also cut some of the pictures into shapes suggested by the pictures themselves.  I don't know if you can see it, but the Annuniciation picture we made into a little book, with "Ave Maria" printed on the back!  These were so fun for the whole family to make!