Children’s Liturgy Instructions
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B
Note: [today’s readings are hard to understand, especially for little ones. The focus should be on acting with love and going to heaven. That is what we are promised when we make the right choices. You may get questions about death, heaven, hell, etc. Be prepared to handle them lightly, but remember to be positive, honest and comforting - never frightening. As followers of Jesus, we are promised eternal life]
Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Explain: Today is the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Ask: Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (a coin) And what did it mean? <it represented generosity. God asks us to be generous with the gifts He gives us>
Say: Today’s readings are about the everlasting life that awaits us with God. Our symbol <hold up symbol - star> represents how beautiful we are when we behave the way God asks us to.
Ask: How does God ask us to act? <nicely, with love, be generous, kind, etc.>
Say: Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help. The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do. Today’s psalm is: Keep me safe, O God, you are my hope. Can you say this with me? <Have the children repeat it.>
Say: Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.
Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament, the book of the prophet Daniel. (Dn 12:1-3) It is one of the stories in the Bible that tells us what will happen at the end of the world. The saying on our poster today is in this reading.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
Keep me safe, O God, you are my hope.
Say: Next we’ll have the Gospel reading. The Gospel selection today is from the book of Mark. (Mark 13:24-32). In this reading, like the last one, we hear about the end of the world. It is hard to imagine that the world will end. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that there is a better world than this one. But we are told that heaven is so much better. And this is part of what we believe as Christians. Just like we believe that Jesus died and rose for our sins, we believe that one day we will be with God in heaven.
Say: Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card) Alleluia! Alleluia!
Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”
All respond: Lord, let your Word be in my mind <make cross on forehead>, on my lips <make cross on lips>, and in my heart <make cross on heart>
Read: Read the Gospel
Ask: What do you think about this reading? You are the shining stars in God’s heaven.
Hand out the poster and Offertory symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a star) Remind the children to put their names on the back of the smaller poster symbols so that they can make the poster together.
Explain: Color this symbol of the star and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about eternal life.
Ask: What can you do this week to show that you know how to act out of love? If you can, write that on the back of your symbol.
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.
Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.
Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.
Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Daniel 12:1- 3 and Mark 13:24-32
To reinforce at home:
Today’s readings are very hard for us to understand and harder yet for your children. Since they are about the end of the world, there is a potential for them even to be frightening. Our focus is on the eternal reward that God promises us. We are asked to do the best we can every day and God will take care of us.
Activities to do at home:
*Help your child understand heaven by dreaming up the greatest place he or she would ever want to be. Maybe a place filled with all the chocolate you could ever want…. Or a place where no one is in pain. A place greater than our limited human imaginations can create is the reward we are promised for believing in Jesus.
*Think of one thing you can do together this week to act out of love toward someone else.
Thank you for sharing your children!