Sunday, August 29, 2021

23rd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time   Cycle B

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 Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (the Bible)  And what did it symbolize? (to pay attention to what Jesus tells us)  Was the Bible open or closed? <open>  Does anyone know why it is open?  <we need to open the Bible so that we can read it!>

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

Ask: What can you tell me about doors? < lead to *they can open and shut*>

Explain:  Doorways lead to places.  When the door is closed, you can’t go through to whatever is on the other side.  You have to open that door.  You have to choose to open the door.
A telephone might be another example.  If someone calls you on the phone... the phone is ringing... what choices do you have?  <to either ignore it or pick it up>  If you ignore it, will you hear the message?  You have to make a choice to answer it in order to find out who the caller is and what they want.

Explain:  It is up to us to listen and to try to understand the message Jesus leaves for us.  Sometimes Jesus’ message is hard to understand and follow.  Each one of us has the choice to open our hearts and minds to Him.

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: Praise the Lord, my soul!  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings:

Say:  The first reading is from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures. (Isaiah 35:4-7).   Does anyone remember who Isaiah was?  <a prophet>  Listen closely to what the Lord told the prophet Isaiah to tell his people. 

Say: Now we will have the first reading:

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What do you think the reading means when it says “the blind shall see and the deaf shall hear”?  <discuss>  Could it mean that those who choose not to see or understand God will change their minds? <yes>

Say:  Now we will have the Responsorial Psalm. Your part will be to say:
Praise the Lord, my soul!

Have the reader read the psalm.
Say:  Today’s Gospel was taken from the New Testament book of Mark.  (Mark 7:31-37)
Mark tells us of a time when Jesus performed a miracle.  Can someone tell me what a miracle is?  <something wonderful that happens that we can’t really explain logically> 

Ask:  Does anyone remember what Jesus needed in order to perform a miracle?  <He needed someone to believe in Him - someone who had faith>   Does anyone know what the word “deaf” means?  <not able to hear> 

Explain:  A person who is deaf has no choice about what they don’t hear.  But like the example from a few moments ago - with the telephone - we are like the people in Jesus’ time.  We get to choose whether or not to hear the message.  If we don’t choose to hear, we become like the closed door or the unanswered phone.
 Say:  Let’s prepare for the reading of the Gospel
(hold up card with phrase on it)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

Ask: How did the man behave when he found that he could hear?  <He was happy, he rejoiced>  When we truly hear Jesus’ message, when we really understand, we are happy too.  We rejoice and Jesus rejoices with us.

Ask:  What are some of the miracles that Jesus performed while He was on earth?  <turning water into wine, multiplying the loaves and fishes, healing people>  What kinds of miracles do we hear about today?  <unexplained healing from illness, saved lives>  Don’t forget things we might not recognize – like when you ‘almost’ have a car accident but don’t, like when wonderful things happen in your life that you aren’t expecting.  Has anyone here had anything like that happen to them?  <discuss>  We need to remember that God is in our lives waiting to be recognized and heard.

Ask:  Does anyone remember the sign that we give one another to show that there is God’s peace between us?
Say:  Let’s give each other the sign of peace.

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (doors) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (doors) 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 listening for God in their lives.  Remind them to put their names on the back and that they can retrieve the symbols after Mass.

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 graphic of a rectangle for the communal attendance poster

Use this door graphic for the mid-size banner symbol

Use this door graphic for the Offertory coloring sheet gift

Parent Letter
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time B

             Today is the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard: Isaiah 35:4-7 and Mark 7:31-37

To Reinforce at Home:
In today’s Gospel, Jesus cured a deaf man.  The deaf man was then able to hear and to respond to what others said to him.  We are often like the deaf man and unable to hear or understand.  We are closed.  We are called to remain open to God’s wishes.  We talked about what it means to be open to God.

Activities to do at Home:
* Create a place in your home where family members can go to be very quiet, to pray and to think about what God wants them to do.  Removing yourself to a peaceful place to pray is a particularly good practice for when we are upset.

* Perform a random act of kindness this week.  Help your child think of someone they do not particularly like that they could do something nice for.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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