Sunday, May 15, 2016

Trinity Sunday

Year C
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity



Points to note

Learning is a continuous process and we never stop learning.  It is important to stress the fact that we continue to learn about Jesus through our parents and our catechists.  Even grown-ups continue to learn about Jesus through the Church.  Actually, even the Pope.

As it is Trinity Sunday, the stress is also that whatever that is taught by the Spirit about the Father is the same as what Jesus taught.

Try to say “Holy Spirit” instead of just “Spirit” as the latter has connotations for some children that can be a little distracting, while the former is a proper name to many children.


Opening dialogue
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
All:   Amen.

A simple Sign of the Cross is made to start the mass, but you should explain its significance.  The early Christians used the sign of the cross to bless themselves during the liturgy, and to show that they are Christians at other times.  We don’t really know if they use it as a secret sign known only to themselves during the persecution, but it is an intriguing thought.
Children also like the idea that as our hands move to the different parts of our body when signing ourselves, we are also making a silent prayer with our hands: God, grant us wisdom (head), love (chest), and strength (shoulders).

Explain to the children that the Apostles were very sad because Jesus had just told them that he was going to leave them.  Ask how they feel if a favourite teacher was to be leaving their school.  Would they like their replacement teacher to be just as nice?

Acclamation before the Gospel
Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
the God who is, who was, and who is to come.


The Lord be with you.
All:   And also with you.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St John
All:   Glory to you O Lord

Again, it may help explaining about the other Sign of the Cross that we use before hearing the Gospel (separately from the above explanation).  This one is a little more ancient and being more discreet, was more likely to have been used as a secret sign if there was one.  It survives a lot more in the liturgies than the more conventional one.  For instance, the priest traces the cross on the forehead of the baby or catechumen during the Liturgy of Baptism.

Again, children like the idea of a prayer.  So: As we hear your word. let us think good thoughts (head), say good words (lips), and feel love (chest).

(Jn 16:12-15)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I still have many things to say to you
but you would not be able to understand them now
But when the Holy Spirit comes
he will teach you the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking about himself
but will teach what he has learnt from the Father;
and he will tell you about the things to come.
He will glorify me
since all he teaches you
will be from what I teach;
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I have said:
All he teaches you will be the same as what I have taught

This is the Gospel of the Lord


What is a mystery?

In the early Church, a mystery is a hidden truth that is revealed only to the elect, i.e., baptised Christians.  A catechumen is initiated into the mystery in a rite of initiation lasting years, during which the faith will be gradually revealed go him.  At the end of his formation, he will be baptised and is said to have entered into the mystery.  Even after that, though the newly baptised continue to be further initiated into the faith and will finally enter fully into the faith on meeting his Creator face to face.

Explain to the children that God is like a mystery to us and we learn about him gradually through the people around us and through talking to him in prayers.

Is Jesus still around to teach us?  Be careful!  Jesus isn’t dead on the Cross.  He has gone to heaven to prepare a house for us.  But he has asked the Holy Spirit to continue to teach us about himself.  Stress that whatever the Holy Spirit teaches is the same as what Jesus taught. 

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