A Dangerous Pet (a School Assembly for Mothering Sunday)



You will need:

  • a large cardboard box with a hole cut in the back for your forearm to go into the box. Punch a couple of holes in the lid and tie with string so that it does not come open until you are ready.
  • a hand-mirror inside the box.

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Lord be with you and also with you

Who has a pet at home? What kind? Cats? Dogs? Guinea-Pigs? A Snake? Well, today I have brought a a very unusual and special pet who needs a new owner. Show the box. Your arm is inside, but this is hidden from the children. Make. scratching and movement noises inside the box.

Looking after this pet is very demanding. Ask for a volunteer. Go through the details below slowly. Keep asking your volunteer if she is prepared to go to this much trouble. If she backs out at any point, ask for another volunteer to take her place.

When this pet is young it needs feeding six to eight times a day, including in the middle of the night. (”Could you do that?”…) It also makes a nasty smelly mess that has to be cleaned up… and it needs bathing every day.

As it gets a bit bigger, you have to spend a lot of time talking to it, playing with it and taking it for walks. It is also quite mischievous and can make quite a mess of your things if it is left to itself.

The there is the worry and sleepless nights: this stage lasts several years, and all the time it is growing. As it gets older, it will quite likely get into trouble sometimes and cause you lots of worry and sleepless nights. Eventually it will grow as big as you are.

Then there is the cost. Feeding this pet and giving it all the other things it needs costs as much as £4,000 per year. Can you afford it?…

Children being as optimistic as they are, you should end up with a volunteer who is prepared to say “yes” to all this. Tell her you are going to let her see this special pet now. Ask her just to look at it, but not say anything. Open the lid and hold the mirror at an angle inside the box so she can see her own face, but the other children cannot see the mirror. (Practice this at home with a member of the family.) Enjoy the expression on her face!

Now show the rest of the children the mirror. For those who are slow to catch on, explain how all you have said applies to them.

I suspect that very few of you would really want to take on the responsibility of looking after a “pet” like that, but that is what their mums have done, and we should really show our appreciation for them this Sunday on Mothering Sunday


Mothering Sunday is when we take some time to think about not just our own mothers, but the three mothers that we have:

  • The Mother who gave birth to us
  • Our Mother Church
  • The Mother of Jesus: Mary, the Mother of All Christians

This Sunday is a day when we thank God for our Mothers

  • For all they do for us
  • For bringing us into the world
  • For supporting us in times of need

This Sunday was a day when we thank God for our Mother Church

  • For all it does for us
  • For guiding us in this world
  • For supporting us in times of need

This Sunday was a day when we thank God for our Our Lady Mary

  • For all she does for us
  • For bringing Jesus into the world to save us
  • For supporting us in times of need, helping us in our prayers to God

…so I hope to see you there on Sunday!

Let us pray… there follows extemporaneous prayer thanking God for Mothers.

Conclude with a Blessing: it might be the nicest thing an adult does for them all week.

The Lord bless you and keep you:
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace:
May the blessing of  God almighty, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always