• June 24, 2018 Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist

    Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

    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 children to add their names to the cutouts (people) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here .


    Explain: Today is the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist.  Does anyone remember who John the Baptist was? <Jesus’ cousin>  He preached just before Jesus did, telling the people that Jesus was coming.
    Ask:  Does anyone remember the symbol for last week?  <host and chalice>  Why?  What did it mean?  <it represented Christ’s Body and Blood that he shared with us and told us to share with each other>

    Introduce symbol

    Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a shell.   If you see pictures of John the Baptist, they often show him using a scallop shell to hold the water he baptized with.  A scallop shell is usually used to represent John the Baptist.

    Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <I praise you for I am wonderfully made.>  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

    Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

    Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament, from the book of Jeremiah the prophet. (Jer 1:4-8)  This reading tells us about when God called Jeremiah and what Jeremiah’s response was.

    Have the reader read the first reading.

    Ask: What did Jeremiah say when God called him?  <that he was too young>  What did God say then? <that he knew all about Jeremiah and that he had chosen him to be God’s messenger>

    Explain:  God knows everything that we worry about.  When he asks us to do something, he already knows how it will all turn out.  He wants us to trust him.
    Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
    I praise you for I am wonderfully made.

    Say:  Today’s Gospel reading is taken from the book of Luke (Lk 1:5-17)  It is the story of John’s father, Zechariah.  Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were very old and had never had children before John.  Can you remember another couple from the Old Testament that were very old when they had a son?  <lead the children to guess Abraham & Sarah if you can>   

    Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel.  Please stand up.
    Say together: Alleluia, Alleluia.

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

    Read:  Read the Gospel

    Ask: How did Zechariah find out about his son? <an angel appeared to him and told him>  Did you hear what John’s job would be?  <to be a prophet like Isaiah and prepare people for the coming of Jesus>

    Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a shell). 
    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 graphic for all 3 symbol needs

    Parent Letter

    Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

    Dear Parents,

                 Today is the Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist.  The children listened to the same readings you did: Jeremiah 1:4-8  and  Luke 1:5-17

    To reinforce at home:
    Today’s readings talked about the call of a prophet.  In Jeremiah, God calls Jeremiah to tell people about him and Jeremiah worries that he is too young.  Here we learn that God has already taken our weaknesses into account when he asks for our help.
    In Luke we hear about how an angel visited Zechariah, John’s father, to tell him about how he and wife would have a child and who that child would become.
    Activities to do at home:
    Together with your child, read again in the Bible or other retelling, about the circumstances surrounding John’s birth.  Help your child remember (or learn) that Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin.

    Share with your child a time when you had to do something that you felt unqualified to do.  Help them to understand that sometimes we are asked to do things that appear impossible but turn out fine anyway.  Pray together for the courage to follow God’s plan.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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