Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 24 Pentecost Sunday


Pentecost Sunday Cycle B

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:  This the Feast of Pentecost!  This is the feast we have been waiting for, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the official birthday of the church.

Ask:  Does anyone remember all the things we have read about in Scripture that tell what Jesus wants us to have in this church we are building for him?  He wants us to have peace between each other, to read his holy Word, to love one another and to pray!

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a dove.  This particular dove has some colors all around it – red, yellow and orange. 

Ask:  What do you think these colors might mean?  <fire> 
Explain:  In the readings today, the Holy Spirit appears to Christ’s followers in the symbols of wind and fire.  What does fire do?  <burns old things away to make room for new, kills germs that spread disease>  What does wind do?  <blows things away, brings new things in>
Ask:  What do you think these symbols tell us about what the Holy Spirit can bring to the Apostles’ lives?  What about to our lives?  <clear away wrong thinking – promote understanding, give us strength to share Christ’s teachings, make us receptive to new ideas> 
Ask:  Jesus’ friends, the Apostles, were waiting for the Holy Spirit to come to them like Jesus promised.  Why do you think they would do that?  What would the Holy Spirit do for them?  <try to lead the children to think of the qualities that the Apostles would need to have in order to spread Christ’s word all over the world- strength, wisdom, understanding, love, patience, etc.>
Explain:  Today, Pentecost, is the birthday of the church.  This is the day that we celebrate the beginning of our work on earth spreading Jesus’ teachings with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

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 again from the New Testament book of Acts of the Apostles. (Acts  2:1-11) This reading tells us what happened that night in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles.  What you will hear is the basis of the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation that you will receive when you are older.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <let the children retell the reading>  Where was the wind and fire?  <there was a noise from heaven that sounded like a might wind, the tongues of flame that appeared above each person’s head> And each person began to speak about Jesus in a different language.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. John.  (John 20:19-23). The Gospel reading today tells us how Jesus sent the Apostles out to spread his word among all people.  There is a Sacrament mentioned here too.  See if you can figure out what it is.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  Did anyone hear which Sacrament Jesus mentioned?  <Reconciliation>  He gave the Apostles the ability to forgive sins in Jesus’ name.

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a dove).  Ask the older children to write one they could ask the Holy Spirit to help them with this week.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the dove and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about needing the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Make these small for the poster project - use light flame colors - yellow and orange

This graphic makes a really pretty banner symbol.  I did this in layers of shapes... bottom layer is red, then orange and yellow.  The dove is on top in white

 Use this graphic for the full-sized coloring sheet Offertory symbol

 
Parent Letter

The Feast of Pentecost B


Dear Parents,

             Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11; John 20:19-23.

Symbol: Fiery dove

To reinforce at home:
Today we celebrate the birth of the fledgling church that was charged to carry on the work of Christ.  We talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit and what that meant to the Apostles.  We talked about the symbolism of wind and fire, the symbols associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit.  We also talked about what the Holy Spirit can do for us.

Activities to do at home:
*Have a small celebration at home to mark the birthday of the church
*Join in your parish Pentecost celebration.

*Talk with your child about the role the Holy Spirit fills in your life.


Thank you for sharing your children!



Sunday, May 10, 2015

May 17 Ascension Sunday


Feast of the Ascension Cycle B

**Some dioceses replace the 7th Sunday of Easter with this feast instead of celebrating on Thursday***

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

Explain:  Today is the Feast of the Ascension, the day we celebrate Jesus going back into heaven.  We will hear how that happened from the Apostles.
Ask:  Does anyone remember what Pentecost is?  (the day we celebrate the birthday of the church, the time that the Holy Spirit came down from heaven to help all of us since Jesus is not here on earth as a human like us)
Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last week?  <a heart>  And what did it symbolize?  <love>
Explain:  We have heard about several things from the Apostles in the last few weeks that would help them (and us!) to build the church that Jesus wants for us.  Can anyone remember what those things are? <Peace between each other, leaders who care for us,  remembering that our strength comes from Jesus, reading the bible to understand his message of love, and we have learned about the love that Jesus wants us to have for each other>

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a cross with a globe on it.  What do you think that this symbol might mean?  <discuss>  Let’s take it apart.  What would the cross represent?  <Jesus>  And what about the globe?  <a globe is the world – that represents all of us>
 
Say:  Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were for us.  His message of love is for everyone in the world.  We will learn today what Jesus told everyone to do.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <God mounts the throne to shouts of joy.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

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 New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 1:8-11)  This reading tells about what happened to Jesus!  Jesus promised something to the Apostles.  Listen carefully and see if you can hear what that promise was.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What is the promise that Jesus made to the Apostles?  <He promised that the Holy Spirit would come to them and give them strength>  Then what happened?  <Jesus rose up into heaven>  Do you think that the Holy Spirit will come and give you strength too? 

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
God mounts the throne to shouts of joy.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Mark.  (Mark 16:15-20).  Does anyone remember the names of the four men who wrote the Gospels?  <Matthew, Mark, Luke and John>  The reading today tells us what St. Mark wrote about what Jesus said to his friends before he rose into heaven.  Pretend that you are one of the Apostles.  Your friend, Jesus, that you saw murdered on the cross, has been appearing to you and your other friends for a few weeks.  You all believe that he is really God.  Now he tells you that he is going into heaven for good, that he won’t be back.  Listen to what Jesus tells you before he leave.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Say:  Let’s give each other the sign of peace that shows our love for each other.
Give each other the sign of peace and sit back down.

Ask:  What did Jesus say to his friends?  What did he tell them to do?  <to go tell everyone about him>  He said that everyone who believed would be saved.  He told us all to go tell people about him.

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a heart with a globe).  Have the older children write one thing they can do this week to tell someone about the love of Jesus.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of a heart with a globe and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about what Jesus told us to do before he went up into heaven.

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

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic for the small poster symbol
Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-sized Offertory symbol

 
Parent Letter

Feast of the Ascension  B


Dear Parents,

             Today is the Feast of the Ascension.  Your children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts of the Apostles 1:8-11 and Mark 16:15-20.

Symbol: Cross with Globe

To reinforce at home:
Today we celebrate the time when Jesus ascended bodily into heaven to be with his father.  Before he left he gave clear instructions to the apostles and to his followers everywhere.  He told them to go tell everyone in the world about him.  We are Jesus’ followers too.  It is our job, handed down from Jesus himself, to teach others about him.

Activities to do at home:

*As Jesus’ disciples, you and your child have been given the job of teaching others about Jesus.  Together, think of one way that you can share Jesus’ message of love with someone else.
Write a letter to someone you haven’t been in contact with for a while.
Have your child draw a picture to go in the letter.
Help a neighbor with errands or yardwork.
Forgive someone you are angry with.

*Learn about another country!  Locate a country on the map that you hear about on the news.  Call your diocese and see if there is an outreach project that you and your child can participate in together.


Thank you for sharing your children!