Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dec 25, 2016 The Birth of Our Lord

The Birth of Our Lord 

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

Ask:  Does anyone remember what we talked about the last time we met?  <show symbol of the word YES!>  We talked about saying YES! to God even when it is a little hard.  Mary shows us how to say YES!

Introduce symbol

Say:  Today is Christmas  Day!  Are you excited?  <let the children tell a little bit about their morning>  What are we celebrating today?  <the birth of Jesus>  Remember, we are also celebrating the coming of our Lord.  We believe that He will come back to us at some point in time.  We have been thinking about that all during Advent and today we celebrate it!


Say:  Our symbol today is a star.  A star will help us remember how long God has loved us?  How long have there been stars in the sky?  <many, many years!>  God has always loved us and always will.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.>  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 Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isa 9:2-4, 6-7)   The prophet Isaiah lived a very long time before Jesus was born as one of us.  God asked Isaiah to speak to the people of Israel to give them hope.  Pretend that you an Israelite and listen closely to what Isaiah said to you.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: What did you hear? <let the children retell what they heard>  If you were an Israelite child, how do you think you might feel abut what Isaiah said to you?

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Luke 2:1-14).  Luke tells us a story of Mary and Joseph.  I am certain that all of you are familiar with this story.  One of the best things about the Holy Scripture is that you can hear and understand new things every time you read it.  Pretend that you are hearing St Luke tell this story to you for the very first time.  Think about Jesus coming back to us again.  See if you can learn something new.

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:  What happened?  <let the children retell what they heard>  Did you learn something that might be new to you?  <invite the children to share>  How do you think you might have felt if you were one of the shepherds?

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a star).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to show the love that God has shown them.
 
Explain: Color this symbol of a star and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about celebrating Jesus’ return to 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 star graphic: in a small-size in light yellow for the communal poster, in a mid-size with gold foil for the banner symbol, and the large black & white coloring sheet for the Offertory gift
 
Parent Letter
The Birth of Our Lord  

Dear Parents:
                                                                             
             Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Isaiah 9:2-4, 6-7; Luke 2:1-14.

Symbol: Star
To reinforce at home:

God loves us so much He sent his son to us!  Today is a day of celebration that Jesus came to us.  It is also a day to remember and celebrate that Jesus will return.
Activities to do at home:

*Enjoy the day together! Be careful not to let the stress of perfection spoil your holiday celebration.  Remember where our Saviour chose to be born!

*Talk together with your child about a way to show love to others the way God has shown love to you (and then do it!)

*Mary and Joseph traveled a long way to Bethlehem.  Your family may be traveling to visit relatives this week.  What is something you can do together this week to think about what Mary and Joseph went through before Jesus was born.

Thank you for sharing your children!


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