This We Believe. Activity

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1 Activity Read aloud to the group the activity description. Set the tone for the activity by sharing what you are thankful for. After they have had time to make their own lists, invite volunteers to share their responses. Lesson Plan This We Believe Ask a volunteer to read aloud the statement. Point out that by sharing in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, we become the Church, the Body of Christ on Earth. The priest says, In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You answer, Amen. These words say you believe that the Blessed Trinity God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is present with the people at Mass. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of our Christian faith and life. After making the Sign of the Cross, the priest greets the people, saying The Lord be with you. You respond with the rest of the people, And with your spirit. During the penitential rite, you praise God and thank him for his mercy, or forgiving love. You pray, Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy. Then you sing or pray the prayer, Glory to God. This is an ancient hymn of praise which begins with the words of the angels at the birth of Jesus. You gather at Mass to praise and thank God. Think about all that God has given you. Name three things for which you are thankful. Invite the young people to open their books to A Little Catechism. Choose one or more of the selections for reinforcement. In this Catechist Edition, you will find the catechism on pages Review with the group the Mass responses that are recited during the Introductory Rites on pages Read aloud the Gloria on page 77 and have everyone repeat each line after you Student page 17 31

2 Thanking God Invite the group to read silently the first paragraph. Then ask volunteers to explain the difference between thanks and praise. Tell them that we often thank and praise God at the same time, as we do at Eucharist, which means thanks and praise. As you read aloud the remainder of text, invite the young people to follow along silently and to read aloud the Mass responses when the assembly s responses appear. Write on the board two of the vocabulary terms: Liturgy of the Eucharist and Eucharistic Prayer. Invite volunteers to explain the two terms in their own words. Thanking God Invite a Priest Invite your parish priest to speak to the group about the Liturgy of the Eucharist and its importance in thanking and praising God as a Church community. Ask the priest to bring a Sacramentary with him and to read important sections of one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children. Allow the young people to ask appropriate questions. At every Eucharist, we remember the gift of creation and all other gifts God the Father has given us. The word Eucharist means thanks and praise. Thanks means to be grateful for all the gifts God has given us. Praise means to give God glory for being so loving and generous. The second part of Mass is called the Liturgy of the Eucharist. At the presentation of the gifts, bread and wine are brought to the altar. During this time in the Liturgy, the Church thanks God for his abundant gifts. The priest prepares the gift of bread on the altar. He says, Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. You respond, Blessed be God forever. After a similar prayer over the wine, the Eucharistic Prayer begins. It is the Church s great prayer of thanksgiving. The priest says, Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God. You say, It is right and just. The Eucharistic Prayer is the prayer of the whole Church. It is the prayer of the assembly. It is your prayer, too. In it, you thank God for the gift of his Son, Jesus. You also thank God for many other special gifts: 54 Student page 32 32

3 We Celebrate Read aloud the priest s invitation and invite the young people to respond by reading aloud the part of People. Encourage them to respond with this acclamation when they attend Mass. Lesson Plan This We Believe Explain that we don t only remember Jesus, we share in the gift of himself when we receive Holy Communion. Then present the text. The Eucharist is both a meal of remembering and a meal of sacrifice. The Eucharist is offered to make up for the sins of the living and the dead and to receive spiritual blessings from God. During the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest says what Jesus said at the Last Supper. The priest blesses the bread and says, This is my Body. He then takes the cup of wine and says, This is my Blood. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ. This part of the Eucharistic prayer is called the consecration. To consecrate means to make something holy, to set it aside exclusively for God. The words of consecration at Mass remind you of the loving sacrifice Jesus made. You respond by saying, We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again. This response of faith is called the Memorial Acclamation. Write a thank-you note to Jesus thanking him for what he did at the Last Supper. The Eucharist remembers the sacrifice of Jesus and makes it present. The bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ. Invite the young people to open their books to A Little Catechism. Choose one or more of the selections for reinforcement. In this Catechist Edition, you will find the catechism on pages Review the Mass responses that are recited during the Eucharistic Prayer on page Encourage the young people to memorize the answers to Important Questions 3 and 4 on page Student page 41 67

4 Name Sharing a Holy Meal The Communion Rite at Mass has several parts. Label each part with a number to put it in the correct order. Start with 1. The Blood of Christ. Amen. Let us offer each other the sign of peace. Time for meditation and prayer. Our Father, who art in heaven... The Body of Christ. Amen. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world... Use these words to complete the following Bible passages: bread goodness hunger life thirst 1. Taste and see the of the Lord. (Psalm 34:1) 2. I am the of. Whoever comes to me will never, and whoever believes in me will never. (John 6:35) What do you think these Bible passages mean? Write your thoughts here. Copyright RCL Benziger 83

5 This We Believe Ask the young people to read the text aloud together. Emphasize that in addition to attending Mass, participating in listening to God s Word, and receiving Christ in the Eucharist we must go back to our everyday lives and live out Eucharist. Lesson Plan Activity Invite the young people to look carefully at the photographs on these two pupil pages. Then ask volunteers to share their ideas as to how each child is serving others. Your Mission The mission you receive at Mass occurs after Communion, when the priest gives the final blessing. He says, May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You and everyone assembled make the Sign of the Cross and say, Amen. Then the priest says, Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life. You answer, Thanks be to God. The Mass is over, but the effects of the Eucharist continue through your words, actions, and attitudes. Jesus is with you every day during the week. He helps you love and serve everyone you meet. The Mass sends us out to love and serve others. Invite the young people to open their books to A Little Catechism. Choose one or more of the selections for reinforcement. In this Catechist Edition, you will find the catechism on pages Review the Mass responses that are recited during the Concluding Rite on page Encourage the young people to memorize the answer to Important Question 6 on page 72. Look at the pictures on these two pages. Tell how each person is acting to love and serve the Lord. 57 Student page 57 91

6 Your Mission Mystagogy is about mission. The young people remember and reflect not just so they better understand Eucharist, but so they go forth and live Eucharist. Eucharist leads us to mission, and mystagogy helps us to decide what we are going to do. After first reflecting and then understanding the meaning, the third step is to go forth in mission. These questions will help the young people decide how they will better live the Eucharist. Help them to give concrete, specific responses. Having one concrete thing that they will actually do is better than a list of ten things that they will forget all about. Your Mission Remembering Through Music Playing the music that the young people sang and heard at their First Communion. This can help them get back into the spirit of the celebration. Play recordings of the songs recorded at your parish or have the young people sing them together. You can also have the music play softly in the background during the meditation sessions. The Eucharist gives you strength to go out and do the work of Jesus. The priest sends you forth in mission to tell others the Good News. He says at the end of Mass, Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. How will you go forth to love and serve the Lord? How has your First Communion made you a better follower of Jesus? 104 Student page 66 66

7 Celebrating Eucharist There are a variety of ways for younger children to review the order of the Mass. Write each Mass part on a separate index card and challenge the children to put them in the correct order. Have each child wear a sign naming a part of the Mass. Instruct the children to form a line in the correct order. Review on a regular basis the Mass responses and prayers that the children should know, such as the responses after the readings and the Memorial Acclamation. For the older children, review the parts of the Mass on a regular basis, asking them to explain what is happening The Celebration of the Eucharist When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table with the Apostles. He said to them, I have eagerly wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. I won t eat it again until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God. Then Jesus took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, which will be given for you. Do this in memory of me. In the same way, he took the cup after they had eaten. He said, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. From Luke 22:14-20 At Mass, followers of Jesus all around the world come to worship and praise God, and to remember the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper. They listen to and learn from the reading of God s Living Word. They remember and relive the great love of Jesus who gave up his life for all people. They share in that love by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. Finally, they go to their homes in peace, knowing that they are called to love and to serve others. Introductory Rites At the beginning of Mass, the People of God are gathered with Christ and with one another. We prepare to worship God. Entrance Procession We stand as the priest and other ministers process into the assembly. We join in singing an entrance song. Greeting Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. People: And with your spirit. 114 Student page 76 76

8 at each part. Ask the children to share what they feel as they praise and thank God during Mass. Talk about what the Eucharist means for their lives. Penitential Act We praise God for his mercy. Priest: Lord, have mercy. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: Christ, have mercy. People: Christ, have mercy. Priest: Lord, have mercy. People: Lord, have mercy. Gloria On most Sundays we pray the Gloria, a hymn of praise. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for you great glory, we praise you for your glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. Opening Prayer We observe a moment of silence and lift up our hearts and minds to God. The priest leads us in prayer. Priest: Let us pray Reviewing the Mass Construct a large, colorful box, and label it We Know Our Mass Parts. Place strips of colored paper inside, each bearing the name of a part of the Mass, printed in large letters. Whenever it is time to review the parts of the Mass, select one child to pick a slip from the box and read it to the class. Ask for a volunteer to explain what happens at that point in the Mass. Then do an activity that will help the children understand and internalize its meaning. Activities might include art projects, such as depicting that point in the Mass in a drawing, or practicing a liturgical act, such as receiving Holy Communion. 77 Student page

9 Prayers of Petition Many children who pray prayers of petition request specific outcomes from God. This is not surprising, as many adults do the same. If their team does not win a game or their parents learn that they failed a test, children may be disappointed and feel that God did not hear and answer their prayers. Encourage the children to request God s help and guidance instead, or to request being strengthened in a virtue such as patience or faith. Liturgy of the Word We listen to the Word of God. First Reading This reading is taken from the Old Testament or, during the Easter season, from the Acts of the Apostles. At the end of the reading the reader says: Reader: The Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. Responsorial Psalm The cantor leads us in singing a psalm. Second Reading The second reading is taken from the letters in the New Testament or from the Acts of the Apostles. At the end of the reading the reader says: Reader: The Word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. Alleluia or Gospel Acclamation As we sing the Alleluia we show reverence for Jesus, the Word of God. We stand to show that we believe Jesus is with us in the Gospel. During Lent we do not sing the Alleluia. We sing a different Scripture verse from the Gospel reading. Gospel Priest or deacon: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit. Priest or deacon: A reading from the Gospel according to (name of the Gospel writer). People: Glory to you, Lord. Priest or deacon (at the end of the Gospel): The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. Homily The priest or deacon helps the community to understand and live the Scripture that has been proclaimed. Profession of Faith We stand and profess our faith. We pray the Nicene Creed. (See page 89) When we pray the creed we are saying what we believe. Universal Prayer We pray for the needs of the Church, for public leaders, for the salvation of the world, and for the needs of people. After each petition we might respond: People: Lord, hear our prayer. 116 Student page 78 78

10 Liturgy of the Eucharist We give thanks and praise. Preparation of the Altar and Gifts We sit as the gifts of bread and wine are brought up and the altar is prepared. The priest lifts up the bread and says: Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. People: Blessed be God forever. The priest lifts up the chalice of wine and prays: Priest: Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink. People: Blessed be God for ever. Priest: Pray brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. We stand to say the following prayer. People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church. Prayer over the Gifts The priest says a prayer over the gifts. Eucharistic Prayer The priest invites us to give thanks and praise. Priest: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit. Priest: Lift up your hearts. People: We lift them up to the Lord. Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. People: It is right and just. After the priest says the preface, a prayer that gives a special reason for praising God, we join in saying or singing the acclamation. All: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. The Holy, Holy, Holy is followed by a prayer asking that the power of Holy Spirit might come upon the gifts and make them holy, that is, become the Body and Blood of Christ, and that those who receive these gifts might be transformed into Christ. 79 Student page

11 Memorizing Prayers Children may wonder why we memorize prayers. They have learned that prayer is conversation with God, and may not understand how memorized or ritual prayers fit in. Point out to the children that in times of extreme stress or emotion for example, when we are sad or scared it helps to recite a memorized prayer. We may be too confused to put our thoughts into an original prayer, but the prayers we know by heart will provide a way to ask God for help. At the consecration the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of the priest. Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine that we receive at Communion. After the consecration, we pray or sing the memorial acclamation. Priest or deacon: The mystery of faith. People: We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again. The priest prays for the Church and for the living and the dead and that one day we will live in heaven. The doxology concludes the Eucharistic prayer. Priest: Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. The Eucharistic prayer ends with a great Amen, a so be it or a yes to all of the Eucharistic prayers that we make our own. Communion Rite The Lord s Prayer As we prepare ourselves to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord, we are invited to say the Lord s Prayer. (See page 88) Sign of Peace We pray for peace and unity for the Church and the whole world. Priest or deacon: The peace of the Lord be with you always. People: And with your spirit. Priest or deacon: Let us offer each other the sign of peace. Breaking of the Bread At the Last Supper, Jesus broke the bread and gave it to his disciples. The priest breaks the consecrated host so it can be shared. While he is breaking the bread, we say or sing: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. 118 Student page 80 80

12 Communion The priest raises the consecrated bread and proclaims: Priest: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. People: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. The priest receives Holy Communion. We process up the aisle to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Priest: The Body of Christ. We receive the consecrated host in our hand or on our tongue. Priest: The Blood of Christ. We take a sip from the cup Prayer after Communion We stand as the priest leads us in prayer. Priest: Let us pray. Concluding Rite Priest: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit. Blessing Priest: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Dismissal At the conclusion of Mass we are sent out to help others as Jesus did. Priest or deacon: Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. The priest kisses the altar as a sign of reverence because the table is holy and sacred to the action of the assembly gathered. He and the other ministers process out of the church while we sing a concluding hymn. Sharing Joy with God Inviting God to be part of your fun times is a greater opportunity for prayer than most adults imagine. Studies have shown that children laugh far more frequently than adults. Show the children a picture of Jesus smiling. Encourage the children to share joyful moments with God. Make a list of happy times when the children especially want God to be present. Hang this list in a prominent place for all to see. 81 Student page

13 Lesson Plan We Pray The We Pray section of A Little Catechism includes formal Catholic prayers that every baptized Catholic should commit to heart as he or she grows and develops. Sign of the Cross Go over the hand motions of this prayer. Explain that Catholics begin and end most prayers with the Sign of the Cross, and that the three Persons we name make up the Blessed Trinity. The Lord s Prayer Use this prayer frequently; the children should know it by heart by the last session. Explain that Jesus himself taught this prayer to his followers. Hail Mary Explain that the first part of the prayer is the angel Gabriel s greeting to Mary. The second part of the prayer asks Mary to pray for us. Glory Be to the Father This doxology is a frequent element of liturgical prayer, in praise of the Trinity. It also occurs in the Rosary. We Pray Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Involving the Senses Remember to involve the senses and multiple learning styles as you pray and teach the children about prayer. Play soft music as a background for contemplative prayer. Use scented candles or incense as part of your prayer rituals. Incorporate gestures whenever appropriate, including solemn processions and forming a prayer circle. Display the children s artwork or reproductions of religious art in your prayer circle, or decorate it with symbols of the season or reminders of the lesson. Act of Contrition O my God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with the help of your grace, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, dear God, forgive me. Amen. Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Glory Be to the Father Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen. Lord s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen Student page 88 2 B _B5204_TE_r6.indd 126 3/25/11 2:43:27 PM 6/2/11 2:54:07 PM B

14 Lesson Plan Nicene Creed This creed states the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church and is the creed used at Mass. Like the Apostles Creed, it is easier to learn if it is broken into parts and memorized piece by piece. Act of Contrition Encourage the children to memorize the Act of Contrition. Discuss with them what it means to avoid whatever leads me to sin, including peer group pressure and everyday temptations. I Confess (Confiteor) Explain to the children that at the beginning of every Mass we pray a prayer of sorrow, such as this prayer. By acknowledging our sins and God s forgiveness and mercy, we can more worthily celebrate the Eucharist. The Nicene Creed I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Carrying the Rosary He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. Encourage the children to carry a rosary with them and to pray it. For those who do not have rosaries, you might provide them with one. You can get inexpensive plastic rosaries at Catholic bookstores and religious-goods stores. Note that praying the rosary involves several prayers that the children are learning, including the Lord s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. I Confess (Confiteor) I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary, ever-virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. 89 Student page /25/11 2:43:27 PM B _B5204_TE_r6.indd 127 3/25/11 2:43:53 PM 6/2/11 2:54:21 PM

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