Feast of the Baptism of Jesus Cycle A
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 Feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ. And it is also the last Sunday in the Christmas season. Advent ended on Christmas Day—and then there are 3 Sundays in the Christmas season: the Feast of the Holy Family, the Feast of Epiphany, and today, the Baptism of Jesus. Next week, we go back to Ordinary Time.
Ask: Does anyone remember what the symbol for last week was? <hold up the symbol of the globe> And what did it mean? What were the readings about last eek? <the readings told us that Jesus came to earth for all of us, not just a select few. We are all God’s children.>
Say: Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a shell with a dove. Who has any idea what these two symbols might mean? The shell? (symbolizes Baptism and is also a symbol for john the Baptist) How about the dove? (both the Holy Spirit and peace) As we go along, see if you know why these symbols were chosen for today.
Say: Let’s look at the poster we will make to day. What does it say? <The Lord will bless his people with peace> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today, a psalm of praise.
Ask: Can anyone tell me what the word ‘peace’ means? <calmness, no fighting> Why is it a blessing? <discuss> Along with ‘no fighting’, forgiveness is a sign of peace. The Sacrament of Baptism brings forgiveness of sins with it. What other sacrament forgives sins? <Reconciliation>
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 Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 42:1-2, 4, 6-7) This reading is spoken from the Lord’s point of view. His first line is: “Here is my servant!” Listen to this reading to find out what the Lord says about this servant.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: What did you hear? <discuss> What did we learn about the servant in the reading. Who do you think the reading was about? <the children will probably answer “Jesus”> Do you think the reading could be talking about you? Bout each one of us? In Baptism, we are called by God and strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do God’s works on earth!
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke. (Luke 3:15-16; 21-22). This is Luke’s version of the Baptism of Jesus Christ, the feast we celebrate today. It is also one of the few readings in the Bible where the Holy Trinity appears all together. Does anyone remember what the Trinity is? <the three persons in one God> Listen and find the ways that the holy Trinity is present in this reading.
Say: Now we will 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
Ask: Did you discover the forms that the Trinity assumed? <let the children respond—the Trinity is present in Jesus the man, the dove for the Holy Spirit and the Voice of God the Father>
Ask: Why is this reading important? <let the children respond> There are many very important things happening here, but we’ll mention just a few: the teaching of the Trinity is apparent in this reading, as is the basis for our sacrament of Baptism.
Also: Who was the most important prophet at this time in history? Who baptized Jesus? <his cousin, John the Baptist> By this act, John declares to all his followers that Jesus is the Messiah that they have been waiting for. This is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry!
Hand out the poster cut-outs and Offertory symbols.
Ask the children to add their names to the cutouts (shells) so that they can be glued onto the poster.
Explain: Color this symbol of the shell with a dove and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about the Baptism of Jesus.
If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.
Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.
The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ A
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ. The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22.
Symbol: shell with a dove
To reinforce at home:
Our focus today was the sacrament of Baptism. While Jesus lived among us, he showed us what we needed to do in our lives. Baptism is the very beginning of our recognition that we are called by God for a specific purpose.
We talked about the appearance of all 3 persons of the Trinity in the Gospel reading, Jesus the man, the Holy Spirit as a dove, and God the Father as a “voice from Heaven”.
And finally, we talked a little about the significance of Jesus submitting to baptism by his cousin, John. He only asked us to do what he himself was willing to do. As the leading Jewish prophet of the day, John’s support helped many others recognize Jesus as the messiah.
Activities to do at home:
*Tell your child when and where they were baptized. Put it on your calendar for a family celebration!
*What does it mean to be “called by God”? Talk with your child about the responsibilities of being a Catholic Christian.
Thank you for sharing your children!