Sunday, October 15, 2023

29th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

            Say:  Today is the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a cake.  We talked about the life that God wants for all of us.  We discussed that he asks us all to join him but we don’t always say YES!

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is a number 1.  What does it mean to win first place?  <to get the highest score, to be first out of all the players>  What does it mean “to be Number 1”?  <to be the best>  Today we are going to talk about who should be Number 1 in our lives.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Give the Lord glory and honor.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
            Ask:  Why would we want to give glory and honor to the Lord?  <because he made us and all the earth, because God is the strongest> God is AMAZING!  We praise people who do important things.  Sometimes we give them lots of money and we give them our time.  God is that important, too.

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 Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 45:4-6).  In the selection from the prophet Isaiah, God is talking to a man named Cyrus.  God did some wonderful things for Cyrus.  God is telling Cyrus (and us!) why we should praise God.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Did you hear any reason why Cyrus should praise God?  <God helped him conquer other nations, God helped him remove other kings from power, God made Cyrus strong>  Why should we praise God?  <let the children respond – Because God helps us to be strong, God gives us people to love us and food to east, God made the world for us, God sent Jesus for us>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            Give the Lord glory and honor.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 22:15-21)  During Jesus’ lifetime, Jews were waiting for the Messiah, a king to make things perfect for them.  Many Jews expected the Messiah to be a great warrior who would destroy all the Roman people who were mean to them.  These Jews had a really hard time believing that Jesus could possibly be the Messiah.  Why do you think that might be? <because Jesus taught about love, because Jesus was kind, because Jesus was born in a poor family, he was not a soldier> 

Many times while Jesus was talking and teaching, important Jews would try to trick him and get him to say something that would hurt him or prove him to be a liar.  In today’s reading from Matthew, some Jewish priests were trying to get Jesus to say something bad about the Roman ruler, who was called an Emperor.  Listen and see what Jesus says to them.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
            Please stand up.
            Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read:
            “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel          

Say:  What did Jesus tell the Jewish priests?  <to give to the Emperor what belongs to him and to give to God what belongs to God>  What do you think that means?  <discuss>  If Jesus said something bad about the Emperor, the priest would have had him put in jail.  Jesus knew this and wanted to remind them that God is Number 1.

Say:  God doesn’t cause wars or problems for us.  God is the reason that we are happy.  If we put God first, everything else will fall where it belongs.

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

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the Number 1 symbols and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about putting God first every day.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to put God first in their lives..

If there is time for discussion, try to ask questions and reinforce what has already been discussed.  This helps the children to remember what they learned.

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, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this small graphic for the communal poster

Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the full size Offertory gift

Parent Letter

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            Today is the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 45:4-6 and Matthew 22:15-21.

Symbol: Number 1

To reinforce at home:
            Isaiah tells a story about a king named Cyrus.  The passage we read is God telling Cyrus why Cyrus should praise him.  We too, learn to praise God for all the wonderful things God does for us. 
In Matthew, we hear the story of the priests who tried to trick Jesus into criticizing the Roman Emperor.  Jesus tells the priests to give the Emperor what is the Emperor’s and to give to God what is God’s. 
When God is Number 1 in our lives, all of our other priorities and obligations fall where they belong.
Activities to do at home:
            *Make a poster with 10 reasons why we should praise God and hang it in your child’s bedroom.
*Pray about it!  Together with your child, make up a prayer to say each morning this week to help remind you who is Number 1 in your lives..

Thank you for sharing your children!

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