Sunday, May 7, 2023

6th Sunday of Easter A

6th Sunday of Easter 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.

Ask:  This is the 6th Sunday in the Easter season.  Can anyone tell me what the next feast we celebrate is?  <the feast of the Ascension>  On the feast of the Ascension, we celebrate the fact that Jesus went back to heaven.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week?  <show the symbol of a person>  We talked about asking for help from others and from God.  We talked about how important other people are to our lives and how important prayer is.

Say:  Does anyone remember what else our church needs?  <each other, the Mass and the Eucharist, forgiveness and love>  If we can keep building with these things, we will come close to building what Jesus wants for us!

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today our symbol is a dove.  Does anyone remember what a dove might stand for?  <let the children respond>  It stand today for the Holy Spirit.

Say:  Jesus promised that he would send an advocate to be with us after he left earth.  Advocate is a big word.  Can anyone tell me what it means?  <an advocate is someone who stands up for or defends someone else.>

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

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 Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 8: 5-8, 14-17)  This is a story about St. Philip in Samaria.  Does anyone remember anything about the people who lived in Samaria?  The people were called Samaritans.  <probably someone will recall the story of the good Samaritan>  When Jesus lived on earth, very few people liked the Samaritans.  No one would talk to them or be nice to them or even get near them.

Ask:  Do you know anyone like that now?  That others are afraid to be with?  <let the children respond – possibilities are: the elderly, people from other countries, other faith traditions, etc.>  In this reading, we hear about something that happened in Samaria.  Pretend that you are a child in Jerusalem and you are listening to what happened.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask: Did you hear what happened?  <the Holy Spirit came to the people in Samaria>  this reading reminds us that the Holy Spirit is available for anyone who believes in Jesus – even people who are not exactly like us, even people we might be afraid of.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. John.  (John 14:15-21).  St. John tells us about Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to us.  He promised that he would not leave us here alone.  Let’s listen to see if we can hear who Jesus said he was going to send to us.

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:  What happened?  <let the children retell what they heard>  What was the promise that Jesus made?  <that when he returned to his father, he would send the Holy Spirit to us>  What else do we need to build our faith community?  <the Holy Spirit>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a dove so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a dove).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to make time to listen to the Holy Spirit.
Explain: Color this symbol of 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 Holy Spirit being here with us all the time..

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.

Use this dove in a small size for the poster symbol and a medium size for the banner symbol

This graphic is used for the large black line coloring page used for the Offertory

Parent Letter

6th Sunday of Easter  A

Dear Parents,

             Today is the 6th Sunday in the Easter season.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17 and John 14:15-21.

Symbol: dove

To reinforce at home:
In the Acts of the Apostles today we hear about a surprising group of people who received the Holy Spirit, the Samaritans.  Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to give us the strength and wisdom to carry on his work… but imagine how surprised the Jewish people were to hear that the despised Samaritans also received the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has been promised to all believers.
In the Gospel we are reminded that the world neither recognizes nor values the Holy Spirit.  When we chase after the things the world values, like money or the most possessions, it is hard to her or appreciate the Holy Spirit.  We are encouraged to continue living the way Jesus taught us anyway with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Activities to do at home:

*Watch television commercials together with your child.  Find some things in the commercials that emphasize the qualities of our world that do NOT reflect Jesus’ message (some examples?  The messages in the commercials – you will be happy if you buy a bigger car, you have to have this new toy in order to find happiness, etc.)
*Pray together!  Find a quiet time together to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom in making a difficult choice.  When your child has a decision to make, remind them that the Holy Spirit can help them make it.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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