Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sept 7, 2014 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time A

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A

Welcome the children to their worship space.

 Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce Sunday

           
Ask:  Does anyone remember what Last Sunday was?  <show the cross>  It represented doing what God wants you to do, even when it’s not easy.

Say:  Today is the twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Introduce symbol:
 Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up symbol> is a person and a heart. What does the heart make you think of?  <love> We are the people and what did Jesus ask us to do?  <LOVE>  Jesus gave us the two greatest commandments that have to do with love.  Who are we supposed to love?  <#1.  Love God.  #2.  Love each other.>

Explain:  Last week we talked about how sometimes it is hard to behave the way God wants us to.  Today we are going to talk about how we need to not only make sure that we do the right thing ourselves, but that we also need to help each other to do the right thing, too.

Say:  Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help.  The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do.  Today’s psalm is:  If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

            Ask:  Are hearts Hard?  <no>  What do you think it means – “to “harden your heart”?  <to turn away from God, do decide not to listen, to choose not to love.>

Introduce the readings

            We have two readings today.

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.

Say:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament book of Ezekiel.  (Ezekiel 33:7-9). In this reading, the Lord tells Ezekiel that being good is not enough.  We have to do more.  Listenclosely and see if you can hear what else the Lord asks Ezekiel to do.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  Did you hear what else God asked?  <God asked Ezekiel to help others to be good>  When someone else does wrong, can that ever be your fault? <NO – discuss>

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.
Repeat after me:  If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book written by St. Matthew.  (Matt 16:15-17)  This reading is about a time when Jesus was telling some people how to treat someone who sins, someone who did something wrong.  Think about that for a minute.  What do you do when you see someone do something wrong? <let the children answer – nothing, tell them, tell a grown-up, etc.>  Listen to hear what Jesus told his friends to do.
   
Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say: 
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin:  “a reading from the holy gospel…”

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  What did Jesus tell his friends to do? <to tell the person what they did wrong>  This is important – did Jesus say to talk to other people about it?  <no> How are we supposed to tell the person who did something wrong?  <in private – just the two of you>  Why do you think he said to tell them privately?  <to give them a chance to do better, to fix the problem, so that no one else needed to know about the sin>

Say:  Jesus loves us.  He wants us all to do the right thing.  But we all make mistakes and do things that are not right.  Jesus asks us to help each other to be good.

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (person with heart) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (persons) for the children to put their names on for the poster.

Remind the children that the large symbol is to be offered in the Offertory procession to show the congregation what they have learned about how to treat other people. 

Remind them to put their names on the back and that they can retrieve the symbols after Mass.

Collect the smaller symbols to glue to the communal poster.  Remind the children to bring their parents back after Mass to see it.

While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers.


Use this graphic  or a heart in a small size for the communal poster
Use this graphic to make the mid-sized banner symbol of constructions paper and to make the full-sized coloring sheet to use for the Offertory



Parent Letter

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time  A


Dear Parents,

            Today we celebrate the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did:  Ezekiel 33:7-9 and Matthew 18:15-17.

Symbol: Person with heart

To reinforce at home:
           
            Today’s we discovered how much Jesus wants us to help one anther to obey Him and do the right thing.  We are ultimately only responsible for our own actions, but in the reading from Ezekiel, God asked Ezekiel (and, therefore, US) to be a watchman for each other.  He says that it is our job to help each other follow God’s laws.  Jesus tells us exactly how to handle a situation where we know that someone has sinned.  He reminds us to go to that person in private first.
           
Activities to do at home:
           
            *Think it through together! Together with your child, think of some things that you know have gone wrong between you, some examples of times when you may have sinned against one another.  Talk about ways that the situations were handled and think up some better ways for next time.
           
            *Pray about it! With your child, think of some people you know who have done things that have hurt you.  Ask God to help these people learn more about him.

            *Have a family celebration this week!  God wants us all to be happy together with him.  Celebrate together the love that God shares with us.

Thank you for sharing your children!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 31, 2014 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time A


Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A

Welcome the children to their worship space.

 Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce Sunday

            Explain:  Today is the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  What can anyone tell me about Ordinary Time?  <it is one of the church seasons, the color is always green>  Does anyone know what the next season will be and what it is called?  <The next season is Advent and usually begins in November>
 
Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol for last Sunday was?  <a church on a rock>  And what did it represent?  <It represented Jesus’ church built on a strong foundation.>  Peter was the strong person Jesus chose to lead the church and help build it.  Our job is to carry on Peter’s work.

Introduce symbol


Say:  Our symbol today is a cross.
Explain:  What does a cross make you think of?  <Jesus>  Why does a cross make us think of Jesus?  <because Jesus was crucified on a cross>

Ask:  Here’s what we need to think about today.  Did Jesus have a choice?  Did he have to die on the cross?  What do you think?  <discuss>

Say:  YES!!!  Absolutely Jesus had a choice.  Jesus is God.  Jesus can do whatever he wants.  But he loves us so much that he wanted to know how we feel when we have bad times in our lives.  He showed us how to listen to God and do what he asks us to do.

Say:  Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help.  The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do.  Today’s psalm is:  My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

            Ask:  Have you ever been thirsty?  What did it feel like?  <discuss>  What do you think it means ‘to thirst for God’?  <discuss>

Introduce the readings

            We have two readings today.

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.

Say:  Today’s first reading today is from the Old Testament book of the prophet Jeremiah.  (Jeremiah 20:7-9).  In this reading Jeremiah is not happy about being God’s servant.  He sounds pretty upset with God.  Listen to what Jeremiah prays to God.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <discuss>  When Jeremiah did what God asked him to do, people made fun of him and treated him badly.  Why do you think that Jeremiah kept on telling people about God?  <discuss>

Say:  Jeremiah remained open to God’s will.  Jeremiah loved God.  That love was stronger than anything anyone else could do to hurt him.  It is not always easy to do the right thing.

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  My soul is thirsting for you, my Lord and my God.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Matthew.  (Matthew 16:21-25:)  This reading tells us about a time that Jesus told his disciples how he was going to die.  Do you remember how that happened?  <met with Pilate, he was turned over to the Jews, he was crucified on the cross, etc.>  Peter could not understand why Jesus would allow such a horrible thing to happen to him.  Peter knew that Jesus was God and that he could stop the people from killing him.  Listen closely and hear what Jesus told Peter.
 
Say:  Now let’s stand and get ready to read the Gospel.
Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  What did Jesus say to Peter?  <Satan, get away from me!>  Jesus called Peter Satan!  The man he would choose to lead his church, Jesus called him Satan.  Why do you think he did that?  <Peter was tempting Jesus not to follow God’s will.  Peter was trying to get Jesus to save himself instead of listening to God>  Did Jesus really think that Peter was Satan?  <no>  But sometimes even the best people get in the way of God’s will.  People don’t think like God thinks.  And that is Satan’s work.

Ask:  Acting the way that is right is not always easy.  Jesus said that following God’s will, doing the right thing, is like a cross.  We each have crosses that we must carry id we are to follow Jesus.  Think about the crosses that God gave you to carry and try to do a better job of carrying them.

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (crosses) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (crosses) for the children to put their names on for the poster.

Explain:  Color the symbol of the cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show what we have learned about accepting the crosses that God gives us to carry.

Ask the older children to write down one thing that they can do this week to look for things in their lives that show God’s love for them.

While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers.

Use this graphic for all 3 symbols.....  cut out in light colors for the community poster, create a mid-sized symbol for the banner out of stiff paper or cardboard, and copy full page-size copies in black & white to color and use for the Offertory gift.


Parent Letter

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time  A


Dear Parents,

            Today is the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Jeremiah 20:7-9 and Matthew 16:21-25.

Symbol: Cross

To reinforce at home:
            Today we talked about how hard it is sometimes to do what God asks us to do.  Jeremiah complained as he prayed to God about all the people who persecuted him when he taught them about God.  He complained about how hard it was to keep on teaching.  But because he was open to God’s will, the need to continue his teaching was very strong.

            Jesus told his Apostles about his impending death and resurrection.  Peter’s reaction was really quite predictable in human terms.  He told his best friend, the man he knew was divine, to stop the process, to save himself.  But Peter, for all his caring for Jesus, stood between Jesus and the will of God.  It is important for us to learn to listen to God and do the right thing – even when it is hard.

Activities to do at home:

            *Together with your child, make a large cross out of posterboard.  Make a list of some hard things you have to do that you know are the right things, the things that God wants you to do.
           
            *Pray about it!  Jeremiah sounds like he is complaining to God.  God is your friend and he loves you.  Sometimes when you are honest with God, it sounds like complaining.  Tell God how you feel and then say YES anyway.

Thank you for sharing your children!




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Last Quarter 2014 Available!

Thank you so much for your patience and support, my friends!

I have the last quarter available which will carry you through until the Feast of Christ the King, November 23, 2014.

I apologize for taking so long!  As always, the plans will continue to be available free on my site for a few weeks.

I ask for a $10 fee for the quarters' plans in advance.  Check out the Page titled "Advance Planning"

Thank you!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 24, 2014 21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary Time   Cycle A

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce
            Say:  Today is the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a globe.  We talked about God existing for everyone in the world – not just us.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  (Hold up the symbol)  Can anyone tell me what today’s symbol is?  <a church>  What do you think that this church is sitting on?  <rock>  That’s right – our symbol for today is a church on top of a rock.

            Ask:  What do you think that this might mean? <let the children discuss>  Today we are going to talk about our church a little and see what we find out.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Lord, your love is eternal.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
                       
            Ask:  What does the word ‘eternal’ mean?  <forever>  So what does the Responsorial Psalm for today tell us?  <that God’s love for us lasts forever>

Introduce readings

            We have two readings today.

Say: Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.

Say:  Today’s first reading is from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. (Romans 11:33-36).  St. Paul reminds us today that all knowledge comes from God.  We are simply human and make lots of human mistakes.  When we are trying hard to do what God asks, we are supported by all God’s wisdom.  God makes us stronger than we think we are.  Let’s hear what St. Paul wrote to the Romans.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me this?  In the reading, St. Paul said that anything that came from God does something else.  What was it?  <returned to God>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            Lord, your love is eternal.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 16:13-20)  In today’s reading, Jesus is walking along with his disciples. Jesus asked them what the people were saying about him.  Then Jesus pushed a little further and asked the disciples what they thought about him.  One mans answered.  Let’s listen to their conversation and see who answered and what happened next.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
            Please stand up.
            Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read:
            “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel          

Ask:  When Jesus asked who the disciples thought he was, which man answered him?  <Peter>  What did Peter answer?  <that Jesus was the Son of God>  Then what happened?  <Jesus told him that he was blessed>  Did Peter figure out about Jesus all by himself?  <no – God showed it to him>

Say:  In the first reading, we heard that “everything comes from God”.  God helped Peter to understand just like God helps us to understand.  Jesus called Peter a “rock” and said that “upon this rock, I will build my church”.  What might this mean?  <discuss>

Say:  Peter was a man of strong faith – just like rocks are strong.  St. Peter was the first pope, the first leader of our church who was chosen by God.  Who is our pope today?

Ask:  Like Peter, we are God’s people of faith.  Is your faith as strong as a rock?  What can you do to help your faith grow stronger?  <go to church, talk to your family about God, etc.>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a church so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the churches and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about our own faith and that of our church leaders.
           
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to help strengthen their faith.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

While they are coloring, explain how we will go back into the church, up to the front with our gifts and rejoin our families.

Give out stickers, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic to make the small light-colored symbols for the communal project poster

Use this graphic to make the mid-sized banner symbol with construction paper in various colors AND for the full-sized coloring page to use for the Offertory gift.




Parent Letter

21st Sunday of Ordinary Time A


Dear Parents,

            Today is the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time. Your children listened to two of the same readings you did: Romans 11:33-36 and Matthew 16:13-20.

Symbol: church upon a rock

To reinforce at home:
           
            In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are reminded that all of our knowledge and our faith comes from God.  We do not believe all by ourselves.  We need God’s help.

            Matthew recounts a story of a time when Jesus was walking along with his disciples.  Jesus questioned them about who they thought he really was.  Peter spoke up telling Jesus that he believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  Jesus was pleased and told Peter that he had been blessed.  Jesus told Peter that God had revealed this information to Peter.  Jesus then placed the responsibility of leading his church upon Peter.  It was Peter’s faith that gave the Church its initial foundation.  It is the faith of all of us and our church leaders that provide its foundation today.

Activities to do at home:
           
            *Who’s who?  Review with your child the names of your pastor and associates, your bishop and the pope.
           
            *How strong is your faith?  Together with your child, talk about the things that you do to keep your faith strong.



Thank you for sharing your children!