Sunday, December 19, 2021

Feast of the Holy Family Cycle C

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
Feast of the Holy Family (C)

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Remind them why we come together to hear the readings. 

Introduce symbol

Say: Today is the Sunday after Christmas, known as Holy Family Sunday.  Can anyone tell me what this symbol might be?  (hold up symbol)  It represents what we think of when we think of the Holy Family - 3 people.  Who were they?  <Jesus, Mary & Joseph>
Ask:  Can anyone tell me what a family is? <discussion>  Families come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes a family has lots of people in it.  Sometimes families live in lots of different places.  What do you think that Jesus’ family looked like?  <Joseph, Mary, etc.>  From the Bible, we know about Mary and Joseph and we know about one of Jesus’ cousins.  Do you remember the name of His cousin?  <John the Baptist> 

Explain:  If you study the history of the time and place of Jesus’ life, you will learn that there were lots of family members in each little town. 
Families then and families now have a very important job that God gave them.  A main job is to take care of young children.  But another larger way to look at this job is to say that the job of families is to protect and nourish life.  You and me, all of us people, are gifts that God gives to mankind.  You are a gift that God gives to me.  I am a gift that God gives to you.  The people out there in the main church are gifts to us from God.  The people you see on your way home today are gifts from God.  The job of all of our families is to take care of us and to help us be the wonderful creatures God wants us to be.
Our question today is how do we care for the gifts of people that God gives us?

Introduce readings

Say:  The first reading is from the Old Testament Book of Sirach (Sir 3:2-6).  If you listen closely you will hear some advice about how to treat parents - or those who are taking care of you. 

Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)

Have the first reading.

Ask:  Do the words in this reading remind you of anything you have heard before?  <discuss- lead to the 4th Commandment.  (There was a law given to Moses that said almost the same thing) >
Say:  Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm
Your part will be to say:
Happy are those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways.  (hold up the poster)

Have reader read the psalm

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading is from the book of Matthew (Matt 2:13-15, 19-23).  Matthew tells us today about something that happened in the early life of the Infant Jesus.  Listen to the story and think about how the Holy Family is like your family.

Say:  Let’s stand so that we can listen to the Gospel reading.
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read the Gospel
Ask:  What happened?  <Joseph had a dream that the infant would be killed.  He responded by taking his wife and child away so that they would be safe>  What is the message for us in our families today?

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color and the poster symbols to put their names on.  Collect the poster symbols to glue on the poster. 

Explain: Color the symbol of the holy family to show that you learned about taking care of the members of your family. 

Ask:  What does it mean when we say that “All families are holy”? That parents are holy?  Who else?  Pesky little or big brothers or sisters?  And who else?  YOU!!!  You are a gift that God gave to your family.

Encourage:  Ask those who can to write one thing they can do in their own family that will show respect and love for God’s gift to them.

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.

Use this graphic in a small size for the communal poster

Use this graphic in a medium size for the banner and a large black line coloring sheet for the Offertory gift

Parent Letter

Feast of the Holy Family  C
            Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Sirach 3:2-6; Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23
To reinforce at home:

All families are holy!  We are children of God and gifts from God to each other.  God created families to care for his gifts.  God created families so that we could help take care of each other. 

In Sirach, we listen to a reading which reminds us of the 4th Commandment….Honor your father and mother.  This Commandment also applies to all other family members!  We talked about honoring members of a family would mean.

The Gospel reading in Matthew tells about a time when Joseph had to make a difficult decision to take care of his family.  We talked about decisions that parents sometimes have to make for the family that we might not understand. 
Activities to do at home:

*Share a meal together! Life is increasingly busy!  Often we spend many meals scrambling merely to feed bodies.  Choose one evening per week to gather and really spend time together.

*All families are holy!  How is your family the same as Jesus’ family?  How is it different?

*Remember all of your family!  Write a note to a relative you haven’t heard from in a while.

* Draw a picture of all the people that are in your family.  Tell stories about each one.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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