Sunday, April 5, 2020

April 12, 2020 Easter Sunday Cycle A

Easter Sunday 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:  Happy Easter!  What did you notice different about the church this week?  <music, white and gold decorations and vestments, flowers>  Are you excited today?  <let the children share a little about their morning>

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week?  <show symbol of the cross with the palm>  We talked about all the events that led up to Jesus’ death.  And we also remembered how much God forgives us!

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a sun.
Ask: What do you know about the sun?  <it gives warmth, it gives light, we need it to live>
Say:  The sun comes up in the morning and makes all the dark of night go away.  In the same way, Jesus rose from the dead.  He left his tomb and became better than new.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.>  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 called the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 10:34a, 37-43)  We start a season today where the sequence of the readings changes a little.  Instead of having an Old Testament reading and a Gospel reading, we will have all New Testament readings through the Feast of Pentecost.  Today begins a time when we remember how difficult it was for the Apostles right after Jesus’ death and resurrection, how hard it was to build a new church.  In this reading from Acts, we hear St. Peter telling a man named Cornelius all about Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Listen closely and see if you hear anything new today.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: Did you hear anything you might not have heard before?  <let the children share>  Were you surprised when Peter told Cornelius that Jesus ate and drank with his friends after he died and rose again?

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John.  (John 20:1-9).  St. John tells us about when Mary Magdalene went down to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning.  Let’s hear what he has to tell us.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Alleluia, Alleluia

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What happened? <let the children retell what they heard> How do you think that Simon Peter felt?

Explain:  Jesus’ friends were still very sad when they came to his tomb that morning.  They must have been even more confused when his body was missing.  In the weeks that follow this one, Jesus appeared in flesh and blood to his friends several times.  They spent the weeks following Easter morning trying to understand the message Jesus had for them (and for us!)

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a sun).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to share the warmth of Christ’s love with others.

Explain: Color this symbol of the sun and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about the dying and rising of Jesus Christ and the promise he fulfilled for us.

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.


Cut small circles from yellow paper for the poster


Use this graphic to create the banner symbol - Use metallic gold or yellow to create the sun; Enlarge it for the Offertory coloring page



Parent Letter

Easter Sunday  A


Dear Parents,

              Today is the Feast of Easter.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; John 20:1-9.

Symbol: sun

To reinforce at home:
The readings today talk about Jesus’ rising!  In Acts, Peter begins to tell others all about how Jesus died and rose again and then instructed the Apostles to spread the news.  In the Gospel of John, we learn all about what happened on Easter morning when Jesus’ tomb was discovered to be empty!


Activities to do at home:

*Celebrate!  Have a family party to celebrate the great news of our salvation!
*Think of one area of your life where you need to start over and make a resolution to do that.

*This week, evaluate your Lenten experience.  Is there anything you did together that you would like to continue?



Thank you for sharing your children!


Sunday, March 29, 2020

April 5, 2020 Passion (Palm) Sunday Cycle A


Passion Sunday Cycle A

***before you begin, make sure that you have readers for the different roles in the Passion reading: an adult narrator, good readers for Jesus and Pilate, and a few chosen readers to help lead small groups of younger children in the “priests” and the “crowd” parts.  Have the parts ready for the children with highlighted sections***

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 is it!  The last Sunday before we begin the celebration of the Passion and Easter week.  We have some extra church services this week to remember the things that happened to Jesus before he died and rose again.  We gather on Holy Thursday to remember his last supper together with his friends.  We gather on Good Friday to remember how he died for us.  And we will gather again on Easter Sunday to celebrate his rising from the dead, his triumph over death.

Ask:  Last week’s symbol was a stone.  We talked about how God was stronger than death.  Next Sunday we sill celebrate how this is true.  Next Sunday we celebrate Easter.

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a cross with palms on it.  <hold up the symbol>  The cross always stands for Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us.  The palms remind us that on this day we celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  Do you remember how the people acted when he entered?  <let the children respond>  They treated him like a king!

Say:  Just like we did today, they took palms and waved them like we would wave flags at a parade.  They were happy to see him.  These are the same people who will act quite differently before the week ends.  And they are like us.  Sometimes we just follow our feelings without thinking too.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?>  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 ‘abandon’ mean?  <to leave alone, to forget>  Do you think that God really abandons people?  <no>  Does it sometimes feel that way? <yes, absolutely>  That’s when we need to have a lot of faith!

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 Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isa 50:6-7)  In this reading, Isaiah talks about being tortured because he believed in God. He reminds us that even in the worst of times, God is with us and to never be ashamed to believe in God.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Matthew.  (Matt 27:11-54).  It is called the passion. It is a long reading and we will read parts of it together.  This is the story of what happened to Jesus.  It is a sad story.  While we read, think about how you might have acted if you were living at that time.

Say:  Usually we stand to get ready to hear the Gospel; today we will sit because this Gospel is a little different:
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Read:  Read the Gospel together

Ask:  Do you think that the people who killed Jesus were all bad people?  Or do you think maybe they might have been frightened into doing the wrong thing?  Maybe they don’t really understand.  Any of us might have behaved in the same way.

Say:  Jesus forgave the people who killed him.  He regularly forgives us too as long as we recognize what we do wrong and are sorry.

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 cross with a palm).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to help spread Jesus’ forgiveness to others.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of a cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about how we all make mistakes and how Jesus keeps on forgiving us.

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 little cut-outs used for the poster

This graphic can be used for both the banner symbol and for the black-line coloring page for the Offertory gift




Parent Letter

Passion Sunday  A


Dear Parents,

              Today is Passion Sunday.  The children listened to two of the same readings you heard: Isaiah 50:6-7; Matthew 27:11-54.

Symbol: cross with palms

To reinforce at home:
Today’s we are reminded how the Jewish people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem.  They treated him like a king.  They waved palms and sang songs just like we did.  We travel in the Gospel reading step-by-step through the judgment of Jesus to the crucifixion.  We recall the tremendous physical and spiritual pain that Jesus willingly went through for our sakes.  We experience again the awesome size of the forgiveness of God.  If he can forgive his own son’s murderers, how can we believe that he would not forgive us?

Activities to do at home:

*Talk about the different holy days that we will celebrate this week and why they are important to Christians.  Go to these services at your church.

*Go to Stations of the Cross this week and follow together in Christ’s footsteps to Calvary.



Thank you for sharing your children!