7th Sunday of Easter Cycle A
**Some dioceses replace the 7th Sunday with the Ascension celebration***
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: Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week? <show symbol of a dove> We talked about the promise Jesus made before he went back to heaven to be with his father. Can anyone tell me what that promise was? <that he would not leave us alone, he would send the Holy Spirit to be with us>
Say: Today our symbol is praying hands.
Ask: What is prayer? <talking to God> Why do we pray? <to ask God for help, to thank God, to tell God how good he is> Do you talk to your friends? <let the children respond> Why do you talk to your friends? <affirm the children'’ responses> Talking to your friends, telling them about your day, about your feelings, helps keep that friendship alive. It builds a relationship between you and your friend. It is the same way with God. To keep a relationship with God strong, you need to talk to him. To build our church, we need prayer.
Say: Let’s look at today’s poster. What does it say? <I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today. The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
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 1:12-14) We hear something special that the Apostles did together after Jesus rose from the dead. Listen closely and see if you hear what it was.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: Did you hear what it was? <they prayed together> Prayer is very important in building Jesus’ church on earth.
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. John. (John 17:6-9). St. John tells us about a time when Jesus prayed. One thing we should always remember about Jesus is that he never asks us to do anything that he is not willing to do. He always shows us how to be his followers. Let’s hear what he was praying for.
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> Who was Jesus praying for? <at this time, he was praying for those who believe in him> Prayer or talking to God is the only way that you can hear what God had to tell you. How will you ever hear the Holy Spirit if you don’t take the time to listen?
Hand out the poster cut-outs of a praying hand so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.
Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is praying hands). Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to add prayer to their lives.
Explain: Color this symbol of praying hands and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show what we have learned about how we need to pray to God every day.
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.
7th Sunday of Easter A
Today is the 7th Sunday in the Easter season. The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 1:12-14 and John 17:6-9.
Symbol: praying hands
To reinforce at home:
The readings today tell us about praying. They emphasize the importance of communicating with God, both by ourselves and with each other.
Activities to do at home:
*Create a prayer together with your child to use at bedtime.
*Choose a place in your home to create a small prayer table where your family can gather to pray. Place a Bible, a small candle and a crucifix there.
* In your daily activities, find a quick moment to stop and pray together. Good, quick prayers are praises (for the wonderful things God has done for you), thanks (for the good weather or things just going right), or requests (for special intentions). The more you pray together, the more comfortable it will become.
Thank you for sharing your children!