Sunday, November 5, 2023

32nd Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Thirty-second 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 Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a Bible.  The Bible is the word of God saved for us over many, many years to help teach us what God wants us to know about how to live.  Listen to others and learn from them, but go back to the word of God to make your decisions about life.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Can anyone tell me what today’s symbol is? <hold up symbol and let children respond> Today’s symbol is an oil lamp, the kind used in biblical times.  What is an oil lamp for?  <to light the house at night>

            Say:  During Jesus’ lifetime, did anyone have flashlights?  <NO, there was no electricity>  The people used oil to keep lamps burning.  Jesus is our light.  Today we are going to talk about ways to keep the light of Jesus shining in our lives.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.>  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 Wisdom (Wisdom 6:12-16).  Can anyone tell me what the word “wisdom” means?  <let the children answer – they will probably answer using words like “smart” and “intelligent”>  Wisdom is more than being smart.  Wisdom is also the ability to use your intelligence to make good decisions. This reading from the book of Wisdom talks about the qualities of wisdom.  Listen to the reading and see if you can hear something special about Wisdom.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <shines brightly, easily seen by those who look for her, hurries to meet anyone who looks, think about wisdom and your worries will disappear, goes around searching for those who deserve her>

Say:  Does it seem that it would be hard to be wise?  <no>  What do you have to do to be wise?  <think about it all the time, think about how best to use your intelligence and wisdom will come to you>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matthew 25:1-13)  In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us a parable about the kingdom of heaven.  Have you ever had the power go out in your house?  <let the children share about storms, etc.>  Could you find a flashlight?  Did you have extra batteries for your flashlights?  The parable teaches us about being ready.  Listen to the parable and then we’ll talk about the story.

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:  Did you hear what happened?  <let the children retell the story>  What do you think the story means to us?  <that we must always think about God and be good>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a flame 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 oil lamp symbols and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about being wise and thinking about God.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to help them make good choices (to be wise!).

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 of a flame in light colors to make the communal poster

This oil lamp graphic can be used for both the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-size black & white coloring page for the Offertory gift

Parent Letter

Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Wisdom 6:12-16 and Matthew 25:1-13.

Symbol: Oil lamp

To reinforce at home:
            Wisdom is a big word that we talked about today. We hear in the book of Wisdom that if we look for wisdom, we will find it.  We talked about the difference between being smart and being wise, most especially that being wise means always thinking!
            The parable in today’s Gospel by St. Matthew, showed young maids who were responsible for lighting the way for the bridegroom.  Half of them forgot to bring extra oil so they had to go back to get some.  These poor unprepared girls missed the party!  Jesus tells us to always do our best to live a good life so that we will always be ready for heaven.
Activities to do at home:
            *Together with your child, think of one thing you can do this week to be closer to God.  You could pray together or show love to someone outside your immediate family by visiting or writing a note.

            *Get ready!  With your child, check your emergency light supplies.  If you don’t already have an established place to keep flashlights, matches, extra batteries, etc., set one up.  Make sure you have all the things you need to provide extra light when the power goes out.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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