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FROM OUR EDITORS—April 12 & 19, 2020 – Easter & 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

FROM OUR EDITORS—April 12 & 19, 2020 – Easter & 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

Jesus is risen! Alleluia! Today, Christians around the world celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who defeated death to give us eternal life with him.

This year, it seems hard to celebrate when the world is going through a tough trial and thousands of people are sick or dying. But our faith cannot be shaken, like John Burland says in his song Firm in the Faith: “We are built on the rock.” We know that Jesus is among us, especially during this time of uncertainty.

Let’s join the angels and saints in Heaven to give glory to the Risen Lord, who is bigger and stronger than any illness and who is with us until the end of time.

At the beginning of April, nearly 250 children from the French Federation of Pueri Cantores came together virtually for a recorded performance of Handel’s “Alleluia.” Find it here.

Looking for resources to help you and your children through this pandemic? This is a great time for families to be reminded of their important role—at all times, not only in this time of pandemic—as the domestic Church. Download a new coloring page here. Find a great collection of articles and activities from Catechist magazine here. Find resources from the USCCB and other Catholic partners to support prayer during these difficult days here.

Praying the Stations of the Cross isn’t only a Lenten practice. It’s a great prayer for all year round. You might find some comfort and help in connecting your own suffering to the suffering of our Lord Jesus with The Way of the Cross: A Prayer for Hope and Healing Amidst Global Pandemic. Download the prayer guide so you can pray along.

Here are some notes to help you prepare for this week’s lesson:

Seeds
Lesson Theme: Jesus is risen!

Parents can find and download the Seeds student lesson and Teaching Guide for this week here. Note that parents will need to enter the parish or school customer number. Check your communication from your child’s catechist, teacher, or religion administrator.

This Seeds Easter lesson builds on children’s appreciation of the beauty around them in nature and leads them to praise God for setting them in such a world of new spring life.

This Seeds lesson is for two Sundays. If your group meets on Easter, do the part of the lesson that has the Easter Gospel and the Easter Egg Hunt activity on page 4. On the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy), review the Gospel with Creative Drama and concentrate on the Signs of New Life activity on pages 2–3.

There is an Extending Activity for this lesson: “Snack” Find it here.

Promise
Lesson Theme: God raised Jesus to new life.

Parents can find and download the Promise student lesson and Teaching Guide for this week here. Note that parents will need to enter the parish or school customer number. Check your communication from your child’s catechist, teacher, or religion administrator.

This lesson includes the Gospels for Easter Sunday and the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy). We have also added the Gospel about Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:10–18) to serve as a bridge between the two Gospels.

If you meet twice during this time period, follow the lesson plan through Creative Drama in the first session. Begin the second session with Gospel Ritual and Gospel for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, then finish the activities. Use the Extending Activity “Church Visit” and the story coloring page for “The Easter Egg Hunt” as needed.

Our Easter Story Picture Show (pages 1–4) Cut the vertical lines in the children’s picture screens in advance of the lesson. You can do this with a scissors by folding the screen in half and then cutting. Another method is to use a utility knife. If you use a utility knife, be sure that the surface you’re cutting on is protected. Note that for this activity in the bilingual version of the student lesson, the children will need to join pages 4 and 1 using tape, so that page 4 is to the left and page 1 is to the right.

Good News
Lesson Theme: We celebrate the joy of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Parents can find and download the Good News student lesson and Teaching Guide for this week here. Note that parents will need to enter the parish or school customer number. Check your communication from your child’s catechist, teacher, or religion administrator.

This lesson includes the Gospels for Easter and the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy). We have also added the Gospel about Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:10–18) to serve as a bridge between the two Gospels.

If you meet twice during this time period, follow the lesson plan through the Know questions following the Easter Gospel in the first session. Begin the second session with the Gospel Ritual and Gospel for the 2nd Sunday of Easter and complete the activities that follow.

Do your best to work in the Works of Mercy section of the What the Church Believes and Teaches section of the lesson plan. It’s important to impress upon the children the significance of putting our belief in Jesus and his Resurrection into practical expressions of love for others.

The Easter candle you prepare for class can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. Since many parishes and schools do not allow open flames in their classrooms, your candle does not need to be made of wax. A cardboard tube from giftwrap may serve the purpose well. The cross and other symbols can be added with tape or tacks. Be sure to find a way to “light” your candle. You might make a flame from cardboard, felt, paper, or pipe cleaner. Figure out in advance how you will attach it to the candle. Plan to display and “light” the Easter candle every time your class meets during the Easter season.

Venture
Lesson Theme: Jesus rises from the dead.

Parents can find and download the Venture student lesson and Teaching Guide for this week here. Note that parents will need to enter the parish or school customer number. Check your communication from your child’s catechist, teacher, or religion administrator.

This Venture lesson covers two Sundays. It includes the Gospels for Easter and the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy). We have also added the Gospel about Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:10–18) to serve as a bridge between the two Gospels.

If you are teaching this lesson in two separate dates, devote one class period to the cover and both Gospels, which appear on pages 2–3. If your class meets during Easter week, do the cover activity first. Save the Acts of the Apostles booklet for the second week.

We recommend that you assemble a copy of the Witnesses Spread Jesus’ Good News booklet ahead of time to show the children how the pages go in order. The answers to the crossword activity in page 8 of the booklet are in the Teaching Guide.

Visions
Lesson Theme: Jesus rises from the dead.

Parents can find and download the Visions student lesson and Teaching Guide for this week here. Note that parents will need to enter the parish or school customer number. Check your communication from your child’s catechist, teacher, or religion administrator.

Note that this lesson covers two weeks. If your class does not meet one of these weeks, you may teach it as a regular weekly lesson and read the two Sunday Gospels. This lesson includes the Gospels for Easter and the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy). We have also added the Gospel about Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:10–18) to serve as a bridge between the two Gospels.

Be aware that this lesson includes a story about the tragic death of a friend and classmate. Be attentive to how this affects any of the children who’ve experienced a recent death of family, friend, or classmate.

The Closing Prayer directs you to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with your students. If possible, collect enough rosaries so that every student (or pair of students) has one. Print out the page from the link in the Teaching Guide or allow the students to bring up the link on their phones (then they can refer back to the link!).

DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 4 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.

Image credit: Elizabeth and Joseph McKibben

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Our Editors


David Dziena
Publisher

David Dziena is the Publisher of Pflaum Publishing Group. He has also served as Executive Editor and […]

Nicholle Check
Senior Editor

Nicholle Check, senior editor, joined Pflaum Publishing Group in 2014. Throughout her 25-year career in publishing […]

Joan McKamey
Project Editor

Joan McKamey, project editor, joined the Gospel Weeklies editorial team in September 2016. […]

Erika De Urquidi
Bilingual Editor

Erika De Urquidi, bilingual editor, joined Bayard, Inc. in July 2018. During her 15 years as a professional translator […]