Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nov 2 All Souls Day

Children’s Liturgy Instructions

Feast of All Souls  

*use the Weekday Children’s Lectionary – the readings are taken from the Common of the Dead

Welcome children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Explain: Today we celebrate the special Feast of All Souls..  Has anyone ever heard of that? <discuss) >  This is the day that we are reminded of those people who have died and are on their way to heaven.  Do you know anyone who has died?  <let the children tell you their experiences with death – many of which may have to do with pets.  Affirm the children’s love for those who have died.  The death of their pets is often the only connection they have with death and should be validated>

Introduce symbol
Say: Our symbol <hold up symbol - two hearts > represents us and the people we love who have died.

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: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>
Say:  When we talk about the Lord as our shepherd, it means that he leads us and takes care of us.

Introduce readings

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament, the book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 25:6a, 7-9)  This reading tells how God has power over death. Listen to what the prophet Isaiah tells us.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear Isaiah say about death?  <that God will destroy the power of death>

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

Say:  Now we’ll have the Gospel reading.  The Gospel selection today is from the book of St. John. (John 11:21-27).  Today we will hear the story of one of Jesus’ good friends named Lazarus.  Lazarus died and provided Jesus with the opportunity to perform a miracle.  Pretend that you are one of the people at Lazarus’ house.  You are very sad because he has died.  Then Jesus arrives.  Listen to what happened next.

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

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

All respond:  Lord, let your Word be in my mind <make cross on forehead>, on my lips <make cross on lips>, and in my heart <make cross on heart>

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What did Jesus do?  <raised Lazarus from the dead>  What did Jesus say about it?  <He said that he was the one who raises everyone from the dead>  What did that mean?  <it means that we will all be raised from the dead one day>  God will take care of us all and we will all be united with God one day.

Hand out the poster symbols to put their names on and Offertory symbols to color.  (The symbol is two hearts) 

Explain: Color this symbol of two hearts and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about Jesus raising us from the dead.

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.

Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Attendance poster
Banner symbol and Offertory gift

Parent Letter
Feast of All Souls  November 2
           Today your children heard readings that are similar to the readings that you heard.  Isaiah 25: 6a, 7-9 and John 11:21-27
To reinforce at home:
The Feast of All Souls specifically reminds us of those people we love who have died.  We remember that they are not gone – they, like us, will live forever in God.  We just can’t see them right now.
God is all powerful and has power even over death.
A small child’s understanding of death is very limited.  They may include their pets who have died when they talk about family members in heaven.  Do not discourage them from making this connection.  Including their beloved pets helps them understand the concepts of death and heaven.

Activities to do at home:

*Together with your child, create a picture of those family members who have died.   Draw them in heaven with God.

*Together with your child, write a special prayer for all those people who have died but have no one on earth to pray for them.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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