• April 14, 2019 Passion Sunday C

    Passion  Sunday   Cycle C

    Welcome children to their worship space.

                Explain: Today is Passion Sunday.  Does anyone remember what we celebrate on Passion Sunday?  What happened to Jesus?  <he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, people treated him like a king>
    Ask:  What were the people waving?  <palms>  Does anyone know why they waved palm branches? 
    Explain:  When Jesus was alive, most people didn’t have flags to wave.  When there was a parade of any kind, they used palm branches.  We receive palm branches today to remind us that we are choosing to follow Jesus.
    Ask:  What do we do with these palms?  <take them home, braid them, display them behind crucifixes>  They are special blessed objects to help us think about Jesus.  We put them in a special place in our home where we can see them.  We treat them in a special manner because they are blessed.  To get rid of them, we have to burn them, not just throw them out.  Usually they are burned before next year’s Ash Wednesday.  The ashes that are used on Ash Wednesday are made of burned palms.
    Introduce symbol
    Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a cross with palms.  What – or who – does the cross remind us of?  <Jesus – or his crucifixion>  Why is it especially appropriate to think about this today?  <this Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – in which we celebrate the events that led up to the death and resurrection of Jesus>  This is the most important week in all of our church year because we are preparing to celebrate Easter – which is our most important feast. 

    Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? < My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.  This is something that Jesus said when he was hanging on the cross.  Do you think that God really abandoned Jesus?  Or is this proof that Jesus was really human too – and could feel the same things that we can feel?

    Introduce readings
    The Gospel is very long today and I will need some help reading it.  Several of you have copies of the Gospel so please share with each other.

    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 book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isa 50:6 –7)  Isaiah tells us about how he was hurt because he loved God and how God helped him to be strong.

    Ask:  Can you think of a time that you were unhappy and God helped you to be strong?

    Have the reader read the first reading.

    Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
    My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?.

    Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 23:1-49)  This Gospel is known as the Passion of our Lord.  It is the same story that you have acted out in the Stations of the Cross.  It is the story of how Jesus was betrayed and how he went to trial before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. It tells how Pontius Pilate did not want to try Jesus and sent him to the Jewish leader Herod.  Do you remember how jealous Herod was of Jesus?  How afraid he was that Jesus would be the king of the Jews instead of him?  This Gospel tells what Herod did to finally get rid of Jesus.  And we hear how Jesus traveled with his cross to the place where he was crucified.  We will read parts of this together.
    If you listen closely to the story, you will hear about the feasts we celebrate on Thursday and Friday of this special week.

    Say:  Now we will 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:  What feasts will we celebrate this week?  <Holy Thursday – where we commemorate the last supper & Good Friday – where we commemorate the death of Jesus>

    Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (crosses) 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.

    Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a cross with palms).
    Explain: Color this symbol of the cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about how Jesus was killed.

    If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

    Parent Letter
    Feast of the Passion  C

                Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Isaiah 50:6-7 and Luke 23:1-49
    To reinforce at home:
                The passion readings are difficult to hear, still more difficult to take part in yet are critical to our understanding of our faith.  Even the youngest child can have an appreciation of the tremendous gift Jesus gave us.

    Activities to do at home:

    *Read a child’s version of the Last Supper and crucifixion.

    *Attend as much of the Holy Week services together as your child can handle.  Help them participate in and understand their faith traditions.

    *Have a Seder meal together in your home.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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