Thursday, 18 December 2014

25/12/14 God is with us.

The Nativity of the Lord  (Year A, B, C)

Welcome again to a little liturgy and a happy Christmas to everyone!  Today is a day of rejoicing so we are again able to say "Glory to God in the highest!"  As there are different readings at different Masses according to the time of day, I shall not attempt to cover all of them!  Instead, I offer you some activities for Mass and a short quiz for Christmas afternoon!  I hope everyone has a happy and holy Christmas and look forward to you joining me again on Sunday for the Feast of the Holy Family.

N.B. I have posted early for Christmas - so if you are looking for the 4th Sunday of Advent, please scroll down!

Activity during Mass

Activity A
The shape of the liturgy at Mass can be said to echo the shape of Christ's time on earth:

1)  We are asked to repent of our sins.   CONFITEOR  (I confess...)

2)  We listen to Jesus' teaching.   LITURGY OF THE WORD   (The word of the Lord...)

3)  We confirm that we believe in Jesus.   CREDO  (I believe...)

4)  We gather at the sacrifice at which Jesus is present.  OFFERTORY, CONSECRATION  (This is my body which will be given up for you...)

5)  We go, accompanied by the spirit to live a Christian life.   DISMISSAL   (Go forth...)

Match the letters below to the numbers above to show which part of the liturgy corresponds to the actions of Jesus and his Apostles. 

A)  Jesus celebrated Passover and then offered himself as a sacrifice to save the world.

B)  The Apostles taught the Good News after the Ascension.

C)  Jesus entered the world and taught and explained the scriptures and showed us how to live to be part of the kingdom of God.

D)  The Apostles showed that they believed Jesus was the Messiah by following him.

E)  John the Baptist and the Old Testament prophets told us to repent and turn towards God.

Activity B 
Every week in a little liturgy we focus on the readings and, in particular the Gospels.  This week I thought I would look a little more closely at the writers of the Gospels.

There are four Gospel writers - we call them Evangelists. The word  "Gospel" comes from the old English word for good news and "evangelist" comes from the Greek for good news.  So these writers are the tellers of good news.  This is particularly appropriate for us on Christmas Day!

We know the evangelists today as: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The four books that they wrote make up the first part of the New Testament.  We call the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke the "synoptic Gospels" because they are quite similar in content and style. (Synoptic means with the same eye.) Biblical scholars suggest that Matthew and Luke had sight of Mark's Gospel when they wrote their narratives.  It is likely that they added material from another text that is sometimes known as Q.  John's Gospel stands alone.

Each evangelist has a traditional symbol.

St Matthew - a man

St Mark - winged lion
St Luke - winged ox
St John - an eagle

Draw these animals and label them with the correct evangelist's name.    

Just as these animals have different personalities, the four evangelists have different characteristics.  As we mentioned last week, the story of Christmas that we are most familiar with is drawn from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.   

There are some interesting facts about the Gospels here:

When were the Gospels written?

Christmas Quiz

1)  What does each gift from the wise men symbolise?

2)  Name five occasions where angels are mentioned in the New Testament.  

3)  What was the name of Joseph's father? a) according to Matthew  b) according to Luke

4)  What does the name "Emmanuel" mean?

5)  Complete this phrase from Isaiah and well known from Handel's "Messiah" by adding the next three titles for God.

 "Wonderful Counselor, 
................ .............  ,  ................ .................,
.............  ..  ............."

6)  Who was Governor of Syria when Caesar August issued the decree for the census?

7)  How do you say "O come let us adore him" in Latin?

8)  Complete the opening of John's Gospel:  "In the beginning was ................... and ................ and ................"

9)  What was the name of Herod's son who succeeded him as Governor of Judea?

10)  What are the first two lines of the second verse of "Once in Royal David's City" ?

Answers to follow in the New Year!
Wishing you a very peaceful and joyful Christmas!


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