Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 27, 2018 Feast of the Holy Trinity B

Feast of the Holy Trinity  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
             Ask:  Does anyone remember what we talked about last Sunday?  <let the children discuss>  Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost.  We celebrated the birthday of the church, the day the Holy Spirit came to the apostles.  It was on Pentecost that the Holy Spirit kept the promise that Jesus made to his friends – that he would not leave them alone.  The Holy Spirit came to help them and to help us too.
Say: Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. 
Ask:  Can anyone tell me what the Trinity is?  <the Trinity is the idea of three persons in one God>  Does this mean that we have three Gods?  <no>
Say:  Our symbol is three interconnected circles.  One symbol with three distinct parts.
Explain:  St. Patrick used a shamrock (or clover) to show people what the Trinity meant.  There are three leaves on a shamrock.  Each leaf is different.  But each leaf is part of the same shamrock, one clover.
There are three natures to our God, God the Father, God the Son, And God, the Holy Spirit.  God the Father is like a parent – warm and loving but ready to correct and help us when we are wrong or when we need him.
God the Son, Jesus, actually took human form so he could understand us and love us and teach us how to love each other.  Can you imagine how much love he had in order to do that?  If you lived in heaven where everything is perfect and you never were hurt or sad, it would be very hard to leave.  Can you imagine how much love you would have to have in your heart to give that up to show someone how much you love them?
God the Holy Spirit brings you the extra gifts you need to act like God’s children, strength, faith and wisdom.  God the Holy Spirit often comes to each of us when we have questions about what to do and we ask for help.  Sometimes when you need help and you pray, do you find that the answer pops into your mind?
Ask:  What is the sign that we use as Catholics that shows our belief in the three persons of God?  <the sign of the cross>
Can we do that now together?  <lead the sign of the Cross and help the younger children>     

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:  Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.  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 Deuteronomy.  (Deuteronomy4:39-40).  In this reading we hear from a man named Moses   Can anyone tell me anything about a man named Moses?  <let the children discuss – received the commandments, parted the Sea of Reeds, led the Israelites out of Egypt, etc.>  Moses spent a lot of his time teaching the Israelites.  In today’s reading, he is talking to the Israelites about how there is only one God that they must obey.  In that time in history, people believed in many gods…. gods of earth and wind, gods of the ocean and the sun.  Moses’ job was to teach people that there is just one God to love and obey.  Listen to the reading and see which person of the Trinity Moses was familiar with.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  Which person of the Trinity did you hear about?  <probably God the Father, possibly God the Holy Spirit>

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

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 28:18-20)  Can anyone tell me a word that means “rose from the dead”?  <lead the children to the word ”resurrection”>  Today’s Gospel reading is about a time after Jesus’ resurrection.  He appeared to his eleven disciples on a mountain.  Does anyone remember why there were eleven disciples? <because Judas was no longer with the “twelve”>  When Jesus met his disciples, they still didn’t understand what had happened and what they were supposed to do.  Pretend that you are one of the eleven.  You know that your friend Jesus was killed.  You know that you are supposed to believe that he rose from the dead.  But what you don’t know is what you are supposed to do next.  Listen closely to what Jesus tells his friends – AND you! – and think of the persons of the Trinity that you will hear about.
Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say:  Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  What did Jesus tell his friends?  <to go out to all the world, to baptize everyone in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that he will always be with them>  Which persons did you hear about in this reading?  <all 3 in one God>

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 (three inter-connected circles) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (circles) 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 Holy Trinity.  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, teach the prayer:  Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen. (or give out a prayer card)

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 circle graphic to make the small symbol for the attendance poster.  Cut small circles in light colors
This graphic of 3 joined circles is for the banner symbol and the Offertory coloring page.  For the banner symbol, cut the circles out of different colors (I used red, yellow & blue).

Parent Letter

Feast of the Holy Trinity  Cycle B

Today is Holy Trinity Sunday.  The children listened to simplified versions of the same readings you did: Deuteronomy 4:39-40 and Matthew 28:18-20.

To reinforce at home:
             Today we talked about the concept of the Trinity, three persons in one God.  This is a difficult concept for children.  We introduced the concept and made sure that the children understood that we do not have three gods – but that our God has three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Activities to do at home:
*together with your child, look for the signs in your life of God’s great love for us.  (examples are sunny days, food to eat, loving family, etc.)

*teach your child the Sign of the Cross to help them remember the three persons in one God.

*pray together:  Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Thank you for sharing your children!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 20, 2018 Pentecost Sunday B

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.


       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!