• Dec 17, 2017 3rd Sunday Advent B

    3rd Sunday Advent Cycle B

    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:  This the 3rd Sunday in Advent.  Did anyone notice anything different in the church today?  <the pink candle in the Advent wreath>  Why do you think we light a pink candle today? <discuss>  The pink candle stands for joy.  Purple is a serious color – to remind us to be good and work hard to be closer to God. Pink is a happy color.  We use it today on the 3rd Sunday of Advent to show that the waiting is almost over.  Jesus’ birthday is almost here!

    Ask:  Last week’s symbol was a footprint.  Does anyone remember what we talked about?  <’the path to Jesus’>  We talked again about waiting for Jesus and what we have to do to ‘stay on the path’ to him.  We talked things we can do to get closer to God. 

    Introduce symbol
    Say:   Today’s symbol is a scallop shell.  Can anyone tell me what the scallop shell symbolizes?  <let the children answer>  The scallop shell symbolizes two things:  baptism and John the Baptist.   

    Say:  We talked a little bit about John the Baptist last week.  Does anyone remember anything about John? <he was Jesus’ cousin, he ate grasshoppers & wore animal skins, he lived in the desert – and he told everyone that Jesus was coming to save the world> 

    Ask:  Last week, we also heard from another prophet who lived many years before John.  Does anyone remember who that was?  <Isaiah>  How was Isaiah like John?  <they both talked about the coming of the Messiah to save the world>

    Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <My soul rejoices in 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.

    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. (Isa 61:1-2) Isaiah tells the people (and us!) that God sent him to tell others about God.  The Israelites who listened to Isaiah were not happy.  Many were slaves and had to do what others told them to do.  They often did not have enough to eat.  Pretend you are an Israelite and listen to the words of Isaiah. See how they make you feel.

    Have the reader read the first reading.

    Ask:  How did Isaiah’s words make you feel?  <discuss>  What did you hear that was important to you?

    Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
    My soul rejoices in the Lord.

    Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of the Apostle John.  (John 1:19-28).  When John the Baptist talked to the people and baptized them, many people followed him.  There had been many prophets before John (like Isaiah).  The Israelites had been waiting a long time for the Lord to come to save them.  So many people liked John that many of them thought he might be the one they were waiting for.  In this reading, some of them ask John if he is the Messiah.  Listen to what he tells them.

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

    Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

    Read:  Read the Gospel

    Ask:  Did you hear what John said? <let the children retell the reading>  Was John the one the people had been waiting for?  <NO – Jesus is coming very soon!>

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

    Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a scallop shell).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to celebrate that Jesus will soon be here.
    Explain: Color this symbol of the shell and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about John the Baptist.

    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 scallop shell graphic for all 3 symbols, small for the communal poster, medium for the banner symbol and large for the Offertory gift

    Parent Letter
    3rd Sunday Advent  B

    Dear parents

                 Today is the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard: Isaiah 61:1-2; John 1:19-28.

    Symbol:  Scallop Shell

    To reinforce at Home:

    The scallop shell symbolizes two things: the Sacrament of Baptism and John the Baptist.  Today we explored the relationship between the two prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist.  The prophets help us remember that Jesus is coming.

    We also talked about the celebration today, that Advent is almost over, Jesus is almost here!  This is the joyful Sunday in Advent marked by the pink candle in your Advent wreath.

    Activities to do at Home:
    * Jesus is coming!  Choose a quiet prayer time together each day to ask God to show you what your job is for that day.

    *Share Jesus’ love!  With your child, think of a person who might be lonely and go together to do something for that person.  You cold run small errands, do some light housework, or perhaps just drop in to share some cookies.
    *Celebrate!  Light the pink candle in prayer and do something special for dinner – like a cake – to celebrate that the long wait is almost over.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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