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 e text again picks up the theme of promise. Ask the children if they ever make a promise and then say “Cross my heart.” What do they mean when they say this? Point out these words in their book. Ask them to make the Sign of the Cross without words. Stop them when they reach for their left shoulder.  ey are literally crossing their heart. Encourage them to think about this whenever they make the Sign of the Cross.  ey are crossing their hearts to promise to do everything in God’s name.Take the children to church to the baptismal font. Let them all dip their  ngers into the water, and make the Sign of the Cross. Tell them that anytime they enter the church, they should bless themselves with holy water.It should remind them of the time when they entered the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. It should remind them that they are children of God.Jesus taught us to pray to “Our Father.” We can all say this because we are children of God and God is our Father. Pray the Lord’s Prayer with the children. (See page 29 of the children’s handbooks.)10. Our Church Family—page 16Ask children about their family gatherings and celebra- tions. What do they do at these gatherings? Talk? Share stories? Eat? Work or play together? Do these gatherings and activities help a family grow closer?Make some comparisons to the Church family gathering for liturgy. We pray and sing together. We share family stories from the Bible. We eat a holy meal.Tell the children that at Mass we pray to God to help us and others. Ask them to think of some people they might want to pray for. We also pray for people who are hurt or su ering. Ask them to think of some su ering people to pray for.Remind children of the Sign of the Cross, a prayer thatis both words and actions. Ask if they can think of other prayerful actions. Tell them that many such actions are part of our celebration of the Eucharist, or the Mass. Have children practice each prayerful action as you discuss it.• Genu ection—We do this in the church aisle before we go into the pew and again before we leave church. One knee should touch the  oor. It is a sign of respect, and says that we believe we are entering the presence of God.  e priest does this after the consecration of the bread and wine.• Bow—We do this during the Creed, when we say the words “by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” We also bow before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a sign of reverence.• Rite of Peace— is hug or handshake extends a bless- ing, the peace of Christ, toward our neighbor.• Kneeling—We kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer, especially during the consecration of the Eucharist. It is a sign of worship and adoration because we believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.• Standing—We stand when the priest or deacon reads the Gospel.  is is a sign of special respect for God’s Word.•  e Sign of the Cross on forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel—We ask God to help us understand his Word, to speak his Word, and to love his Word.• Folding hands—We do this when we pray and also when we go to and return from Communion.  is action helps us to direct our attention to God and to not be distracted by other things that may be going on around us.• Folding arms over chest—Show the children how to fold their arms over their chests when they approach the priest or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. Show them how they will hold their hands and bow when they are ready to receive Holy Communion. Help the children understand that they will be receiving Jesus in Holy Communion in a year or two.11. Your Parish—page 17Give children the pictures they drew of your parish church for the lesson on page 12 of their handbooks. Ask them to look at their pictures as you read about your parish. Talk about how people in your parish actually do each of these things together. en ask if their pictures are  nished. Invite children to add some pictures around the church building showing people praying, people in class, people helping oth-ers, and people having fun. Encourage children to draw things that your parish actually does, such as running a food pantry, holding a parish festival or picnic, or playing softball or volleyball. Ask children to share what they love about being part of their parish.Tell children that their pictures need one  nal touch—a name. What is the name of your parish family? Print the9

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