Sunday, November 19, 2023

1st Sunday Advent Cycle B

1st Sunday of Advent Cycle B

Welcome children to their worship space.

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

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Ask: Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent.  Did anyone notice anything different about the church today?  <use of the color purple, advent wreath, etc.>  We are starting a new season and a new year in our church.  The season is called Advent.  Can anyone tell me anything about Advent?  <discuss> 
Explain:  Advent is a time when we prepare our hearts and our lives for something very special.  Does anyone know what the special thing is?  <Jesus!>  Which feast is at the end of Advent?  <Christmas>

Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol for last Sunday was?  <a crown>  And what did it represent?  It represented Jesus, our King. 

Introduce symbol

Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a heart.   What does a heart make you think of? <LOVE! >  Our hearts are in the center of our bodies.  We have to have hearts to live.  We talk about our hearts like they hold important emotions (like love).  We want the love of Jesus in our hearts.

Ask:  Today we are going to talk about waiting.  Have you ever had to wait for something?  <let the children share experiences>  How did it feel?  Was it hard to wait?  What did you do while you waited?

Explain:  Advent is a time when we wait to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  We also remember the next time that Jesus will come back to us – at the end of the world.  We have to get our hearts ready to receive Jesus.  We will talk about some ways to prepare for Jesus’ coming.

Say:  Let’s look at the poster we will make today.  What does it say? <Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today, a psalm of praise.

Ask:  What does it mean “to have peace while we wait for Jesus”?  <to be calm, to be happy, not to get to upset that we have to wait>

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 first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthian people. (1 Cor 1:3-9) In this reading, St Paul talks about how grateful he is that Jesus came to earth to be with us.  He talks about how God will take care of us until Jesus returns to earth.  Pretend that you are a child who lived in the city of Corinth.  Listen and think about how St Paul’s letter makes you feel.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: What did you hear?  <discuss>

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to pray the words of praise nice and loud:
Give peace, O Lord, to those who wait for you.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Mark.  (Mark 13:33-37) In this reading, Jesus is talking to his disciples.  He compares his coming back to earth with another situation.  He compares it to a man leaving his house and putting his servants in charge who also doesn’t tell them when he is coming back.  Listen to Jesus’ words as if you were one of his disciples.  What do you think Jesus trying to tell the disciples?

Say:  Now let’s 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

Say:  What was Jesus trying to tell his disciples? <discuss – to be ready for his return>  What can we do to get ready for Jesus to be in our lives?  <be good to people, obey parents, do homework, pray more etc.>  These are things that we want to try to do during Advent.  We want to try to be closer to God by being the best people we know how to be. 

Hand out the poster cut-outs and Offertory symbols.

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (hearts) so that they can be glued onto the poster.
Explain: Color this symbol of the heart and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about preparing for Jesus’ coming.

Ask the older children to write down one thing they can do this week to be closer to God.

If there is time, review the lesson.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this heart graphic!  Small cut-outs in pink for the poster, mid-sized in red for the banner symbol, and large for the black & white coloring page Offertory gift

Parent Letter

1st Sunday Advent  B

Dear Parents,

Today is the First Sunday in Advent.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 and Mark 13:33-37.

Symbol:  Heart
To reinforce at home:

Today’s emphasis was on Advent.  We talked about the season of Advent, what is means and how it correlates to the time we spend in our lives waiting for Jesus’ return at the end of the world.

Our focus today from the readings was on how we are to prepare our hearts for Jesus while we wait for him.

Activities to do at home:

*Together with your child, set out your Advent wreath and light the first candle at dinner.  (If you don’t have an Advent wreath, you can make one by placing 4 candles in a circle!  Tie purple ribbons around 3 of them and a pink ribbon around 1.)

*Talk about things you and your child can do to live a better life and get closer to God.

*Pray together.  Choose a time each day this week to say a prayer thanking God for all the blessings you have received, most especially for the gift of each other.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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