Sunday, August 13, 2023

20th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Twentieth 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 Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was water.  We talked about recognizing God in the world and how much easier it is to recognize God if your faith is strong!

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is a globe.  Can anyone tell me what a globe is?  <the world>  What might the globe represent?  <everyone who lives on earth>

            Say:  Sometimes when we go to church each week and we only see the people we know, we begin to think that God is only for us.  It’s hard to remember that God is available to everyone – you, me, the people down the street, the people across the country and throughout the world.  God is available to people you like, people you don’t like, people who make good choices and people who don’t.  God is the God of everyone in the world.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <O God, let all the nations praise you!>  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 56:1, 6-7).  Does anyone remember hearing stories about how the Jews are the ‘chosen people of God’?  Many of the readings we hear in both the Old Testament and the New Testament mention this.  Traditionally the Jewish people felt that what this meant was that God would ignore the prayers and problems of people who were not Jewish.  The reading from Isaiah gives us a different thought.  Let’s hear what the prophet Isaiah proclaimed.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <let the children discuss>  Who does God call to worship?  <everyone, including foreigners, those from other countries>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            O God, let all the nations praise you!

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 15:21-28)  Today’s reading tells us about a woman who wanted Jesus to help her daughter.  Think back to a time when Jesus walked on earth.  Remember all the things we have heard about the coming of Jesus – how he was of the line of David, how he was the messiah, and how the messiah came to save the Jewish people.  Remember that Jesus himself was a member of the Jewish faith.  Now imagine that you are part of the crowd following Jesus.  You are a Jew and you are feeling pretty special about this wonderful new teacher named Jesus.  A woman from Cana comes up to him asking him to help her sick daughter.  This woman is a stranger, not Jewish.  Let'’ listen now and find out what happens.

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 was Jesus’ first response to the woman?  <He said that He was sent to the people of Israel>  Did that mean he wouldn’t help her?  <no>

Say:  Jesus helps everyone who believes in him.  Our God is the God of everyone.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a circle 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 globes and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about God’s love being for everyone in the world.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to show Jesus’ love to someone they don’t know or like very well.

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.
Use this graphic to make light colored circles for the community banner

Use this for both the medium-sized banner symbol and the full-sized Offertory coloring page.

Parent Letter

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            Today is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 and Matthew 15:21-28.

Symbol: globe

To reinforce at home:

            The readings today tell us that God is available to all nations.  God relies on our faith to bring us to him.  It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are, if you believe in God, then God is there for you.

Activities to do at home:

            *Check it out!  Get a globe or a map and choose a country to learn more about.  Draw the flag, eat a dish from that country, learn a few words of the language.  Emphasize to your child that the people in this country are also children of God.
            *Watch the news!  There are many events, both good and bad, happening all over the world.  Together with your child, choose a country to say a prayer for.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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