Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Ask: Does anyone remember the feast we celebrated last week? <Epiphany> The symbol was a globe. Can anyone remember what it represented? <We talked about two things: that Jesus came for everybody in the world and that Jesus is in each one of us>
Say: Today’s symbol is a scallop shell. We have had a scallop shell symbol in the last few weeks. Does anyone remember what it means? <baptism, John the Baptist> Today we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus.
Ask: What is Baptism? <let the children answer - a sacrament, often given to babies, etc.> Baptism is a sacrament where a person receives God’s grace and is welcomed into the church. Do you think that Jesus needed to be baptized? <discuss> Today while we listen to the readings, let’s think about why Jesus might have been baptized.
Say: Let’s look at today’s poster. What does it say? <The Lord will bless his people with peace.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today. The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
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 second Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 42:1-2, 4, 6-7) Many times, we hear readings in the Gospels (or New Testament) that we feel like we’ve heard before. That’s because we have! There are many times when readings in the Old Testament foreshadow (or appear first) in Scripture. This reading in Isaiah is one of those times. Does anyone remember who Isaiah was? <a prophet> And what does a prophet do? <a prophet tells people about something that is going to happen> In Scripture that usually means that they are telling about when Jesus is going to come. While you listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah, see if you know who Isaiah is talking about.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: Who do you think Isaiah is talking about? <Jesus> Do these words sound familiar to you? <if the children say no – tell them to keep listening to the next reading OR they will answer yes, the words used when Jesus was baptized>
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke. (Luke 3:13-16, 21-22). What do you remember about John the Baptist? <prophet, Jesus cousin, lived in desert, etc.> John had many people who came to listen to him. Many people thought that he might be the Messiah that they had all been waiting for. They asked him, “Are you the Messiah?” And then he answered. Pretend that you are one of the children in the crowd listening to John. See if you remember what he said and what happened next.
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: When the people asked John if he was the Messiah, what did he answer? <NO> He explained that he was just baptizing with water. Someone more powerful would come who would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. Who was that person? <Jesus>
Ask: Then what happened next? <John baptized Jesus> Why do you think that Jesus wanted John to baptize him? <maybe to show us what each of us should do> We baptize all our church members. Did you hear the words of Isaiah? What were they? <the spirit came down on him – the voice from heaven saying that God was pleased>
Say: This is a reminder of our own baptisms. We are all chosen children of God. We were baptized with water (just like Jesus), and made new again in Jesus’ love. We show this by putting on a white garment. We were given a candle to symbolize the love of God burning in our hearts.
Hand out the poster cut-outs of a scallop shell so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.
Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a shell). Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to show that they are chosen children of God.
Explain: Color this symbol of the scallop shell and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about Baptism.
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.
Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord B
Today is the day that we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus Christ. The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Isaiah 42:1-2, 4, 6-7 and Luke 3:15-16, 21-22.
Symbol: Scallop Shell
To reinforce at home:
Today we celebrate Baptism! We talked again about John the Baptist and about the Baptism of Jesus. Jesus didn’t really need to be baptized. Since he is God, he is already filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s love. He set an example for us. We talked about our own Baptisms – when we were welcomed into Jesus’ church.
Activities to do at home:
*Share baptismal details with your child. Tell them the date, who attended and show them the baptismal garment and candle that you received on that day. Plan to celebrate on the date of your child’s baptism.
*Attend a Mass where a baptism is taking place. Participate with your child.
*Talk with your child about what it means to be a member of Christ’s church.
Thank you for sharing your children