Children’s Liturgy Instructions
1st Sunday of Advent (C)
Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask them to sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Remind them why we come together to hear the readings.
Ask: Did anybody notice anything different about the church today? <advent wreath>
Do you know what is special about today? <it is the first Sunday of Advent>
It is also the very first Sunday in our Church year. Our church year always begins on the first Sunday of Advent.
Advent is a time of waiting. What are we waiting for? <Christ’s coming>
How do we celebrate His coming? With what holiday? <Christmas - His birth> This is the “coming” that the people in the Old Testament readings were waiting for. We will hear a lot about how they waited in the next few weeks.
Are we waiting for anything? <yes > What? <Christ will come again at the end of the world>
Have you ever waited for anything special before? Like a visit from a relative? Or a party? What did you do while you waited? Just sit around? <no - we have to get ready> What kinds of things did you do? <clean house, cook, buy presents, plan some fun>
What kinds of things can we do to get ready for Jesus’ coming? <lead into doing good things for one another, extra chores, praying, buy presents for those who won’t get any, etc.>
We use the Advent wreath to mark the four Sundays of the Advent season. Purple is a color used to symbolize sorrow and seriousness. There are 3 purple candles that we use to show that we are seriously looking inside ourselves and working to make ourselves better people. On the third Sunday, we light a pink candle. Pink means joy - joy that the wait is almost over and that Jesus is almost here.
Introduce the symbol
Say: Here is our symbol for today (hold up symbol of a branch) Why do you think this might be a good symbol for today’s celebration? <the children might bring up “the vine and branches” which is a good connection - of how we are all part of the church>
Explain: God’s people have a long history of waiting for the coming of salvation. Many of the readings in the Old Testament, which we will hear during the next few weeks, tell of how the birth of Jesus was foretold over and over. Many times different prophets reminded the people to get ready for the coming of One who would save them.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that “a shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse and a branch out of his roots” A branch symbolizes newness out of unhappiness and discouragement. Can you see why a branch would be appropriate today as we begin to prepare for a new life?
Attach the symbol to the banner.
Explain: Our first reading is from the Old Testament from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 33:14-16). It repeats a promise that God made long ago, long before Jesus was born. Let’s listen closely and see if you can hear what that promise was.
Say: Now we will have the first reading (light the purple candle)
Have the first reading
Ask: So, did you hear what the promise was? <that God would send someone to take care of the Hebrew people.> Do you know who that someone was? <Jesus> The Hebrew people waited for thousands of years for Jesus. Now we wait for Him to come again at the end of the world.
Say: Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm. Your part will be to say:
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (hold up poster)
Have reader read the psalm
Say: Then we will be ready to hear the Gospel. It comes from the book of Luke (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36) and tells about what Jesus told His friends about the end of the world. Pretend that you are one of Jesus’ disciples and see if you can understand what He is telling you.
Say: Now let’s stand up so that we can hear the Gospel.
Read: Read the Gospel
Discuss: Wow! What do you think? How would you have felt if you had heard Jesus yourself? Would you believe Him?
Explain: The message for us is to try and be the best people we can be - just like a few weeks ago, we talked about being shining stars.
Hand out the small poster symbols so that the children can write their names on them and glue them to the poster.
Hand out the Offertory symbols to color to show that you have learned about Advent and the coming of Christ.
Say: If you can, write one thing you can do in the next few weeks to make your heart ready for Jesus.
Explain: What are some things you can do to get ready? <help your little sister, run errands for your parent, clean your room without complaining, pray>
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 and hand-outs as they leave.
|Use this LEAF graphic for small attendance poster - cut from light green paper|
|Use this BRANCH graphic for mid-sized banner symbol (in brown) and in black-line for the coloring sheet Offertory gift|
1st Sunday Advent C
Today is the First Sunday in Advent. The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-28, 34-36.
To reinforce at home:
We discussed the season of Advent and what it means to Christians. Advent is the season in which we prepare for the COMING of Jesus. As a society we focus on the BIRTH of Jesus.. but we need to remember and teach our children that Jesus will come back to the world one day. We need to remember to get ready for that day!
Today’s reading from Isaiah remind us that Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise God made long ago. Jews waited for Jesus for many years. Luke’s Gospel reading reminds us that Jesus promised to come again!
Activities to do at home:
*Spend some time with your child planning the next 4 weeks. How will you family spend the season of Advent? Will you have a prayer time each day? Will you be saving money to give to a needy family? Do you have a tradition of anonymous good works? Do you have special celebrations and foods that you enjoy during this time?
*If you haven’t already done it, get out your Advent wreath and set it up. (today’s candle is purple)
*Establish a new Advent tradition that helps bring Jesus’ coming alive in your home.
* Do you have a plant available with a new shoot or branch? Children think concretely. Show the new branch to your child to help them understand how Jesus could be a “shoot from the stump of Jesse”.
Thank you for sharing your children!