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Lent has come to an end, and we celebrate Easter with joyful hearts! We again sing, “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!” (One just isn’t enough.) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important truth of the Catholic faith. It’s the crowning event of the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s suffering, Death, and Resurrection. It’s the promise that gives us hope and encouragement in our daily struggles. It reminds us that light follows darkness, spring follows winter, and that eternal life follows death. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Many schools and parish programs have spring break during Holy Week or the week following Easter. Parish programs that meet on Sundays usually don’t meet on Easter Sunday. For these reasons, the Gospel Weeklies lesson covers two Sundays—Easter Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter. If your school or parish is in session for both weeks, see the Teaching Guide for suggestions for using this one combined student lesson over the two weeks.
Every week in the GROW newsletter, you will find a helpful tip for teaching your Gospel Weeklies lesson, a reflection on the Sunday Gospel, and information about our online resources and seasonal activities. Here are tips for teaching the Gospel Weeklies lessons this week:
Lesson Theme: Jesus is risen.
For the folding activity on page 2, there are small numbers in the four corners indicating the order in which they should be unfolded as you read again the words of the rebus Easter proclamation.
During the doctrine section of the lesson (gold box in the Teaching Guide), we recommend that you go over as many (few) images on pages 26–27 of their Catechism handbooks as you can cover while the children are still engaged.
Lesson Theme: Jesus is risen!
Find a coloring page to accompany “An Easter Surprise” here.
For the “Alleluia Butterflies” activity (pages 3–4), you will need to supply a clothes hanger, dowel, ruler, pencil, or paint stirrer for each child. You will also need fishing line and scissors. Arranging for an aide to assist with this activity is a good idea. Note that the Teaching Guide offers options for how the children cut out the butterflies. Children who are less adept with scissors may leave the butterflies within the rectangle shapes. Those children who are more skilled with scissors may cut around the butterfly shapes.
Lesson Theme: God raised Jesus to new life.
Those who have the longer class sessions should plan for a nature walk as part of this lesson. The children will enjoy observing all the new life in nature. Plan for additional adults to accompany the class on this nature walk and get appropriate permission as needed.
You will need to supply drawing paper and crayons on which the children will draw a big Easter egg that includes a drawing of Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter morning.
Lesson Theme: Jesus rises from the dead.
Find out if there were any children being baptized at your parish’s Easter Vigil. Invite any of your students who were present at the Easter Vigil Mass to share what they saw and experienced.
Make sure the children understand that their Lenten commitments don’t have to end at Easter. Encourage them to continue these practices throughout the Easter season and beyond.
You can find a version of “O Sons and Daughters” for the Closing Prayer here.
Lesson Theme: Jesus rises from the dead.
The Gospel included in this lesson on pages 4–5, is actually three Gospels: the Easter Sunday Gospel, the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter, and the Gospel about Mary Magdalene meeting the Risen Jesus that comes between them. Since it is longer than usual, try to go to a large open space to act it out and direct the young people to move from one corner to the next with each new scene.
We recommend that you bring a bowl of newly blessed holy water to use during your Closing Prayer.
DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 4 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
Image credit: LUMO Project (Big Book Media) via FreeBibleimages.org