Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nov 9 Feast of the Lateran Basilica

Children’s Liturgy Instructions

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica   Nov 9

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 is the day we celebrate the feast of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.
Ask:  Does anyone remember what feast we celebrated last Sunday?  <the Feast of All Souls>  We remembered all of the people who have died.  What was the symbol?  <two hearts to show how much love we share with our loved ones> 

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today we are going to talk about a special church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Italy.  Our symbol is a church.
This church is the home church of our pope.  Does anyone know his name?  Usually when we think of the pope, we think of the huge church in the Vatican City, St. Peter’s.  The Lateran Basilica was built before St Peter’s and is known as the mother of all other churches.
Ask:  Does anyone know some of the early history of our church?  <let the children discuss>  Do you remember that it was against the law to be a Christian?  For about 300 years, people were arrested and killed just for believing in Jesus.  There were no churches.  Believers had to meet and worship in secret.  Usually they would go to one another’s homes.

Say: The first ruler to stop the killings and allow Christianity was named Constantine.  He gave a palace called the Lateran Palace to the pope and built a church to go with it. 

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: How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

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, from the book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 56:1, 6-7)  In this reading, Isaiah tells us what God told him about his special worship space.  Listen closely to see if you can hear what God said.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did God say that his house would be?  <a place of worship for all people, for everybody>  What is another word we use for God’s house?  <church>  So then that would mean that everybody should be welcome to come to church to worship God.

Ask:  We call a church God’s house.  Where else does God live?  <discuss – in our hearts>  Our hearts are also houses of God.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Say:  Next we’ll have the Gospel reading.  The Gospel selection today is from the book of Luke. (Luke 19:1-10).  In the Gospel today, Luke tells us a story about a man named Zaccheus.  Has anyone ever heard of this man before? <let the children answer>  Zaccheus was a rich man.  He collected taxes for the Romans.  No one liked men like Zaccheus because they cheated people out of their money.  Let’s hear what happened when Jesus met Zaccheus.

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 happened here?   <let the children retell the story>  Zaccheus became a better person because Jesus came to stay with him.  Remember that in those days, much like today, there were certain people that most people stayed away from.  Zaccheus was one of those people.  But Jesus showed us that he is for everyone, even those we don’t like very much.

Explain:  The Lateran Basilica, like our church, is for everyone.  We need to keep Jesus in our hearts to remember to love everyone.

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a church) 

Explain: Color this symbol and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about what being houses for Jesus.

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.

Participation Poster

Banner symbol and Offertory gift
Parent Letter 
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica  Nov 9

             Today your children heard a simplified version of similar readings that you heard: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 and Luke 19:1-10.
To reinforce at home:
Today we talked about two things. We reviewed some of the early history of the church, reminding the children about Christianity being illegal for several hundred years after Christ’s death and resurrection.  The building of St John Lateran in Rome by Emperor Constantine marked the end of persecution for Christians. 
We reminded the children that we are all temples for Jesus, that he lives in our hearts.   When Jesus comes into our hearts, we are changed – just as when the Lateran Basilica was built, the world was changed.

Activities to do at home:
*Find a picture of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.  Together with your child, write a prayer for the Pope and all Catholics in the world.

*Your child is a living temple of Jesus.  Together with your child think of ways that you can show others that you have Jesus in your heart.

*Pretend that you are a Christian in the early days of the church.  Where in your home would you invite your believer friends to share the Mass with you?  What would you change in your every day life? <wearing Christian jewelry, worshipping in a church, being very secretive to protect your friends, etc.>

Thank you for sharing your children

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