Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) Years A, B, C

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1 Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) Years A, B, C HOW TO USE THIS RESOURCE Dismissal Session The Dismissal Session is for catechumens only who are dismissed from worship before the Creed (RCIA #75.3). The Dismissal Session group may gather for the Catechetical Session at another time during the week. Catechetical Session When the Dismissal Session is immediately followed by the Catechetical Session, parents or other sponsors join the group after Eucharist. Baptized children preparing for confirmation and Eucharist also may join in the Catechetical Session (RCIA #254; Appendix III, 19). Children s RCIA Resource CATECHIST S NOTES NOTES FOR THIS DAY Today s readings Wisdom 3:1-9; or 4:7-15; or Isaiah 25:6-9 Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; or 25:6, 7b, 17-18, 20-21; or 27:1, 4, 8b, 9a, Romans 5:5-11; or 5:17-21; or 6:3-9; or 8:14-23; or 8:31b-35, 37-39; or 14:7-9, 10c-12; or 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; or 15:51-57; or 2 Corinthians 4:14 5:1; or 5:1-6-10; or Philippians 3:20-21; or 2 Timothy 2:8-13 Matthew 5:1-12a; or 11:25-30; or 25:31-46; Luke 7:11-17; or 23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a; or 24:13-16, 28-35; or John 5:24-29; or 6:37-40; or 6:51-59; or 11:17-27; or 11:32-45; or 14:1-6 Doctrine correlations Remembering our mortality helps us to realize that we have only a limited time to bring our lives to fulfillment (CCC #1007). Christian death has a positive meaning as the baptized Christian already died with Christ to live a new life (CCC #1010). RCIA team notes The liturgy offers numerous readings, the ones listed herein and those in the Masses for the Dead. Check with liturgy committee for readings. (Options: also see notes for Ordinary Time Year A: Fourth Sunday and Thirty-Fourth Sunday). Children with special needs Facing the reality of death may be sorrowful for grieving children or freeing for children who fear death. By Janet Miller. Copyright 2014, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved.

2 CATECHIST S NOTES GETTING READY FOR THE SESSION Items to prepare check-in sheet and nametag materials poster paper or white board, erasers, and erasable markers white cloth on table or counter space for prayer, instrument assortment of cups and containers Bibles, one set to John containers, small candles, large candle in container of sand, matches tissues paper slips, marker boards or posting paper, markers copies of Faith at Home liturgical aids, paper, pencils Gathering Prayer Ritual Place a Bible and candle in wide container of sand on a white cloth. Display an assortment of breakable cups and containers (nice, chipped, sturdy, fragile). Singing option Use music from your faith community resources. The suggestion is a guide available in Gather Comprehensive from GIA Publications, Inc., or online at sweetslyrics.com. Bring songbooks or printed words and music in a player. Building Community Bring tissues. Plan to tell a personal experience. Snack option Send a reminder to the sponsor providing the snack this week. Engaging the Word Print Gospel citations on slips of recycled paper. Bring erasable dark markers. Have marker board space or paper posted around the meeting area. Sharing Faith groups Put the Scripture citation with the questions on cards for group leaders. Crossing the Ages Activity option: Plan a Celebration for the Deceased Recruit liturgical ministers and musicians to lead committees. Bring hymnals, Bibles bookmarked for possible readings, altarcitos information, paper, and pencils. Plan the date, time, and use of a liturgical space. Make copies of an invitation. Invite members of the faith community. Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 2

3 DISMISSAL SESSION GATHERING (15 MINUTES) Catechumens, having heard the Sunday proclamation of word, are dismissed from the Mass. Greet the catechumens as they arrive. Have everyone check in and put on nametags. For anyone new, provide nametag materials. GATHERING PRAYER RITUAL Chime a percussion instrument as a call to prayer. All stand around the prayer focal point. If regulations forbid candle lighting, adapt the prayer without lighting candles. Explain the prayer process as follows: We each will recall someone who has died. You can use the person s name or a generalization, such as, victims of violence. One at a time, light a small candle from the large one and place it into the sand. Offer a brief prayer aloud or silently. ( ) Light a large candle that is in a sand-filled wide heat-proof container. Begin the prayer by choosing a small candle, lighting it from the large one, and placing it in the sand. Say something like: I pray for my deceased grandmother, my teacher in faith; may she enjoy the heavenly vision. Encourage everyone, one at time to choose, light, and insert a candle and pray. Invite everyone, when you lift a hand, to respond, In your goodness, O God, remember me. Prayerfully say the following verses inspired by Psalm 25. Relieve the troubles of my heart; take away my sin. (response) Preserve my life, and rescue me. (response) I take refuge in you; let uprightness preserve me. (response) Song Suggestion: You Are My Shepherd from Give Your Gifts, Melody Book, GIA Publications, Inc. Extinguish the candles. Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 3

4 CONNECTING WITH ONE ANOTHER Invite everyone to sit in a circle. Introduce anyone new. Invite sharing about their experiences with the Faith at Home pages from the previous session. BUILDING COMMUNITY Sharing about Death: Have tissues handy. Share a personal experience about death, something like: When my grandmother died, I was very sad. She had taught me many things, and I missed her very much. It helped me to remember that she showed me how to cook many wonderful family recipes. Now every time, I make one of her wonderful dishes I have a happy memory of her. Invite members who wish to share their experiences. Assure everyone that death brings conflicting feelings. Say: When someone dies, we are sad and we miss seeing the person. At the same time, we are happy that their soul is free to live in heavenly glory. This week, we pray for and with those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. RECALLING THE WORD (10 MINUTES) Have everyone sit with Bibles in a circle. Use the following as a guide. For information, refer to Insight for the Catechist and the reflections on the Faith at Home page. Always affirm the catechumens responses, adding comments to aid their understandings. Help the catechumens find the first reading that was liturgically proclaimed, or use Wisdom 3:1-9. Ask the appropriate question: What does this passage say to you about God? (Wisdom 3:1-9) Near your time of baptism, you will be called the elect. Considering this passage, what does being the elect mean to you? Have the catechumens find the liturgically proclaimed second reading, possibly: Romans 5:5-11; or 5:17-21; or 6:3-9; or 8:14-23; or 8:31b-35, 37-39; or 14:7-9, 10c-12; or 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; or 15:51-57; or 2 Corinthians 4:14 5:1; or 5:1-6-10; or Philippians 3:20-21; or 2 Timothy 2:8-13. Use Romans 6:3-9 to explore the meaning of baptism. Considering earthly death, what hope does this message offer? (Romans 6:3-9) Why might you choose to be baptized into Christ and into Christ s death? Have the catechumens find the liturgically proclaimed Gospel, possibly: Matthew 5:1-12a; or 11:25-30; or 25:31-46; Luke 7:11-17; or 23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a; or 24:13-16, 28-35; or John 5:24-29; or 6:37-40; or 6:51-59; or 11:17-27; or 11:32-45; or 14:1-6. Why do Christians have hope in everlasting life? Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 4

5 Affirm the members comments. Summarize: Jesus made it clear that those who followed the way of the cross would have everlasting life. The cross is a symbol that represents sacrifice for the sake of others and death to selfish ways. All baptized into Christ are children of God who inherit eternal glory. PRAYING INTERSESSIONS (5 MINUTES) We offer prayers for all those living and deceased. When I lift my hand, please respond, God who gives everlasting life, hear our prayer. As gold in the furnace, strengthen us and all your elect so we will shine in the time of our resurrection. (Lift a hand for the response.) Continue to give confidence to all believers, that we will be united with Christ in heaven. (Lift a hand for the response.) Send your Holy Spirit to guide us in ways of service for the poor, hungry, or thirsty, and for those who need comfort, mercy, and peace. (Lift a hand for the response.) Invite the members to contribute intercessions. Conclude: O God, we are confident that nothing in life or death can separate us from your love. We ask for all things according to your will. Hear our prayers that we offer through Christ Jesus, who died so that we might share in glory, for ever and ever. All: Amen. Option: Break for a snack or social time. If the group disperses now and meets for catechesis later in the week, collect nametags. Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 5

6 CATECHETICAL SESSION The Catechetical Session follows the Dismissal Session either immediately or at another time during the week. The catechetical session is designed for catechumens and parents or sponsors to grow in faith together. The status of the catechumens never is to be confused with that of baptized children preparing for confirmation or Eucharist, who may join in this catechesis as supportive companions (RCIA, Appendix III, #19). GATHERING FOR CATECHESIS (5 MINUTES) Welcome the catechumens, parents, sponsors, and any baptized children arriving from liturgy. If this Catechetical Session is not following the Dismissal Session, allow an additional ten minutes and begin with the Gathering segment in the Dismissal Session. Have those arriving check in and put on nametags. PRAYING Invite everyone to stand around the prayer focal point. Use the ( ) prayer from the Gathering Prayer Ritual in the Dismissal Session, another prayer, or sing a gathering song from liturgy. ENGAGING THE WORD Introduce the concept of the faithful departed: (20 MINUTES) In Christian tradition, the faithful departed are remembered during the month of November. We remind ourselves that all believers are connected as one in the Body of Christ. Time and space are not limitations. Today, each group will use a passage from the Gospel of John to write a statement of hope about everlasting life. Form mixed-age groups of six members. Adjust the group sizes or number of passages, as needed. Give a Gospel reference paper slip to each group. Distribute Bibles. Ask them to develop a summary statement of what Jesus teaches about everlasting life. Have recorders print the statements on a marker board or paper posted around the room. Use the suggestions in parentheses only if needed. John 5:24-29 (Whoever hears my word and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life.) John 6:37-40 (Everyone who sees the Son and believes may have eternal life.) John 6:51-59 (Whoever eats this bread will live forever.) John 11:17-27 (I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will live.) John 11:32-45 (If you believe, you will see the glory of God.) John 14:1-6 (I am going to prepare a place for you.) By Janet Miller. Copyright 2014, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved. COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS) YEARS A, B, C Wisdom 3:1-9; or 4:7-15; or Isaiah 25:6-9 Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; or 25:6, 7b, 17-18, 20-21; or 27:1, 4, 8b, 9a, Romans 5:5-11; or 5:17-21; or 6:3-9; or 8:14-23; or 8:31b-35, 37-39; or 14:7-9, 10c-12; or 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; or 15:51-57; or 2 Corinthians 4:14 5:1; or 5:1-6-10; or Philippians 3:20-21; or 2 Timothy 2:8-13 Matthew 5:1-12a; or 11:25-30; or 25:31-46; Luke 7:11-17; or 23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a; or 24:13-16, 28-35; or John 5:24-29; or 6:37-40; or 6:51-59; or 11:17-27; or 11:32-45; or 14:1-6 Insight for the Catechist In commemoration of the faithful departed, we reach across time and space spiritually to be in touch with those who have died. This calls us contemplate the meaning of life. In remembering those who touched our lives and died in faith, we reflect on where we have been and where we are going. We are reminded that we live as citizens of a heavenly realm to come. Prayer for the dead brings hope and comfort for the living. It is a way of perfecting relationships that to greater or lesser degrees were imperfect in life. Through prayer, we sanctify memories, the painful ones along with the joyful. God s life-giving Spirit dwells among us and flows through the boundary of death to loved ones and friends in faith who we pray enjoy the glory of resurrection. 6

7 SHARING FAITH (10 MINUTES) Gather as a whole group. Each small group reports back. Referring to the statements, ask: Conclude: What can we conclude from all these teachings of Jesus? Because of Jesus, Christian death has a positive meaning. Through baptism each Christian has already died with Christ. Baptism is the initial sacrament that gives us a new life with the hope of eternal glory. CARRYING OUT THE WORD (5 MINUTES) SUMMING UP Invite everyone to bring a chair and sit around the prayer focal point, which has been arranged with an assortment of cups and containers. Have more cups and containers than the number of people present. Encourage participants to offer insights from this week s session. Summarize: Death is the end of earthly life. We are mortal and some day will die. Remembering this helps us to realize that we have only a limited time on earth. God gives each life the time needed for fulfillment. Through making good choices on earth we can follow Jesus to everlasting life. CLOSING PRAYER Our earthly bodies are sacred vessels that hold our souls. The containers here remind us that the body is fragile and will someday break away. Imagine that one of these vessels represents the container for your soul. When you are ready, pick up one container and return to your seat. Then each of us will offer a prayer thanking God for our bodies. For example, you might say, Thank you, God, for my body. This beautiful cup reminds me that I like to put on nice clothes, but I know that to be really beautiful I must be beautiful in my soul. Or, you might say something like, Thank you, God, for my body that is like this heavy bowl. You have given me a strong body. Please make my soul strong too. Anyone who wishes may instead pray silently while returning the container. After each person s prayer, we will pray, Thank you, God, for and say the person s name. Invite each person to choose a cup or container. When everyone has a container, begin the prayer. When all have prayed, conclude: God of the living, send your Holy Spirit to guide our path as we prepare for a blessed death by living in holiness. We make our prayer through Christ Jesus, Lord for ever and ever. All: Amen. Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 7

8 Go forth from this place, confident in the promise of Jesus: I go to prepare a place for you; I will come back and take you to myself. And may the ever-living God bless us, (Make the Sign of the Cross on yourself as a model for everyone.) protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. All: Amen. Distribute the Faith at Home page. Collect the nametags. Crossing the Ages Activity (Optional activity for children and adults together: 20 minutes) Plan a Celebration for the Deceased (Plan a seasonal celebration of the word of God, RCIA #81.) Mention: During the month of November, we the church on earth remember in a special way the faithful who have gone before us. We will plan a special prayer celebration to commemorate our deceased loved ones. Introduce ministers who will lead committees. Considering preferences, assign members according to the outline below. Encourage them to prepare letters and prayers for individuals and general categories (e.g., those who died in war, unborn babies). Music: See a hymnal s suggestions for death and eternal life topics and choose appropriate songs to use for the prayer. Environment: Research altarcitos online, and plan a similar display or other kind of remembrance display of those who have died. Readings: Select and practice readings from the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (see page 1 of this session). Memory Letters: Write and prepare to read letters to deceased loved ones. Petitions: Write prayers for the dead and the living. Distribute invitations with the celebration time and place. (Note: After the session, meet with the committee leaders to finalize details.) Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C 8

9 Eternal Life Answer Key: 1. comforted; 2. souls; 3. least; 4. compassion; 5. dead; 6. bread; 7. hear; 8. raise; 9. heaven; 10. resurrection; 11. glory; 12. God Remember Sunday s Word Wisdom 3:1-9 Romans 6: 3-9 Matthew 5: 1-12 Matthew 25:31-46 Faith at Home Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C At a convenient time for the family, gather around a dining table or in the living room. Silence all electronics. Place a Bible opened to Matthew in the center. Begin with a moment of quiet. REFLECTING ON WISDOM 3:1-9 For the foolish who do not believe in the afterlife, death seems to be utter destruction. Now with God, the earthly deceased shine and are at peace. How often do we reflect with the heavenly elect and call on their assistance? When catechumens are deemed ready to prepare for the final stages of baptism, they are called elect. Draw a picture of God s elect according to the images in this Scripture passage. REFLECTING ON ROMANS 6:3-9 In baptism, we experience God bringing us from the death of sin to life in Christ. We live in newness and will be united by the glory of God with Christ in the resurrection. What does the idea of being baptized mean to each of us? REFLECTING ON MATTHEW 5:1-12, MATTHEW 25:31-46 These two Gospel passages sum up how followers of Jesus are to live. The Matthew 5 passage is known as the Beatitudes and contains the keys to true happiness. The Matthew 25 passage tells of the corporal works of mercy, an indication of how our lives will be judged. Why are folks with various problems blessed in the eyes of Jesus? What types of merciful actions would a Matthew 25 family do? By Janet Miller. Copyright 2014, TeamRCIA.com. All rights reserved. Permission is given to reproduce this handout for family home use.

10 Eternal Life The following Gospel statements are based on the New Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible. The wording in your translation may vary slightly. The verses convey a message about everlasting life. Together, as a family, choose a word that best completes the meaning for each sentence. GOD LEAST RESURRECTION HEAR SOULS BREAD COMFORTED RAISE DEAD HEAVEN GLORY COMPASSION 1. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be. (Matthew 5:1-12a) 2. for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your. (Matthew 11:25-30) 3. Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the of these, you did not do it to me. (Matthew 25:31-46) 4. When the Lord saw her, he had for her and said to her, Do not weep. (Luke 7:11-17) 5. the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among the? He is not here but has risen. (Luke 23:44 24:6) 6. Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known in the breaking of the. (Luke 24:13-35) 7. those who will live. (John 5:24-29) 8. and I will them up on the last day. (John 6:37-40) 9. This is the bread that came down from, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. (John 6:51-59) 10. Jesus said to her, I am the and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:17-27) 11. Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the of God. (John 11:32-45) 12. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in, believe also in me. (John 14:1-6) Friends on the Way - Commemoration of All of the Faithful Departed (All Souls), Years A, B, C TeamRCIA.com

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