Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sept 6, 2015 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B



Children’s Liturgy Instructions
Twenty-third Sunday in 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 Sunday

 Explain: Today is the Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (the Bible)  And what did it symbolize? (to pay attention to what Jesus tells us)  Was the Bible open or closed? <open>  Does anyone know why it is open?  <we need to open the Bible so that we can read it!>

Introduce symbol
Say: Today’s symbol is a door. 

Ask: What can you tell me about doors? < lead to *they can open and shut*>

Explain:  Doorways lead to places.  When the door is closed, you can’t go through to whatever is on the other side.  You have to open that door.  You have to choose to open the door.
A telephone might be another example.  If someone calls you on the phone... the phone is ringing... what choices do you have?  <to either ignore it or pick it up>  If you ignore it, will you hear the message?  You have to make a choice to answer it in order to find out who the caller is and what they want.

Explain:  It is up to us to listen and to try to understand the message Jesus leaves for us.  Sometimes Jesus’ message is hard to understand and follow.  Each one of us has the choice to open our hearts and minds to Him.

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: Praise the Lord, my soul!  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings:

Say:  The first reading is from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures. (Isaiah 35:4-7).   Does anyone remember who Isaiah was?  <a prophet>  Listen closely to what the Lord told the prophet Isaiah to tell his people. 

Say: Now we will have the first reading:

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What do you think the reading means when it says “the blind shall see and the deaf shall hear”?  <discuss>  Could it mean that those who choose not to see or understand God will change their minds? <yes>

Say:  Now we will have the Responsorial Psalm. Your part will be to say:
Praise the Lord, my soul!

Have the reader read the psalm.
Say:  Today’s Gospel was taken from the New Testament book of Mark.  (Mark 7:31-37)
Mark tells us of a time when Jesus performed a miracle.  Can someone tell me what a miracle is?  <something wonderful that happens that we can’t really explain logically> 

Ask:  Does anyone remember what Jesus needed in order to perform a miracle?  <He needed someone to believe in Him - someone who had faith>   Does anyone know what the word “deaf” means?  <not able to hear> 

Explain:  A person who is deaf has no choice about what they don’t hear.  But like the example from a few moments ago - with the telephone - we are like the people in Jesus’ time.  We get to choose whether or not to hear the message.  If we don’t choose to hear, we become like the closed door or the unanswered phone.
 Say:  Let’s prepare for the reading of the Gospel
(hold up card with phrase on it)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

All respond:  Lord, let your Word be in my mind <make cross on forehead>, on my lips <make cross on lips>, and in my heart <make cross on heart>

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask: How did the man behave when he found that he could hear?  <He was happy, he rejoiced>  When we truly hear Jesus’ message, when we really understand, we are happy too.  We rejoice and Jesus rejoices with us.

Ask:  What are some of the miracles that Jesus performed while He was on earth?  <turning water into wine, multiplying the loaves and fishes, healing people>  What kinds of miracles do we hear about today?  <unexplained healing from illness, saved lives>  Don’t forget things we might not recognize – like when you ‘almost’ have a car accident but don’t, like when wonderful things happen in your life that you aren’t expecting.  Has anyone here had anything like that happen to them?  <discuss>  We need to remember that God is in our lives waiting to be recognized and heard.

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 (doors) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (doors) 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 listening for God in their lives.  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 of a rectangle for the communal attendance poster

Use this door graphic for the mid-size banner symbol

Use this door graphic for the Offertory coloring sheet gift






Parent Letter
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time B


             Today is the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard: Isaiah 35:4-7 and Mark 7:31-37

To Reinforce at Home:
In today’s Gospel, Jesus cured a deaf man.  The deaf man was then able to hear and to respond to what others said to him.  We are often like the deaf man and unable to hear or understand.  We are closed.  We are called to remain open to God’s wishes.  We talked about what it means to be open to God.

Activities to do at Home:
* Create a place in your home where family members can go to be very quiet, to pray and to think about what God wants them to do.  Removing yourself to a peaceful place to pray is a particularly good practice for when we are upset.

* Perform a random act of kindness this week.  Help your child think of someone they do not particularly like that they could do something nice for.


Thank you for sharing your children!






Sunday, August 23, 2015

Aug 30, 2015 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B



Children’s Liturgy Instructions
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time   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 Sunday

Ask:   Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (flower and seed)  And what did it symbolize? (it symbolized the faith given to us by God that we have to nourish and take care of so that it will grow)
Explain: Today is the Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Introduce symbol
Say: Today’s symbol is the Bible. 

Explain: In order to try and understand what Jesus had to say, we must pay attention to His word and this is where we find it.

Explain:  We have been talking about the new way of thinking that Jesus had been telling people about.  The things He had to say sounded really strange to the people who were listening.  It didn’t seem to make much sense.  Many people left Him.  Some tried to trick Him.  Today’s Gospel is about one of those times.

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:  The just will live in the presence of the Lord. Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings
Say: The first reading is from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8)  It tells about what Moses said about the laws that God gave the Israelites.  Does anyone remember what we call the laws that God gave Moses?  <the Commandments>  Can anyone tell us one of the Commandments?
Moses reminded the Israelites that they had <as we have> a special God who is very close to us and tells us exactly how to be close to Him.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did God say about the Commandments? <that there are no laws anywhere that are more fair>  God’s laws are the best laws because they are the most just or fair.

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me: The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel. Today’s Gospel reading was written by St.Mark. (Mark 7:1-5, 14-15, 21-23).  St. Mark tells us about how some people didn’t understand what Jesus had to say.  They were concerned because Jesus didn’t care whether His followers followed certain social customs.
 
Ask:  Does anyone here ever get in trouble for not following certain rules?  Like maybe... talking with your mouth full?  Or forgetting to wash your hands before you come to the table?  What are some other examples?  Here is my question: does this make you a bad person?  or perhaps just a forgetful one?
Explain:  The people who were listening to Jesus didn’t understand why His disciples didn’t all follow the same customs that the Jews did.  The Jews felt that everyone needed to follow these customs in order to please God.  Jesus replied that customs do not make a person good or bad.  Their behavior, what they do and why they do it, is what God will use to judge them.

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

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  What did you think about the Gospel reading?

Say:  Sometimes we don’t understand the things that other people do.  Reading God’s Word helps us to decide about what is really right or wrong.

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 Offertory symbols to color (The symbol is a Bible) and the smaller poster symbols to for each child to put their name on.

Explain: Color this symbol of the Bible and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about paying attention to what Jesus had to say and trying to understand it.

Remind the children that the large symbol is to be offered in the Offertory procession to show the congregation what they have learned about God's Word.  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.

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

Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers as the children line up.

Use this graphic for the small poster symbol

Use this graphic to create the mid-sized banner symbol.  Use a real ribbon over the dotted diagonal line as a book mark!

Use this graphic for the black-line coloring page Offertory gift




Parent Letter
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time  Cycle B



Today is the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8 and Mark 7:1-5, 14-15, 21-23.

To reinforce at home:
We discussed how difficult it is sometimes to understand Jesus’ message in our society and emphasized the importance of reading the Bible to increase our understanding.  The Gospel message was that goodness or evil is determined in our hearts by our actions and thoughts rather than what we look like.  Jesus told us to pay close attention and try to understand His message.

Activities to do at home:

*Help your child learn what makes a person good or sinful, ie a person who is dirty and has ragged clothes may not be a bad person.  In the same way, an attractive person may not behave in a Christ-like manner.  Outward appearances are not what determines a person’s worth or closeness to God.

*Read your favorite Bible story to your child and help them figure out how it applies to his or her life today. Have your child draw a picture of him or herself in the story.

Thank you for sharing your children!