Monday, May 13, 2013

Pentecost Lesson

In a short while it will be Pentecost Sunday.  Teach your children about the awesomeness of the Holy Spirit this week before May 19th, 2013.

Materials: 8 and a half by 11 construction paper, 1 red, 1 black for each child.  Yellow and orange fingerprint (little ones) or tempera (older children) paint.  Scissors.  White crayon.  Children's Bible (see  Curricula page for suggestions).  Red treat.  Red clothing.

Procedure:  Suggest children wear a red shirt on the day you complete this lesson.  Discuss Pentecost: "Pentecost is a very special day, on the last Sunday of the Easter Season.  What do you know about Pentecost?"

Ask, "What is the Holy Spirit?" (The catechism says this about the Holy Spirit:  "689 The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God.10 Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.)"

Here is an explanation in Kid Language:  Since Jesus' followers were lonely for Him, because he went up to Heaven a little while after Easter, His Father sent the Holy Spirit to be with their hearts and ours.  The Holy Spirit is the third person in the trinity: The Father, Son and  .  . . Holy Spirit. We can't love and worship Jesus and God without the Holy Spirit.  They all go together.  The Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire Pentecost Sunday,  just like our hearts are on fire with love for Jesus.  Pentecost is also the birthday of the Catholic Church.

After discussion, read The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) in the Catholic Bible you choose.

Here are some possible questions to ask your children/students, that range from remembering, to evaluating (for older children):

  1. What sounds did the disciples, under Peter's direction, hear?
  2. What happened to the Catholic Church when the Holy Spirit had been seen by the disciples?
  3. Explain what Peter meant by saying, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, to have your sins forgiven."
  4. Did Christ's disciples become baptized?
  5. How would you react to Peter's words and to the descent of the Holy Spirit?  Would you be inspired?  What would you be inspired to do?
After discussion, begin the following art project.  Say, "We are going to make tongues of fire - something like Jesus' followers saw on Pentecost."  Begin folding your red or orange construction paper the "short way" (hamburger bun, not hotdog bun style).  Draw mountain peeks on one side of the fold.  Cut while folded and unfold to create fiery peaks. See example below:

Students should paint strokes of yellow, red, orange and black to add color to flames.  Discuss the idea that fire is not one solid color.  Once paint is dry and students have created "tongues of fire," students should glue the flames on black paper.  Label the black paper with white crayon, reading:  "The Holy Spirit visits on Pentecost!"  The following is an example ready to be labeled:

Teacher Notes:  An optional idea might be to sing "Happy Birthday to the Church" and eat a tastey red dessert.  A co-teacher once found red sprinkled donuts for Pentecost Sunday while the children red wore shirts.  It was a lovely birthday celebration.  Happy Pentecost!

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