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This Sunday, we begin the celebration of Holy Week remembering Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and how the crowds welcomed him with shouts of joy. On Holy Thursday, we will commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper with his Apostles. On Good Friday, we will remember his Death on the Cross, remaining in sacred silence as we wait for the joy of his Resurrection, which we will celebrate on Saturday night during the Easter Vigil Mass.
Make sure you share with your families all the information they need about the Holy Week liturgies at your parish, including if and how they will be transmitted online.
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: We welcome Jesus.
During this Sunday’s Mass, we will listen to two Gospels. Before the procession of palms, we will hear about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Later, the priest or deacon will proclaim the Passion account according to Mark. In Seeds, we will share the first Gospel.
If possible, bring some palm branches so the children can use them during their reenactment of the Gospel.
Lesson Theme: Jesus gives us his Body and Blood.
This is the only Sunday of the year that has two Gospels—Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem before the procession of palms and the Passion account according to Mark. We share the first Gospel in Promise.
Find a coloring page to accompany “Welcome, Maria!” here.
Find a sheet of four copies of the Blessing Before Meals prayer here.
We suggest that you send a home note with the children’s Holy Week booklets that gives the times of the Holy Week liturgies in your parish.
Lesson Theme: Jesus suffered and died to save us.
We suggest that you go through the Gospels on pages 1–3 individually—proclaim the Gospel, reflect on it, and then add color to the picture. You will proclaim all three Gospels again later in the lesson during which the children will dramatize the Gospels. We suggest that you create three spaces in your meeting space or church for this prayer journey: (page 1) place of welcome, (page 2) gathering and eating, and (page 3) seriousness.
You may wish to bring one or more rosaries to share as you relate the Sorrowful Mysteries to Jesus’ Passion and Death.
For the Closing Prayer, you will need a large crucifix or cross and violet cloth to cover the crucifix. If you have access to blossoms from a dogwood tree, you may wish to bring some in to show the children how they appear to bear the marks of Jesus’ wounds.
Lesson Theme: Jesus died and is raised up.
We suggest that you separate pages 1–4 from pages 5–8 before class. Make sure to check the parish bulletin for the times of the Holy Week liturgies in your parish.
For your Gathering Prayer, be prepared to sing or share an audio or video recording of the song “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.” Here is one option on YouTube.
We encourage you to celebrate the Closing Prayer in your parish church if possible. See page TG4-15 in the Teaching Guide for materials needed and ways you can adapt this prayer for the classroom. This activity can be expanded to involve the children in preparation for the prayer service.
Lesson Theme: We celebrate Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
During this lesson, the young people will reenact the events of Holy Week. Make sure you read the materials box on page TG4-12 in the Teaching Guide to see all the props that we suggest for this play. You can adjust this play to your situation, giving two parts per student if necessary. If you are not meeting in person, consider having the students read their parts with good intonation during a virtual class session.
For the Closing Prayer, make sure you to photocopy enough copies of the prayer on page TG4-15. You will need one per student.
DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 4 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
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