Sunday, June 4, 2023

Feast of Christ's Body and Blood A

Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood  Cycle A

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 

Ask: Today we have another feast!  It is the Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood.  Why do you think we celebrate Christ’s Body and Blood?  Why is it important?  <discuss> Christ’s Body and Blood are gifts that Jesus began to give to us at the last Supper and finished after he rose from the dead.  We also call it the Eucharist.  We share the Eucharist together to remind us that we are all united.

Explain:  Next week, we start the liturgical or church season of Ordinary Time.  Does anyone remember what color is associated with Ordinary Time?  <green>  If you watch closely, you will see that Father’s vestments will be mostly green!

Ask:  Does anyone remember what Last Sunday was?  <show the symbol of the three hearts>  It was the Feast of the Holy Trinity.  What is the Holy Trinity? <the representation of three persons in one God>  What else did we talk about?  <the great love that God has for us>

Introduce symbol:
 Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up symbol> is a chalice and host. What is a chalice and a host?  These are the items we use at Mass that become or hold Christ’s Body and Blood.  The chalice is the cup and the host is the bread.

Explain:  There are two main parts of the Mass.  Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist.  Both parts are very important.  You are sharing Liturgy of the Word here together at the same time that your parents are sharing it right in the main church.  We are all doing the very same things.  We are all hearing the Word of God selected for this Sunday and learning how to apply it to our lives.

Say:  Liturgy of the Eucharist is the next important part that we will share together beginning with the moment we walk back into the church.  We walk back in during a part of the Mass called the Offertory.  When you put your symbol in the basket, you offer your days’ work, your learning, to God on the altar.  Then you join your family for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what happens during the Liturgy of the Eucharist?  <the bread and wine become Christ’s Body and Blood>  Is that hard to believe?  <absolutely!>  But we know that is true because Jesus told us in the Gospel.

Explain:  When you go back today, listen closely to Father.  Do you remember what he says when he lifts up the bread?  <this is my body>  Where else did we hear this?  <in the Gospel about the Last Supper, Jesus said it>  And Jesus also said, “Do this in remembrance of me”.  So, he tells us absolutely that the bread becomes his body and that the wine becomes his blood.  And he tells s to do this together too, just like he did.

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, Jerusalem.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce the 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:  The first reading today is from the Old Testament book called Deuteronomy.  (Deut 8:2-3, 14b-16a).  IN this reading, Moses is talking to the people of Israel.  They are tired of wandering in the desert.  They have forgotten how horrible it was when they were slaves in Egypt.  Moses reminds them of all the things that God did for them.  Pretend that you are an Israelite.  You are aggravated at being in the desert so long.  And you are upset with Moses!  See if you can hear him tell about the things God did to help you.

Have the reader read the reading.

Ask:  What did he remind you?  <that God gave you manna to eat when you were hungry, that he led you safely through the desert, that he gave you water out of a rock>  Wow!  Moses also told you why God did all this.  Did you hear why?  <so that you would depend on God and trust him>

Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Have the reader read the psalm.

Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book written by St. John.  (John 6:51-58)  This reading is about a time when Jesus tried to tell the people that they had to eat his flesh in order to live forever.  The crowd did not understand.  We know that when we share Holy Communion (or the Eucharist), we become one with Jesus and one with each other.  What a great idea!  Think how close you are to God in that moment!  Pretend you are a person in the crowd who came to listen to Jesus.  See if you can understand what he was saying about his body and blood.
Say:  Now we will get ready to read the Gospel.  Please stand and say: 
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Read the Gospel.

 Ask:  If you were a person in the crowd, what do you think? <it sounds crazy – discuss>  We like to be very close to the person we love.  He said that we would be one with him and he would be one with us.  How does that make you feel?  Can you get any closer physically?

Hand out the large Offertory symbols (chalice and host) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (chalices) 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 the promises God made to us and how they are fulfilled by Jesus.  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 for the small poster cut-outs.  Cut them out of a light-colored paper

Use this graphic for both the banner symbol and the Offertory gift.  The banner symbol could be made from a shiny gold paper with a white or bread-colored host... the Offertory symbol is a full-sized coloring sheet.

Parent Letter
Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood  Cycle A

              Today is the Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard:  Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a and John 6:51-58.

Symbol:  Chalice and Host

To reinforce at home:
Today we discussed the two main parts of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  We reminded the children that the bread and wine used at Mass actually become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  How do we know?  Because the Gospel tells us.  When Jesus spoke in parables, the Gospel writers told us.  But when Jesus was quoted, he didn’t speak in symbols.  He spoke exactly.  He told the Apostles at the last Supper, “This is my Body.”  And he told them to “Do this remembrance of me.”  Each time we attend Mass, we follow Jesus’ command.
In our readings today we hear how God wants us to trust him, to depend on him.  In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites how much God has done for them.  He reminds them how they should trust God.  In the Gospel, St. John tells us about the time Jesus explained to the people about why they must share his body and blood.

Activities to do at Home:

*With your child, make a list of things God has done for you and your family.  Talk about how you can give God your problems and ask him to handle them.

*During a meal with your family, talk about how eating food brings nourishment and strength to your body.  Help your child understand how their meal becomes muscle and bone and energy.

*Have a family celebration this week!  Experience how sharing food together makes you feel closer to each other.

Thank you for sharing your children!

No comments: