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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Baptism

This is a photo of from my training. It is an example of what the baptism area can look like. I forgot to take a photo today!
The children seem to have spring fever! With the crazy snow and cold weather we've been having I can't blame them. Despite their extra enthusiasm this morning they really did a lot of work with the materials they've been learning about all year. At the end of the morning we gathered in the baptism area to begin talking about baptism. There are several lessons to help the children understand more about their baptism. 

Today's lesson began by reviewing some things we've been learning all year. We remembered our lesson from Advent when the prophet Isaiah said, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." The children know that the light is Jesus. We remembered hat he was born and his light came into the world (at that point I lit the Paschal candle). We know he walked all over the land of Israel and talked to his friends and all the people about God. We remembered that Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." We then recalled that Jesus was arrested, put on a cross and died. At this point, I snuffed out the candle.

We knew, however, that Jesus' light didn't stay out for long. The children could tell me that on Easter Sunday Jesus' body was no longer in the tomb but that he was alive again! I relit the candle. We then discussed the fact that Jesus shares his light with us. When we were baptized we received the light of Christ (I lit a little light from the Pascal candle). We carry that light with us always and share it with everyone we meet. We ended by singing 'This Little Light of Mine.'

I love this lesson for many reasons. One of the reasons is because it takes so many of the lessons that we have been learning all year and pulls them together to help the children understand the great mysteries of our faith in a beautiful way.

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What you can do: Get out photos from your child's baptism and look at them together. If you have their baptismal clothes or the candle they received, get those out, too and talk about the special day. Every year on your child's baptism anniversary have a celebration. Some people light their candle each year. This will help them remember just how special that day was.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Liturgy of Light


It was glorious to be back in the atrium with the children. They adjusted to our new room and were really interested in getting water from our new water dispenser now that we don't have a sink in the room. One of our three year olds stood guard by the spigot to help anyone who needed water!

It was hard to stop them from their work today but I was excited to share with them the Liturgy of Light. I told them we would be doing some of the same things that Fr. Leo does at the Easter Vigil. First I showed them our Paschal candle and asked what things they could see on it. They were eager to share everything! I explained that our candle is wonderful but that the one at church is really something to see. They loved hearing that it is taller than me!

Once we talked about the symbolism on the candle, I said a few prayers while touching the candle, just like is done outside at the Vigil Mass. We then gathered at the rear of the classroom, made the room very dark and I gave each child an unlit candle to carry. I then lit the Paschal candle and we processed to the Baptism area, stopping three times. Each time I said, "The Light of Christ" and the children responded, "Thanks be to God." When we settled at the table, I invited each child to come have his/her candle lit from the Paschal candle. I let each child hold the lit candle briefly (and safely) while I again said, "The Light of Christ" and they responded, "Thanks be to God." They then carefully placed their candle on the table around the Paschal candle. When each person had a turn our table was bright with light! We remembered the verse we learned at the beginning of the year, "Jesus said, I am the light of the world." 

Each child then had a turn to use the candle snuffer to snuff out one candle. It was quite an exciting day. 

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What you can do: When you are at Mass with your family, be sure to show your child the Paschal Candle!