• Mar 11, 2018 4th Sunday of Lent B

    4th Sunday Lent  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:  Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent.  Can anyone tell me what we have been learning about in Liturgy of the Word for Children in the last few weeks?  <promises>   

    Ask:  If we were talking about weather, what is the season right now?  <winter>  What is winter like?  <cold, snow, no leaves or flowers on trees>  Our hearts are like winter when we are not close to God.  During Lent we try to get closer and think about God more.  In our chapel we are doing something to show how hard we are trying to get close to God.  Does anyone remember what it is?  <using leaves on the posters>  Each Sunday in Lent, we add a few more new leaves to our chapel – to show how we are growing in God’s love.

     Introduce symbol

    Say:  This is the symbol for this week (hold up the symbol):  a heart with bright shiny rays behind it.. The rays symbolize God’s love.  There is a tiny cross in the middle to remind us of the greatest sign of God’s love.  Can anyone tell me what that sign might be?  <Jesus>

    Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <Remember your mercies, O 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:  The first reading today is taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:4-10).  Before we read, I want everyone to close your eyes for just a minute and think about darkness.  Think about some things that are hard to do in the dark. 

    Say:  Okay, now open your eyes.  What are some things that are hard to do in the dark?  <read a book, walk across a room, eat>

    Ask:  Can anyone tell me what SIN is?  <doing something on purpose that isn’t good, something that God would not want us to do>  SIN moves us away from the light of God’s love and into a darkness of fear and shame.

    Say:  Our first reading is from a letter that St Paul wrote.  He says that SIN is like death.  He says that God’s forgiveness is like coming to life again.  He reminds us that God is always merciful and can forgive any sin that we are sorry for.

    Have the reader read the first reading.

    Say:  How is SIN like being in the darkness?  <let the children respond with their thoughts>

    Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
    Remember your mercies, O Lord.

    Say:  Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the book of John (John 3:16-17).  Has anyone here ever used darkness for hiding?  Did you ever hide after you did something wrong?  In the Gospel reading today, we hear about a man named Nicodemus. He really wanted to hear what Jesus had to say but he was afraid that his friends would find out.  He met with Jesus at night.  He used darkness to hide because he was afraid.  Jesus’ message to him <and to us!> was about how much God loves all of us.

    Say:  Now we will 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: Did anyone hear why God sent Jesus to earth?  <not to condemn – but to save!>

    Hand out the poster cut-outs (leaves) for the children to put their names on.  Collect them to glue on the poster when they are finished.  Remind the children about how their worship space shows how much they are growing in knowledge about God’s promise to us.

    Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is the heart).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to stay away from sin.
    Explain: Color this symbol of the heart and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about hiding in the darkness of SIN.

    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.

    Cut small leaves out of light green paper for the attendance 'tree', the communal project.

    Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol (red for the heart and gold foil for the rays) and the full-size black & white Offertory symbols.

    Parent Letter

    Fourth Sunday Lent B

    Dear Parents,

                  Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:16-17.

    Symbol:  Heart with rays of light behind it

    To reinforce at home:
    Today we talked about what SIN is (doing something on purpose that you know is wrong).  We compared SIN to darkness and God’s FORGIVENESS to moving into the light of God’s love.  We stressed that God can forgive any sin if we are truly sorry.  We also reinforced the idea that the cross is the symbol of Jesus and that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to save us.

    Activities to do at home:
    *Come to your parish celebration of the Stations of the Cross

    *memorize John 3:16  “God loved the people of the world so much that he gave his only son.”

    * Get in touch with a relative who you haven’t heard from in a while.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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