Sunday, May 28, 2023

June 4, 2023 Feast of the Holy Trinity A

Feast of the Holy Trinity  Cycle A

Welcome the children to their worship space.

 Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Introduce Sunday

             Explain:  Today is the feast of the Holy Trinity.  Can anyone tell me what the Trinity is?  <God in three persons>  Does that mean that we have three gods?  <No>  Our God is very special.  We believe that there are actually three persons in one God.
Discuss: What are the names of these three persons?  <we call them Father, Son and Holy Spirit>  Can anyone tell me something about each of these persons?  <the Father is the Creator, we hear a lot about the Father in the Old Testament, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is fully human, the Holy Spirit is here to guide us since Jesus is in heaven, etc.> 

Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol for last Sunday was?  <a dove>  And what did it represent?  It represented the Holy Spirit coming to be with us.  The Holy Spirit fulfilled the promise that Jesus made to us.  Jesus promised that he would not leave us to follow him alone.  He promised that we would have guidance, someone to help us.

Introduce symbol

Say:  Our symbol today is three interconnected hearts.  One symbol with three distinct parts.
Explain:  What does a heart make you think of?  <love>  And why three hearts together?  <for the Trinity>

Ask:  Today we are going to talk about the tremendous love that God has for us.

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:  Glory and praise forever.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce the 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 today is from the Old Testament book of Exodus.  (Exo 34:4b-6, 8-9).  This reading is about Moses.  It tells us that Moses went up to the mountaintop to talk to God.  Does anyone remember the name of the mountain where Moses talked to God?  <Mount Sinai>  Moses talks to God about “God’s people”.  Who is he talking about?  <the Israelites that he is leading out of Egypt>  If we look at these readings today, who do you think that “God’s people” are?  <US>  Moses represents all of us when he talks to God.  Let’s listen closely to hear two things: what God tells Moses and what Moses asks God.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <discuss>  What did God tell Moses?  <that he is a loving God>  And what did Moses ask of God?  <forgiveness>

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  Glory and praise forever.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of John.  (John 3:)  This reading tells us about a time that Jesus was talking to a man named Nicodemus.  He told Nicodemus something very special.  Pretend that you are Nicodemus and see if you understand what Jesus tells you.
Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say:  Alleluia, Alleluia.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  Did you already know this story?  <discuss>  What did Jesus tell Nicodemus?  <that God loved us so much that he sent his son to save us>  Do you think that this means that God has a lot of love for us?  <yes>

Ask:  Did you hear Jesus say that God did not send his son to condemn us?  Does anyone know what the word ‘condemn’ means?  <to judge and punish, to be mean to us, to tell us what bad people we are>  Did God send Jesus to condemn us?  <NO>  He sent Jesus to save us!

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (three inter-connected hearts) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (hearts) for the children to put their names on for the poster.

Remind the children that the large symbol is to be offered in the Offertory procession to show the congregation what they have learned about the Holy Trinity.  Remind them to put their names on the back and that they can retrieve the symbols after Mass.

Ask the older children to write down one thing that they can do this week to look for things in their lives that show God’s love for them.

Collect the smaller symbols to glue to the communal poster.  Remind the children to bring their parents back after Mass to see it.

While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.

Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers.

Use this heart to make the small light-colored cut-outs for the poster

Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the full-sized coloring page

Parent Letter

Feast of the Holy Trinity  Cycle A

Today is Holy Trinity Sunday.  The children listened to simplified versions of the same readings you did: Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9 and John 3:16.

Symbol:  3 hearts joined together

To reinforce at home:
Today we talked about the concept of the Trinity, three persons in one God.  This is a difficult concept for children.  We introduced the concept and made sure that the children understood that we do not have three gods – but that our God has three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Our focus today from the readings was the great love that our God has for us.  In Exodus, God meets Moses on the mountain and assures Moses that he loves all of us.  The Gospel reading from St. John recounts a time when Jesus spoke with Nicodemus.  He tells Nicodemus how very much God loves the world – enough to send his only son to save it!  He reminds Nicodemus (and us!) that God did not send his son to condemn the world.  It is important to remember that God always spends his time loving us – not condemning us!

Activities to do at home:
*Together with your child, look for the signs in your life of God’s great love for us.  (examples are sunny days, food to eat, loving family, etc.)

*Moses asked God for forgiveness.  Talk about how much love it takes to really forgive someone.  Make an appointment to go to Reconciliation this week with your child and experience God’s love for you.

*Pray together:  Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Thank you for sharing your children!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

May 28, 2023 Pentecost Sunday A

Pentecost Sunday 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:  This it!  The great feast Pentecost!  Does anyone remember what it is that we celebrate today? <the coming of the Holy Spirit>  Who did the Holy Spirit come to?  <at that time, the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles – now the Holy Spirit comes to each one of us>

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week?  <show symbol of the praying hands OR if your parish celebrated Ascension instead of 7th Sunday, the cross with globe>  Remind the children that they need to spend time in prayer alone and together with each other. 

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a Holy Spirit.
Ask:  What do you know about the Holy Spirit?  <let the children respond>  The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons in one God.  The Holy Spirit is often compared to the quality of wisdom.  Can anyone tell me what wisdom is?  <like being smart>  Part of wisdom is being smart, but the greatest part of wisdom is understanding what you know. 
Say:  Quite often we know a lot of things, but we still don’t know what to do with that knowledge.  Wisdom helps us figure it out.  The Holy Spirit brings us wisdom.

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

Ask:  Renew means to make new again.  How would the Holy Spirit do that?  <let the children respond>

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 again from the New Testament book of Acts of the Apostles. (Acts  2:1-11) In this reading we hear what happened to the Apostles on Pentecost.  They were all gathered again, probably in an upper room.  They were still probably trying to figure out how to get Jesus’ message out to the whole world.  They were probably still a little afraid of the soldiers.  Pretend like we are the Apostles, gathered to gether here, and see if we can understand what happened to them.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What happened to the Apostles?  <let the children share>  What did they see?  <tongues of fire upon each of their heads>  And then everyone who heard them could understand them – all in different languages.  When we pray to the Holy Spirit to help us do what God wants us to do, we receive the strength and the ability to do it.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. John.  (John 20:19-23). The Gospel reading today tells us how Jesus sent the Apostles out to spread his word among all people.  There is a Sacrament mentioned here too.  See if you can figure out what it is.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  Did anyone hear which Sacrament Jesus mentioned?  <Reconciliation>  He gave the Apostles the ability to forgive sins in Jesus’ name.

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 symbols to color. (The symbol is a Holt Spirit dove).  Ask the older children to write one they could ask the Holy Spirit to help them with this week.
Explain: Color this symbol of the dove and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about needing the Holy Spirit in our lives.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Make small cut-outs in light yellows and oranges for the communal poster

Use this dove symbol for the banner.  The dove is done in white over layers of yellow, orange & red

Use this dove graphic for the coloring sheet used in the Offertory

Parent Letter

The Feast of Pentecost A

Dear Parents,

              Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Your children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 2:1-11 and John 20:19-23.

Symbol: Holy Spirit

To reinforce at home:
The readings today tell us about the Holy Spirit coming to the Apostles and how then people of all nations were able to understand the Apostles speaking in their own languages.  The Holy Spirit was sent here by Jesus to be with us until he comes back again.  We talked about ways to recognize the Holy Spirit in your life and about the special gifts he gives us so that we can more ably do God’s will.

Activities to do at home:
*Celebrate!  Have a family party to celebrate the Holy Spirit.
*With your child, think of one special gift that the Holy Spirit brings each of you and how you can use it to glorify God.

Thank you for sharing your children!