Sunday, March 14, 2021

5th Sunday of Lent B

5th Sunday of Lent  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: Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent. Does anyone remember how many more Sundays there are in Lent? <one>  And then what happens?  < Easter>

Ask:  Do you remember what we are learning about during this Lenten season?  <promises>  What have we learned about promises? <that there are 2 parts of a promise – the giver and the receiver, another word for promise is COVENANT, we enter into a promise with God when we are baptized>
Ask:  What are some things that we have learned to do to become closer to God?  <listen to Jesus, follow God’s laws of love, try not to do things that we don’t want people to know about>

Introduce symbol

Say:  Our symbol today is a seed with a sprout <hold up symbol>.  What can you tell me about a seed?  <it is supposed to grow into a plant>

Ask: What does this seed look like now?  Does it look like a plant?  <it looks dead>  What needs to happen to this seed in order for it to grow into a flower?  <it needs light, dirt, water>  So inside this dead-looking seed, is the possibility of a flower.  The seed needs to change in order to become a flower.
How is this seed like a promise?  <if you do the right things, the seed becomes a flower.  If you do the right things, you can keep your part of a promise>  Sometimes we need to change in order to keep our promise to God.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Create a clean heart in me, O God.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

Ask:  Does anyone remember what the word “Responsorial” means?  <let the children answer>  It comes from the word “respond” which means “to answer”.  We use this phrase to answer back while the reader reads the rest of the psalm.

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: Does anyone remember the 2 major parts of our Bible?  <the Old and New Testaments>  Today’s reading comes from the Old Testament book of the prophet Jeremiah. (Jer 31:31-34) It tells us something the Lord told Jeremiah about making a new promise with the people of Israel.  God tells Jeremiah that one day all people will be so full of love that it will be easy to keep God’s laws.  In today’s reading, they use a different word for “promise”  Listen closely to see if you can hear what that word is.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: Did you hear the word that means ‘promise’?  <agreement>  Do you think that we have reached the time when all people are full of love?  Do you think everyone find it easy to love one another?

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John.  (John 12:24-26).  In the reading today, St. John tells us that we must be like seeds.  We will have to change ourselves so that we can feel the beauty and fullness of God’s promise to us.  Sometimes that change will feel a little sad.  The reading compares that sadness to dying.  Let’s pretend that we are in a field with beautiful flowers all around us and listen closely to the message being read to us today. 

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:  Have you ever had anything change in your life?  Was it easy?  Is change sometimes hard?  What kind of changes did Jesus go through for us? <having lots of friends, being deserted
 By those same friends, dying so He could rise again>  What kind of changes might we have to go through for him?  <trying to be good, telling the truth, giving up something, being nice to someone you don’t like>

Explain:  Sometimes change is very hard and feels like we are dying inside but like the seed, there is always the promise of new life.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a leaf so that the children can write their names on them for the poster. Remind the children how many beautiful leaves are “growing” in their worship space.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is the sprouting seed).
Explain: Color this symbol of the seed and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about changing our hearts so that we can be with God.                             .
Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to be nice to someone when they don’t want to…. Like be nice to a sibling, obey a parent with a smile, give the last cookie to someone else, etc.

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.

*****Have next week’s Passion reading available and give major speaking parts to good readers to practice*****

Use this leaf in a small size in a light color for the attendance tree

Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol (brown seed, greed sprout, white root) and for the full-sized coloring sheet used as Offertory symbol

Parent Letter

5th Sunday of Lent  B

Dear Parents,

              Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 12:24-26.

Symbol: seed

To reinforce at home:
Today we talked about the need to change ourselves to help fulfill our part of the promise with God, how sometimes change is a little bit like dying or feeling very unhappy – but that good things are often the result of change.  We talked about changes that Jesus had to go through for us.  We used an example of a seed that looks dead but holds the promise of a beautiful flower.  When given the proper ingredients, the seed will fulfill that promise.

Activities to do at home:

*Assess how well you have followed through on your Lenten commitments.  Make a resolution to start over and follow through until Easter.
*Plant a seed and watch it grow!  A good choice of seed is a nasturtium seed.  It sprouts quickly and gives good results for your child to see right away.

*Make a NON-EDIBLE salt dough crown of thorns to use for incentives to make small behavior changes this week
Make a dough with 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 to 1-1/2 cups water.  Knead the dough and separate it into strips for braiding.  Stick 40 cloves into the crown and bake for about an hour at 300 degrees.  (This is easy.  It’s NOT edible so judge by the way it looks!)
To use the crown:  Pull one clove out every time that you do something nice that is hard for you to do.

           *Take some time Friday to think about and talk about what Jesus did for all of us.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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