Sunday, September 5, 2021

24th Sunday Of Ordinary Time B

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
             Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time   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 children to add their names to the cutouts (crosses) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here .

Explain: Today is the Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (door)  And what did it symbolize? (that we must open our hearts and ourselves to Jesus)

Introduce symbol
Say: Today’s symbol is a cross. 

Ask:  What do you think of when you see a cross? <get some different answers - the cross symbolizes the choice Jesus made for us, the choice of becoming one of us, choosing to live a life like ours>
Explain:  Jesus did not have to die on the cross for us.  He did it to show how much He loves us.  He became one of us so that He would know exactly what it was like to live a life like ours.  It would have been much easier to stay happy and comfortable in heaven. 
Explain: Our poster says “Take up your cross and follow me.”
Ask:  What does that mean to you?  Do you have a cross?  This is something Jesus says in the Gospel today.  What could our crosses be?  <doing things we don’t want to do, bearing pain without fussing, Let the children make suggestions>

Introduce readings
***We are changing the format so that we will explain the readings, and then read them, one by one***

Light the candle and remind the children that it is time to hear the Word of God.

Say:  We have three readings today.

Say:  The first reading is from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures. (Isaiah 50: 4-8).    Isaiah was a prophet of the Lord, a man who tried to live like God wanted him to.  It was not always easy, but Isaiah believed in God and had faith that God would take care of him.  This story tells about how Isaiah felt.  While you are listening, think about the cross that Isaiah was picking up.

Have the reader read the first reading

Ask:  Did you think of any crosses that Isaiah picked up and carried for God?  <he was beaten and had his beard pulled, people made fun of him and spit on him>  How did Isaiah handle his cross?  <he had faith.... he refused to give up or be ashamed>

Say:  It is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
I will walk in the presence of the Lord.
Have the reader read the Responsorial Psalm.

Say:  The second reading is from the New Testament letter of James (James 2:14-18)  In today’s reading, James tells us what faith really means.  
Ask:  Have you ever said something but not really mean it?  Not a lie exactly, but maybe you answered yes to your parents when you didn’t really listen in the first place?  Like maybe you were watching tv and your parent said... did you clean up your room?  And you say yes without really thinking?
Explain:  James talks to us about real faith.  He tells us that saying we believe is not enough.  What else do you think we have to do?  <we have to act in the right way> 
Say:  There is an old saying that says:  “Actions speak louder than words”.  What does this mean?  <the way you act means more than what you actually say>  This is what James tells us about being Jesus’ followers.

Have the reader read the second reading

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Mark. (Mark 8:31-35).  It tells of a time when Jesus began to tell people what was going to happen to him soon.
Ask:  Do you remember what it was that was going to happen to Jesus?  <His death on the cross and resurrection three days later>  Remember that  everybody turned against Him.  They didn’t understand what He came to tell them.
Say:  In the Gospel, Mark tells how when Jesus began to talk about His death, His friend Peter, pulled Him aside and told Him to stop talking like that.  Jesus became angry with Peter and told him to get away because Peter didn’t understand either.  Jesus was sad that even His closest friends didn’t get it.
Explain:  What Jesus said to His disciples, and so to us, is:  If we want to be with Him, we will take up our crosses and follow Him.  During the Gospel today, let’s listen to what happened and what Jesus said and see if we can think of what Jesus is asking us to do.

Say: Now it’s time for today’s Gospel reading:
Alleluia!  Alleluia!    (hold up card with phrase on it)  Can you repeat this after me?

Have the reader begin.

Read: “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

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a cross) 
Explain: Color this symbol of the cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about following Jesus.  If you can do it, write one thing you can do this week that is a cross you can bear for Jesus. <not complaining about carrots for dinner, not fighting with your brother, not talking back to your parent>

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.

Use this symbol of a cross for all 3 purposes - small for the communal poster... mid-sized for the special banner symbol and full-sized black-lined for the Offertory coloring symbol

Parent Letter
Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

             Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard.

             Isaiah 50: 4-8
James 2:14-18
Mark 8:31-35
To reinforce at home:
“Take up your cross and follow me”  What a concept for a little child!  Jesus asks us to take our lives and live the way He told us.  This is not always easy.  It is not always easy to be nice to your siblings or classmates.  It is not always easy to tell the truth.  It is not always easy to take the time to love.
We spent a little time today trying to define what our own “crosses” might be and what we need to do about them.

Activities to do at home:

What would Jesus do?  During the week, when you and/or your child have a problem, ask each other this question.  Help your child reason like Jesus teaches us.

Make a large cross out of cardboard together and decorate it to remind yourselves to follow Jesus.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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