1 Solemnity of Pentecost Year A HOW TO USE THIS RESOURCE Dismissal Session The Dismissal Session is for catechumens only who are dismissed from worship before the Creed (RCIA #75.3). The Dismissal Session group may gather with parents and sponsors for the Catechetical Session at another time during the week. Catechetical Session When the Dismissal Session is immediately followed by the Catechetical Session, parents or other sponsors join the group after Eucharist. Baptized children preparing for confirmation and Eucharist may also join in the Catechetical Session (RCIA #254; Appendix III, #19). During Easter season the Catechetical Session may be used both for the ongoing catechumenate and as postbaptismal catechesis with neophytes. Choose options and adapt your language for your group s stage of faith. Select options and adapt the session to fit your time frame. Children s RCIA Resource CATECHIST S NOTES NOTES FOR THIS SUNDAY Sunday s readings Acts 2:1-11 Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, John 20:19-23 Doctrine correlations The church celebrates the memory of the Pentecost event, the beginning of the new age when Christ lives and acts within his church made manifest to the world by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (CCC #1076). On the day of Pentecost, ending the seven weeks of Easter, the Holy Spirit is fully revealed. Those who believe share in the communion of the Holy Spirit, whose coming never ceases (CCC # ). RCIA team notes To close the period of postbaptismal catechesis for the neophytes, some sort of celebration should be held near Pentecost Sunday (RCIA #249). Coordinate with the RCIA team to arrange the festivities. By Janet Miller. Copyright 2011, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved.
2 CATECHIST S NOTES Ensure that the children neophytes experience a full and joyful welcome into the community and enter into closer ties with the other faithful children (RCIA #246). GETTING READY FOR THE SESSION Items to prepare check-in sheet and nametag materials poster paper or white board, erasers, and erasable markers flowers, red cloth on table or counter space for prayer Bibles, one set to John 19 prayer on readers cards candle in a heat-proof holder or candles floating in a bowl, matches heavy-duty balloons Sharing Faith questions, copies of Faith At Home game boards, dice, markers, Easter Season Challenge flashcards (from the session for Seventh Sunday of Easter), scratch paper, and pencils Gathering Prayer Ritual Set a prayer space with a symbol of new life, such as flowers. Consider using floating candles to represent the waters of baptism and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Display words for responses on a large sheet or the board. Print the five readers parts for the prayer adapted from the Veni, Sancte Spiritus sequence on separate cards numbered in order. Note: Collect and save the prayer cards for use next week. Singing option Use music from your faith community resources. The suggestion is a guide. Bring songbooks and music in a player. Building Community Arrange space to play. Snack option Send a reminder to the sponsor providing the snack this week. Option for Neophytes Prepare information about sessions and summer activities for children in the parish. Plan to introduce the children neophytes to partners in faith who will accompany them and introduce them at children s functions. Sharing Faith groups Put the Scripture citation with the questions on cards for group leaders. Crossing the Ages Activity option: Easter Season Games On heavy paper, make copies of the Fifty Days to Pentecost game board found on the Faith At Home page. For each game, bring a die and markers, such as buttons. Make sets of the Easter Season Challenge cards on the Faith at Home page for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Plan to have groups of four play together and alternate games. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 2
3 DISMISSAL SESSION GATHERING (15 MINUTES) Catechumens, having heard the Sunday proclamation of the word, are dismissed from the Mass. Greet the catechumens as they arrive. Have them check in and put on nametags. For anyone new, provide nametag materials. Distribute prayer cards for readers to practice for gathering prayer. GATHERING PRAYER RITUAL (adapted from the Veni, Sancte Spiritus sequence) All stand around the prayer focal point with the words for All displayed. ( ) Light the candle. Hold it high. Leader: All: Christ is risen, Alleluia. Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia. Alleluia. Reader 1: Come, Holy Spirit, come. Shine forth from heaven. Reader 2: Come, Father of the poor. Come, shining Spirit. Reader 3: Light our hearts. Comfort us. Reader 4: Holy Spirit, come to us. Come, breath of God. Reader 5: Renew and strengthen your people. Holy Spirit, come to us. All: Amen. Alleluia. Invite the members when you lift a hand to respond with Lord, send out your Spirit. Renew the face of the earth. Prayerfully say each of the following verses inspired by Psalm 104, and call for the response by lifting a hand. Bless the Lord, O my soul! My God, you are great indeed. (response) May God s glory endure forever. May all we do be pleasing to God. (response) Send out your Spirit, O God. Recreate us and renew the face of the earth. (response) Song Suggestion: Give Your Gifts, from Give Your Gifts, Melody Book, GIA Publications, Inc. Extinguish the candle flame. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 3
4 CONNECTING WITH ONE ANOTHER Invite everyone to sit in a circle. Introduce anyone new. Invite sharing about their experiences with the Faith at Home page from the previous session. BUILDING COMMUNITY Balloon Bounce: Give balloons to members. Have them blow up and tie off the balloons. Challenge everyone to work cooperatively to keep all the balloons bouncing in the air. When a balloon hits the floor, it is out of the contest. When all the balloons are down, pop them and clean up. Settle the group into a circle. Ask: How might balloons remind us of the Holy Spirit? (Possible responses are that they are filled with breath, they move among us, they move with the wind, they are peaceful but cause excitement, they can be offered as a sign of forgiveness.) RECALLING THE WORD (10 MINUTES) Have everyone sit with Bibles in a circle. Use the following as a guide. For information, refer to Insight for the Catechist and the reflections on the Faith At Home page. Help everyone find Acts 2:1-11. Mention that the place names in the reading were territories where Jewish people lived during Jesus time. How does the Holy Spirit come to the disciples? (Affirm responses.) What happens when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? I wonder, how are you beginning to experience the Holy Spirit? I wonder, what will it be like for you when the Holy Spirit comes to you during your baptism? Have the catechumens look over 1 Corinthians 12:3-13. Mention: What kinds of gifts and talents does the Spirit give so that Christians can help others? I wonder, what gifts and talents does the Spirit seem to be giving each of you? Why is it important to treat everyone with respect as an equal? Like you, members of the first church in the city of Corinth were just learning how to be Christian. They discovered that the one Spirit of God is manifested in many ways and gives people different gifts but for the good of everyone. In the one body of Christ, there are not any special groups. Everyone is to be treated equally without considering ethnic backgrounds, sexual differences, or social or economic status. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 4
5 Have everyone find John 20: When did you hear this Gospel before? (Affirm responses. Emphasize the week after Easter.) What do you remember from that previous discussion? What do you notice this week? Summarize the members comments and insights. Conclude: At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples who were gathered in a room, and the church began. Remember, in those days there were not cell phones to snap a photo or social networking to share their stories. For years after the coming of the Holy Spirit, many disciples told about their experiences. For some, the coming of the Spirit was powerful, like wind and fire. For others, the coming of the Spirit brought a sense of peace and forgiveness for those who had crucified Jesus. PRAYING INTERCESSIONS (5 MINUTES) The Holy Spirit empowers us through prayer, so we petition God. When I lift my hand, please respond, Sweet Spirit of God, hear our prayer. That the Holy Spirit may come on all catechumens preparing for baptism, we pray. (Lift a hand for the response.) That followers of Jesus will treat everyone equally and without prejudice, we pray. (Lift a hand for the response.) That Pentecost celebrations will enflame believers to offer peace and forgiveness, we pray. (Lift a hand for the response.) Invite the members to contribute intercessions. Then conclude: We praise you, merciful God, who sends the Spirit of peace and reconciliation. Hear our prayers, those we have spoken and those we hold in our hearts. In your time, you redeemed your people through the sacrifice of our passover, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever and ever. All: Amen. Option: Break for a snack or social time. If the group disperses now and meets for catechesis later in the week, collect nametags. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 5
6 CATECHETICAL SESSION The Catechetical Session follows the Dismissal Session either immediately or at another time during the week. The Catechetical Session is designed for catechumens and parents or sponsors to grow in faith together. The status of the catechumens never is to be confused with that of baptized children preparing for confirmation or Eucharist, who may join in this catechesis as supportive companions (RCIA, Appendix III, #19). Note: For mystagogy catechesis, include the Option for Neophytes and adjust the time schedule. GATHERING FOR CATECHESIS (5 MINUTES) Welcome the catechumens, parents, sponsors, and any baptized children arriving from liturgy. Have them check in and put on nametags. If this Catechetical Session does not immediately follow the Dismissal Session, allow an additional ten minutes and begin with the Gathering segment in the Dismissal Session. PRAYING Invite everyone to stand around the prayer focal point. Use the ( ) prayer from the Gathering Prayer Ritual in the Dismissal Session or another prayer, or sing a gathering song from liturgy. OPTION FOR NEOPHYTES (10 MINUTES) Gather the neophytes in a circle. Encourage each one to respond to the questions. Others may ask a clarifying question or affirm but should not interrupt. After everyone responds to the first question, ask the next. Note: Help alleviate any anxieties some children may have about their changed status as they move into new groups within the faith community. Remember the night of your baptism. How did you feel as the fire was lit to begin the celebration of your initiation? How does your experience of receiving the Holy Spirit compare to the apostles experience of receiving the Holy Spirit in a driving wind with tongues as of fire? What new faith experiences have you been having? Give the neophytes information about sessions and summer activities for children in the parish. Introduce the children to partners in faith who will accompany them and introduce them at parish functions. SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST, YEAR A Acts 2:1-11 Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, John 20:19-23 Insight for the Catechist Luke s version of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles and John s Gospel version show the communal and individual dimensions of the Spirit. While disciples are gathered together, the Spirit comes. In Saint Luke s Pentecost, the inrushing Spirit comes on each disciple as if tongues of fire. The disciples become enflamed with passion and cannot keep quiet. In fact, they are so inspired that they are able to speak in a variety of foreign languages in order to proclaim the mighty acts of God. In Saint John s Pentecost, Jesus conveys the Spirit by breathing on them. The disciples experience the peace of Christ while each one inhales the Spirit. Bearing divine Spirit, they are empowered to forgive sins. Saint Paul explains that while there is one Spirit for the one body, manifestations of this Spirit vary for the benefit of the common good. By Janet Miller. Illustrations by Jim Burrows. Copyright 2011, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved. 6
7 ENGAGING THE WORD (15 MINUTES) After seven weeks of celebrating Easter, we celebrate Pentecost. This week s Gospel reading is so important that we hear it twice during Easter season. As I read the Gospel story, imagine that we are the group of Jesus first disciples. Imagine trembling in fear because Jesus was crucified. Imagine hiding in a locked room, hoping we will not be next. Listen and imagine being there. Proclaim John 20: What happens so that the disciple s feelings change from fear to joy? How does it feel to be offered peace? How does it feel to receive the Holy Spirit? SHARING FAITH (15 MINUTES) Form groups of four to six mixed-age groups with Bibles. If there are only a few participants, lead the discussion as a whole group. Print the questions on large paper or marker board, or distribute the questions on cards for an adult to lead. Circulate to offer support as needed. CONVERSING ABOUT JOHN 20:19-23 I wonder, why did Jesus pass on to the disciples the power to forgive sins? I wonder, why does the church celebrate the memory of Pentecost? I wonder, why do we say Pentecost is the beginning of the new age? I wonder, in what ways do you see Christ alive and the Holy Spirit acting within the church? Invite each person to comment on something he or she discovered. Conclude: When you are baptized, the Holy Spirit will come on you in a new way. When you are confirmed, the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be sealed within you. Then, as a member of Christ s church, you will share in communion at the eucharistic table, and the Holy Spirit will never stop coming. CARRYING OUT THE WORD (5 MINUTES) SUMMING UP Invite everyone to stand around the prayer focal point. Encourage them to offer insights from this week s session. Summarize: Our Pentecost celebration officially concludes the Easter season. We continue to celebrate a little Easter every Sunday of the year when we gather to worship the one true God and rejoice in Christ. The Holy Spirit will come to you more and more as you become more deeply involved in Christ s church and mission. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 7
8 CLOSING PRAYER Invite everyone to respond Come, Holy Spirit. Alleluia. Explain that the Easter season ends with a double Alleluia, the joyous acclamation of the Easter season. Holy Spirit, empower us. (response) Reach into the hearts of people. (response) Grace us with your gifts so that we may serve and glorify God. (response) Raise your hands in blessing over the group. Say: Go forth from this place breathing in the Spirit that is coming to you. And may the ever-living God bless us, (make the Sign of the Cross on yourself as a model for everyone) protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. All: Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia. Distribute the Faith at Home page. Collect the nametags. Crossing the Ages Activity (Optional activity: 20 minutes) Easter Season Games (Activity Accommodated to the Liturgical Year, RCIA #72.1) Depending on your schedule, do the activity with the members, parents, and sponsors. Assign small groups of four. For some groups, provide a Fifty Days to Pentecost game board from the Faith at Home page, one die, and markers (such as buttons). Provide other groups with the Easter Season Challenge game cards found in the Seventh Sunday of Easter session and scratch paper for scoring. Encourage all to play cooperatively. As they finish, reassign groups and play games as time allows. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A 8
9 Faith at Home Solemnity of Pentecost, Year A Remember Sunday s Word Acts 2:1-11 Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, John 20:19-23 At a convenient time for the family, gather around the dining table or in the living room. Silence all electronics. Place a Bible opened to John 20:19 in the center. Begin with a moment of quiet. REFLECTING ON ACTS 2:1-11 Before Christ ascended, he gave the apostles their mission. With Pentecost, Christ gives the power of the Holy Spirit. Rushing in as wind and appearing as flames, the Holy Spirit fills the disciples with amazing energy and abilities. This new church draws people of every language into one community. What attempts do we make to share with families whose primary language or social background differs from ours? REFLECTING ON 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3-13 Saint Paul reminds us that all who proclaim Jesus do so by the Holy Spirit, which is manifested in many different ways. All talents, given for the common good and to unite people of all cultures into the one Body of Christ, come from the one Spirit. What spiritual gifts do we see in the members of our family? Set out a variety of beverages and cups. Have a Drink of the Spirit tasting. Together decide how each beverage might represent drinking in the Spirit. For example, a sugared drink might represent energy, while a juice might represent healing power. REFLECTING ON JOHN 20:19-23 Again this week, we hear the risen Christ bid Peace to the disciples and convey the Holy Spirit. When Christ breathes on the gathered disciples, the church comes into being with the divine power of forgiving sins. When, recently, have we passed on peace and forgiveness? By Janet Miller. Illustrations by Jim Burrows. Copyright 2011, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved. Permission is given to reproduce this handout for family home use.
10 GAME: 50 DAYS TO PENTECOST Roll one die for each turn, and mark places with recycled buttons. Players who Receive the Holy Spirit continue to play by moving the marker that is furthest behind. Afterward share a fire-made snack, such as roasted marshmallows. Cool the snack by blowing, and reflect on the coming of the Holy Spirit. Friends on the Way - Pentecost, A TeamRCIA.com