Thursday, November 27, 2008

Advent Activites for Families

We are now in the season of Advent, when we prepare for Christmas. Below are some links to help you and your family remember the reason for the season.

Catechetical Resources has activities for all grade levels, including instructions for making Advent Wreaths, coloring sheets and study guides.

Sadlier, publisher of our We Believe religion series has Advent activities for all ages. has art projects, coloring sheets, games and even some recipes. They have more under lesson plans.

Catholic Advent is an old site and most of the links are bad, so skip them, but try the activities.

This site, filled with preschool activities, gives instructions for an Advent Wreath craft and lesson.

Here is another Advent Wreath craft, with prayers, and here are different directions for a traditional Advent Wreath.

Catholic Cuisine blog has recipes that help you celebrate the church liturgical year. See what they are cooking up for Advent.

Here is a beautiful Jesse Tree. It is the one my family and I are using this year.
Here are Advent prayers for children.

Family Advent activities.

Holy Heroes will send you an email every day with Advent Activities.

Don't forget the weekly mass readings. The publishers of the Faith First religion texts have weekly summaries, discussion topics and activities based on the readings. Sadlier has a similar site. Catholic has coloring pages, worksheets, lesson plans, and more for each week. Open Wednesday has a variety of activities as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What is in the Church

During our church tour we talked about many of the things we see every week. When we enter the church, we use Holy Water from the Baptismal Font to bless ourselves and to remember our baptism, when we became members of the Church and were freed from Original Sin.

Just inside the church are the votive candles. When we light one to pray for someone, we remember that Jesus is the Light of the World.

In the sanctuary we see the tabernacle where the consecrated hosts, Jesus' Body are kept. When we see the red candle lit it reminds us that Jesus is truly present in the Tabernacle. We genuflect to the tabernacle when we enter the church. God's word is read at the Ambo at mass. Father showed us the Book of the Gospels and the Lectionary too. The table where Father offers God bread and wine and where that bread and wine become Jesus' body and blood is called the Altar.

Our church has many things in it to remind us of Jesus and his friends. The crucifix reminds us of Jesus and how he died for us. We have statues of Jesus, Mary, Joesph and others. On the wall are the Stations of the Cross which remind us of how much Jesus loved us to suffer such an awful death for us.

When we go to church, we need a place to sit, and so we have pews.

Things We Use During Mass

During our church tour tonight, Fr. Michael took us into the sacristy and showed us the vestments and the vessels used during mass. Here are some of the things we saw. Under the colored vestments, Fr. wears an Alb, which is a white robe.
Over the Alb, Fr. wears a stole. Priests wear the stole around their neck as a sign of the priesthood. Deacons wear theirs like a sash, across their bodies. This stole is special to Fr. Michael because it was given to him by a priest friend who is now dead.

The colored vestment that shows us the season in the Church year is the chasuble. Since this one is white, it is for feasts.

Besides looking at the vestments, Father showed us the vessels used during mass. The Paten holds the big host that Father holds up during mass. The chalice holds the wine which becomes the Blood of Christ.

The Liturgical Year

Tonite Fr. Michael showed us the vestments and we talked about what vestments are worn during the different parts of the church year. The church year beings with Advent and during Advent, which is the season during which we prepare for Christmas, the priest wears violet or purple.
Following Advent is Christmas, which is a feast, so Father wears white, often trimmed with gold.
After the Christmas season is over (it's a season in the Church, not just a day) we enter Ordinary Time and Father wears green. Ordinary time is followed by Lent, when we go back to Purple, then red for Palm Sunday and Good Friday. He wears white for the Easter Season and then it is back to Green for Ordinary Time.

Chapter 6 Words to Remember

Advent: The first season in the Church year. We prepare for the birth of Christ. The priest wears purple.

Christmas: We celebrate that God became one of us to save us. The priest wears white.

Lent: We prepare for Easter. We pray for God's mercy and remember Jesus' life and death. The priest wears purple.

The Three Days or Tridium: The three days that celebrate the passing of Jesus from death to life. They are Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter

Holy Thursday: The day of the Last Supper when Jesus first turned bread and wine into His body and blood. The priest wears white.

Good Friday: The day Jesus died. The priest wears red.

Easter: Jesus rose from the dead. We celebrate for 40 days and the priest wears white.

Ordinary time. The longest season of the Church year. It has two parts. One is between Christmas and Lent and the other is after Easter, until Advent. The priest wears green.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Check out the Mass Links

Look on the sidebar on the right. You'll see a list of links to activities and reflections on the weekly mass readings. Check them out this week and every week!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chapter 5: The Early Church

We learned today about the early Church. First, Ms. Ruth read a story about St. Tarcisius. You can read about him here.We also learned about Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity. Here is more about them.
The final saint we studied today was St. Augustine.

Check how well you understand this lesson.

Words to Remember: Chapter 5

Acts of the Apostles: Book of the New Testament which tells the story of the work of the Apostles in the early Church.

Gospel: Means "Good News" The Gospels are the stories about Jesus.

Martyrs: Those who died for their faith.