Mary Visits Elizabeth: An Echo Pantomime for the Visitation (May 31)

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By Page McKean Zyromski

The feast of the Visitation, May 31, celebrates Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation. St. Luke recounts the event in his Gospel. (See Luke 1:39-56.) Older students may enjoy comparing the story in the Bible with this exercise. They will also be interested in Zechariah’s part of the story (1:5-23) and the reasons why Elizabeth’s husband was unable to speak for the nine months of her pregnancy.


In an echo pantomime, students repeat each line and each action enthusiastically after the teacher. Words that are in capital letters receive special emphasis.


Raise your hand if you know the HAIL MARY!

(Raise hand excitedly.)

Every time we pray the Hail Mary…

(Bow head, fold hands.)

we celebrate the VISITATION.

(Clap hands, cheer.)

The Visitation is a story from the Bible…

(Open hands to look like an open book.)

about Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth.

(Walk in place.)

When Mary heard from the angel…

(Cup ear to hear.)

that she would be the mother of Jesus,

(Rock arms for baby.)

she ALSO heard that Elizabeth…

(Cup ear to hear.)

was going to have a baby…

(Rock arms for baby.)

who would be called John the Baptist.

(Pour “water” over imaginary heads.)



Mary wanted to share the good news.

(Flap thumb against fingers to make “talking” sign.)

So she HURRIED to visit her cousin,

(Walk quickly in place.)

who lived WAY up in the hill country.

(Point far away in distance.)

It was a long and rugged walk,

(Trudge in place wearily.)

three or four days’ journey.

(Hold up three, then four, fingers.)

But soon Mary saw her cousin’s house,

(Shade eyes with hand, look off-stage.)

and called out a greeting.

(Wave hello excitedly.)



When Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice,

(Cup ear to hear.)

John the Baptist LEAPT with joy…

(Jump up and down excitedly.)

Even though he was still inside his mother’s womb!

(Pat tummy, look amazed.)

Elizabeth could FEEL his leap.

(Keep hand on tummy, rub wonderingly.)

She was filled with the Holy Spirit,

(Raise hands high in praise.)

and shouted out in a loud voice:

(Cup hands around mouth.)

“Blessed are you among women!”

(Point to “you.”)

“And blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

(Pat tummy )

“Who am I that the mother of my Lord…

(Point to heaven.)

has come to visit ME!”

(Point to self, wonderingly.)

Mary didn’t need to tell her the good news.

(Shake head.)

Elizabeth KNEW without being told!

(Tap forehead with finger.)

The Holy Spirit inspired her.

(Point to heaven.)



The mother and child, Elizabeth and John…

(Rock arms for baby, turn to one side)

recognized the mother and child, Mary and Jesus,

(Rock arms for baby, turn to other side.)

even though the babies were still UNBORN!

(Pat tummy.)



Mary was happy at Elizabeth’s words,

(Pull up corners of mouth with fingers.)

and said, “God has done great things for me,”

(Point to self in amazement.)

“and HOLY is his name!”

(Raise hands high in praise.)

Her prayer is called the Magnificat.

(Fold hands in prayer.)

Mary received Elizabeth’s praise,

(Hold out arms as if to embrace)

and then gave it all back to God.

(Raise arms heavenward.)

Mary and Elizabeth talked about many things,

(Flap thumb against fingers in “talking” sign.)

things only THEY understood.

(Tap forehead with finger.)

And Mary helped Elizabeth with her work.

(Pretend to sweep floor.)



Elizabeth was pretty old to be having a baby,

(Walk bent, one hand on small of back.)

and she needed lots of rest.

(Pillow your head on your folded hands.)

For three months Mary stayed and helped,

(Hold up three fingers.)

until John the Baptist was born.

(Rock arms for baby.)

Mary was the handmaid of the Lord . . .

(Point to heaven.)

and was happy to serve others,

(Pull up corners of mouth with fingers.)

especially the cousin she loved.

(Cross hands over heart.)



Let’s ask Mary and Elizabeth to pray for us,

(Fold hands in prayer.)

that we help each other with joy,

(Pull up corners of mouth with fingers.)

when we visit the people we love.

(Cross hands over heart.)

That we recognize God’s blessing,

(Shade eyes with hand.)

when we visit the people we love.

(Cross hands over heart.)

That we be strengthened by God’s grace,

(Point to heaven.)

when we visit the people we love.

(Cross hands over heart.)

God can do great things for us,

(Point to heaven.)

when we visit the people we love!

(Cross hands over heart.)


Page McKean Zyromski is an experienced catechist and DRE and has been a longtime contributor to Catechist magazine.


Note from the Editor: This article and its activity was published several years ago. It was recently requested by one of Catechist’s Facebook friends. We are happy to bring it back.


Image credit: By Zvonimir Atletic Shutterstock 112652840 (Visitation of the Virgin, stained glass window in the Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Paris, France)

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