Sunday, June 6, 2021

June 13, 2021 11th Sunday Ordinary Time B


11th Sunday Ordinary Time  Cycle B

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 Ordinary Time

             Ask:  Does anyone know what season of the church this is?
Explain:  When we started getting ready for Easter, it was the season called Lent.  And then we celebrated Easter and began the Easter season. And then we had another couple of special Sundays.   Does anyone remember the names of any of the last 3 special Sundays?  <Feast of Pentecost, Feast of the Trinity and Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood> 

Ask:  Who was here for the Feast of Pentecost?  Can you tell me why that Feast was important? <it is when the Holy Spirit came to the church, when the church began, the birthday of our church> 

Who was here for the feast of the Trinity?  Who remembers what the word Trinity means? <three-in-one> 

And then we had the feast of Christ’s Body and Blood.  And what sacrament did we celebrate then?  <Eucharist>

Say:  We are beginning another season today, the season of Ordinary Time.  We aren’t preparing for any special feast right now.  We are simply learning about God’s word and trying to figure out how it applies to our lives—ordinary time

Introduce symbol

Say:  Today is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The first Sundays of Ordinary Time this year happened before Lent.  Our symbol today is a tree.

Ask: Who can tell me something about trees? <They can be very large, they are alive, they grow from seeds>

Explain:  Trees grow from seeds.  Today we are going to talk about a tiny seed [IF POSSIBLE, bring a mustard seed from your spice cabinet to show the children]  Has anyone here seen a seed?  What happens to seeds? <they grow into plants—let the children share some experiences they have had with seeds and what they grew into>  It is God’s power that helps seeds grow into large plants or trees.  We can help God with that work. 

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:  Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Ask:  Can anyone tell me something that we can thank God for?  <let the children respond…. good weather, breakfast, a chance to gather together, family… whatever is important in their lives>
  
Introduce readings

Say:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament book of the prophet Ezekiel.  (Ez 17:22 –24).  Ezekiel was a prophet who told the people at the time he lived (AND US!) about God.  Let’s pretend that we are listening to the prophet Ezekiel and see if we can understand what he is telling us.

Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did the reading from Ezekiel tell us about God?  <that God is so powerful that he can make trees grow big and tall or break them down, that God has the power to do anything> 

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me: Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

Have reader read the psalm

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of St. Mark.  (Mark 4: 30-34)  Saint Mark is telling us about a time that Jesus was teaching people.  Jesus had a special way of explaining things.  He told stories to answer questions.  Can anyone tell me what we call the stories that Jesus used to teach us?  <parables>  That’s right, PARABLES.  Remember that word because you will hear it often when we talk about Jesus and teaching!

Say:  Today’s story is about a little tiny seed.  Let’s pretend that we are people listening to Jesus and see what he tells us about the seed.  Make sure you listen to the very beginning of this reading to hear the first question that Jesus was answering.

Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say:  Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

Ask:  Does anyone remember the very first question in the beginning?  It is what Jesus compared the seed to.  <What is God’s kingdom like?>  Jesus said that God’s kingdom was LIKE WHAT happens when the mustard seed is planted.  What did happen?  <it grew larger than any other plant>   So God’s kingdom is like when you take something very small and it grows very big.  Maybe it is like what happens when you do something nice for someone.. And then they do something nice… and then...what happens next?  <everyone feels happy and loved!>

Ask:  Does anyone remember the sign that we give one another to show that there is God’s peace between us?
Say:  Let’s give each other the sign of peace.

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

Explain: We will color the trees (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about God's power!  If you have time and can write something on the back, think of ONE thing you can do to help grow God's kingdom!

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.

Remind the children that the large symbol is to be offered in the Offertory procession to show the congregation what they have learned about using our hands to bring Jesus’ love to others.  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.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers as the children leave their worship space.


Use this for the small symbol in a light brown or tan color (seed) for the communal poster

Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the coloring sheets used for the Offertory gift

 
Parent Letter

11th Sunday Ordinary Time  Cycle B

             Today is the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same readings you heard:  Ezekiel 17:22-24 and Mark 4: 30-34.

Symbol:  Tree

To Reinforce at Home:

Today we learned about the prophet Ezekiel and what he had to say about God’s almighty power.  We talked about Jesus and how he answered questions with stories called parables.  Today’s parable was about a tiny little mustard seed.. And how, through God’s power, it grew into a mighty tree.
Both readings used plant growth to explain the mysterious power of God.
Activities to do at Home:
* Plant or sprout a seed!  What better way to show the power of God’s creation than to watch something grow!
                Use a quick sprouting, easy growing seed like a nasturtium OR place dried beans between 2 moist paper towels to germinate sprouts.

*  Look in your kitchen spices and find a mustard seed.  Talk with your child about how God’s love is like that tiny seed.  That if we share it (love) with other people, it will grow bigger than we can imagine…. Just like the tiny mustard seed in Jesus’ parable grew into a huge tree!

*  The Gospels are FULL of stories (parables) about plants and trees.  Think of your favorite and share it with your child.  

*  Jesus spoke in parables using plants because he was teaching farmers.  With your child, think up a parable for the modern day world we live in that would help explain God’s kingdom. 

Thank you for sharing your children!




Sunday, May 30, 2021

June 6, 2021 Feast of Christ's Body and Blood B


Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood  Cycle B

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             

Say: Today is the Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood.  Sometimes people call it the Feast of Corpus Christi.  Corpus Christi is Latin for Body of Christ. 
Ask:  When we talk about the Body and Blood of Christ today, what are we talking about?  <the Eucharist, the consecrated bread and wine>
 Say:  Our symbol today is the chalice and host that we usually see at Mass as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Explain:  During Mass, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus.  Why is this important to us?  <so that we remember what Jesus did for us, so that we remember that Jesus becomes part of us and shares in our life in even the smallest level, that Jesus nourishes and strengthens us>
Ask:  Today is a celebration of LIFE.  Without a body or blood, we can’t live.  The body and blood of Jesus made sure that we have heaven.  Christ fulfilled God’s promise for us.

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:  I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce the readings

Say:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament book called Exodus.  (Exodus 24:3-8). 
I don’t know if you noticed but usually at Mass there are three readings, one from the Old Testament, one from the letters the Apostles wrote after Jesus went back to heaven, and one from the Gospels.  During the time between Easter and Pentecost, this was different. There were no Old Testament readings during the time when the Apostles were figuring out the new church.  They were replaced with readings from the Acts of the Apostles.
The first reading today we hear again about Moses   Do you remember that God gave some rules to Moses?  What were they called?  <the commandments> When he came down from the mountain, he and his people prepared an animal sacrifice which was their custom.  They were celebrating the covenant that they had made with God.  Listen to the reading and see if you can remember what the Israelites promised to do.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  First of all, does anyone remember what a covenant is?  <promise>  What did the people of Israel promise to do?  <follow the rules God gave them>  Can anyone tell me what God will give to those who follow his commands?  <eternal life, heaven>

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the name of the Lord.

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 written by St. Mark.  (Mark 14:12-16, 22-28)  This reading is St. Mark’s version of what happened at the Last Supper.  Does anyone remember the Last Supper?  <discuss>
St. Mark tells how Jesus and the Apostles were preparing to celebrate the Jewish feast of Passover.  Jesus and his friends got together to celebrate this feast and something new happened.  Pretend that you are one of Jesus’ friends celebrating this feast.  Listen to what St Mark tells us and think about how you feel about it all. 
   
Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say:  Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  How do you think Jesus’ friends felt?  <discuss>  What sacrament did Jesus give us at the Last Supper?  <Eucharist> Thinking of the two readings today, one about Moses and the commandments and one about Jesus at the Last Supper, can you think of anything the two readings share?  <they are both about God’s promise to us.  God made a promise to the Israelites when he gave the commandments to them – and Jesus help fulfill God’s promise when he died and rose>

Ask:  Does anyone remember the sign that we give one another to show that there is God’s peace between us?
Say:  Let’s give each other the sign of peace.

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (chalice and host) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (chalices) 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 the promises God made to us and how they are fulfilled by Jesus.  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 in the small size for the poster
Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-sized Offertory gift

 
Parent Letter

Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood  Cycle B

             Today is the Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard:  Exodus 24:3-8; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26.

Symbol:  Chalice and Host

To Reinforce at Home:
Today we talked about the Eucharist.  The Old Testament reading in Exodus talks about the animal sacrifice that Moses made along with the Israelites after God gave him the commandments.  This reading clearly foreshadows Christ’s sacrifice for us.  The Gospel reading in Mark describes the events of the Last Supper.  We talked about the ideas that tied the two Scripture readings together, reviewing the covenant (promise) between God and us that is fulfilled by Christ.

Activities to do at Home:
*Go over the concept that without body or blood, we have no life.  By the same token, the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood ensured our eternal life.

*Bake or buy a loaf of bread to share at your meal together.  By physically sharing bread with you at a meal, your child will have a better understanding of the significance of sharing the life-giving gift of Eucharist each Sunday.

*Try getting some different types of bread from different countries to show that bread is an important food item in all cultures.  The concept of bread as a staple life-giving food is universal.


Thank you for sharing your children!