Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Feast of Christ the King A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
  Feast of Christ the King   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 Feast of Christ the King. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a talent.  We talked about ways that we can use the gifts God gave us to make the world a better place.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is a crown.  Who wears a crown?  <a royal person>  Jesus is our King, so we remember that today by using a crown as our symbol.

            Say:  God is our king.  He is powerful over all heaven and earth.  And God is often compared to a shepherd in the Scriptures.  Does anyone remember why?  <sheep were ver important in biblical times, a shepherd would do anything to keep his sheep safe>

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.>  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 Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 34:11- 12, 14-16abce).  In this reading, you will hear God comparing himself to a shepherd.  A shepherd would do many things to care for his sheep.  If God is the shepherd, can anyone tell me who they think the sheep might be?  <US!>  Listen closely to this reading for ways that a shepherd takes care of his sheep.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <let the children discuss>  A shepherd leads his sheep to good places, takes care of their injuries, helps the ones who are not strong.  Who does those things for us?  <God – but also many people like parents!>  Sometimes God works through other people to take care of us. Sometimes God works through YOU to help other people.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matthew 25:31-46)  In the beginning of today’s reading, we hear that God will judge us at the end of the world.  The reading compares us to sheep and goats.  When God speaks to the sheep, God tells them that they were saved because of certain things that did.  First of all, who do you think the sheep represent?  <two possible answers are: us, the people who went to heaven>  Second, let’s listen to the reading and hear what things God likes for us to do.

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 are some of the good things that the “saved” people did?  <fed the hungry, clothed the naked, gave comfort to the unhappy, etc.>  Why does God like for people to do these things?  <God says that whatever we do for each other, we do for him>  These things that are listed out in this reading are called the Works of Mercy.

Say:  God wants us always to remember to act like Jesus.  However we act toward each other is how we act toward God.  What does that mean to you?  <that if we are mean to somebody, it’s like being mean to God, if we do something nice, it’s loving God>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of the crown 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 crowns and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about God showing us how to live our lives.
Ask the older children to write one act of mercy they can do this week.

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 for the small light-colored cutouts used on the communal poster
Use this graphic as a pattern to make the banner symbol with gold foil and shiny 'jewels'.... and as the full-sized coloring page used in the Offertory

Parent Letter

Feast of Christ the King  A

Dear Parents,

            The children listened today to two of the same readings you did: Ezekiel 34:11-12, 14-16abce and Matthew 25:31-46.

Symbol: Crown

To reinforce at home:
            Jesus is God and leads us all!  In the first reading we heard from Ezekiel.  God uses the image of a shepherd to help the people understand how much he loves us.  Sheep were the livelihood of the people who lived in biblical times.  A family’s survival often rested on the safety and health of their sheep.  Shepherds were to care for the sheep at al costs. God cares for us in the same way.
            In Matthew, we heard about the judgment day when the good and the bad people will be separated from each other. The major point of the passage is to point out the things that the “saved” people had done: fed the hungry, clothed the naked, gave comfort to the sad.  These are called Works of Mercy. The Works having to do with taking care of physical needs of people are called Corporal Works of Mercy.  Those having to do with filling spiritual needs are called Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Activities to do at home:
            *Whatever we do for others, we do for Jesus!  Together with your child, think of someone who needs your help.
            *Feed the hungry!  Buy a food item to donate to your local food pantry.

            *Clothe the naked!  Go through your family’s clothing and pull out the ones you no longer need.  Donate them to a shelter for the homeless or abused.
            *Comfort the sorrowing!  Donate your old paperback books to a local nursing home or prison.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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