Sunday, October 29, 2023

31st Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
           Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time   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.

Say:  Today is the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a 10 Commandment tablet.  We talked about the 3 greatest commandments, which also included all 10 that God gave Moses.  We learned that we must first of all love and honor God and then love and honor God’s children.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Can anyone tell me what today’s symbol is?  <hold up the symbol and let the children respond>  Today’s symbol is a Bible.  What is so important about a Bible?  <it is God’s word, we learn about God, we learn how we are supposed to lead our lives>  The Bible is also called sacred Scripture.  We believe that the words and stories in the Bible were given to us by God to help us know how to live our lives.

Say:  We come together here each week to hear what God has to tell us and to think about how to make those words fit into our lives.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Teach me your ways, O Lord.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
Ask:  How does the psalm fit with our symbol today?  <the Bible is one way that God teaches us

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 Malachi (Malachi 2:8-10).  Last week, we heard a letter that St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.  St. Paul reminded them that the way they acted was an example to other people.  Have you ever had an experience where someone copied something that you did?  Maybe just saying the same thing, or dressing the same way, or drawing the same picture?  <let the children respond>  Sometimes it is annoying – sometimes it feels good because you know the person liked what you did.
This shows you that you are an example to others.  When you do the right thing, sometimes you can help someone else do the right thing too.  Today’s reading from the book of Malachi tells about God talking to some of the priests of the church.  Listen and see if you can understand God’s message.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did God say to the priests?  <he said that they set a bad example, he said that some people turned away from God because of the way they acted>  God wants us to remember that we are all God’s children, God wants us to help others to find him.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matthew 23:1-12)  Jesus tells the people that the priests are experts about scripture.  He tells the people to listen to them.  But then he says something surprising.  Listen to what Jesus said about some leaders.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
Please stand up.
Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

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

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel

Ask:  What did Jesus say?  <he said to listen but NOT to do what they do>  Sometimes our leaders say one thing but do something different.  He reminds us that God is our number 1 teacher.  Listen and learn from others, but always go back to God to help you decide what is right.

Say:  Religious leaders and teachers are not more important than you are.  Their job is to use their knowledge to help you find God.  But you are the one who has to pray and read Scripture to hear God’s message to you.

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

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the Bibles and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about where we can learn about God.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to learn more about God.

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

While they are coloring, explain how we will go back into the church, up to the front with our gifts and rejoin our families.

Give out stickers, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.

Parent Letter

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

          The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did:  Malachi 2:8-10 and Matthew 23:1-12.

Symbol: Bible

To reinforce at home:
          In today’s selection from Malachi, we are reminded that we are an example to others, regardless of how we act.  We need to remember every day that we are influencing other people with our behavior.
          Matthew continues with stories about Jesus telling about the religious leaders of his time.  He tells us to listen to the experts but not necessarily do what they do.  He reminds us that God is our teacher and it is in God that we find our answers.
          One of the ways that we learn about God is to come together each week to hear what God has to tell us and to learn how to make those words fit into our lives.

Activities to do at home:
          *Together with your child, share your favorite story from the Bible and tell why it is your favorite.
          *Read the readings again!  Find a time this week to reread the Sunday Scriptures and see if you agree on how they apply to your lives.

          *Who do you know that sets a consistent good example?  Think of people you know who set a Godly example for you and your child to follow.  Together write a thank you note to that person for helping lead you to God.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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