Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Passion of Our Lord B

Passion 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.  <before you begin, make sure that you have readers for the different roles in the Passion reading: an adult narrator, good readers for Jesus and Pilate, and a few chosen readers to help lead small groups of younger children in the “priests” and the “crowd” parts.  Have the parts ready for the children with highlighted sections>
Say:  Today is the last Sunday in Lent – called Passion Sunday.  This Sunday begins the a week of special liturgies that celebrate the time right before Jesus was crucified and his resurrection.  Today we are going to talk about the events we celebrate this week.

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a cross with palms on it.  <hold up the symbol>  What are palms?  What are they for?  <the people who lived during Jesus’ lifetime used them to wave at Jesus as we entered Jerusalem.  What so we wave when important people come to town?  <we wave flags, we throw confetti, sometimes we blow horns>

Ask:  Does anyone know what this week of celebration is called?  <Holy Week> This is the most important week in our whole church year of celebrations.  Can anyone tell me why?  <because it leads up to the death and resurrection of Jesus>

Ask:  Can anyone name the different types of celebrations we will be having this week?  <Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter vigil> 

Say:  Let’s talk about each one:  What is Holy Thursday?  <the day we celebrate Jesus’ last supper with his friends>  This is the day that the Sacrament of Eucharist, or communion, was given to us  Jesus.  We come together on Holy Thursday for a special Mass.  Can anyone tell me what is different about that Mass?  <the priest washes the feet of some of the people>

Say: What is Good Friday?  <the day we celebrate Jesus’ death>  What is different about our celebration on Good Friday?  <we do not have a regular Mass, we remember the cross where Jesus died>

Ask: And what is the Easter vigil?  This is the Mass on the night before Easter when we celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead.  This is also the special Mass where new Catholics receive their Sacraments for the first time.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?>  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 50:6-7)  It tells us about Isaiah being hurt because he loved God and how God helped him be strong.  God helps us be strong too.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Ask: Do you think that God really abandoned Jesus?  <no>  Sometimes when we feel sad or lonely or things are not going the way we want them to, it FEELS like God has abandoned us.  But God is always near.  How do we know that God did not abandon Jesus?  <because Jesus rose from the dead>

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Mark.  (Mark 15:1-39).  This is a special reading where we hear about what happened to Jesus before he died.  It is a long Gospel and we will all participate in it. <ask if everyone has their parts to read and is ready.. Point out the readers with the group reading parts and invite the younger children to sit near someone who has a part for them to read.>

Say:  Usually we stand to  get ready to hear the Gospel; today we will sit because this Gospel is a little different:
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel together

Ask:  It is important to remember that the same people who were excited to see Jesus come into Jerusalem and waving palms for him were the same people who were calling out for his death on Friday.  When we look at the palms all year long, we need to remember to be faithful to Jesus.

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

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a cross with a palm).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to remember about the last days Jesus spent on earth.
Explain: Color this symbol of a cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about the celebrations of Holy Week.

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.

Cut these out in pale green paper in a small size for the communal craft

Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol (brown and green) and the full-size black & white Offertory symbol

Parent Letter

Passion Sunday  B

Dear Parents,

             Today is Passion Sunday.  The children listened to two of the same readings you heard: Isaiah 50:6-7; Mark 15:1-39.

Symbol: cross with palms

To reinforce at home:
Today’s focus was two-fold:
We talked about the palms themselves.  We discussed what they are and what they were used for in that last week of Jesus’ life.  We talked about the sacramental aspect of the palms and why we use them today.
The second focus was the list of events in the last few days of Jesus’ life, their importance to us today and how we celebrate them.
Can we really cover this particular topic in 15 minutes?  NO!!!!!  That’s where your input is critical.  Get the dates of the Holy Week services in your church and put them on your family calendar.  Please try to include these services as much as possible with your child depending on their age and ability.  This week we celebrate the essence of our faith.

Activities to do at home:

*Talk about the different holy days that we will celebrate this week and why they are important to Christians.
*Share with your child the Easter traditions that you celebrate in your family.  Include your child in preparations for dinner, guests, and whatever else you do.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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