Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Children's Christmas Homily for 2010: Puzzle

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett
Pastor Holy Rosary Alaska Mission

It is never to early to start preparing for the Christmas Homily. Last year I used a nativity puzzle. It worked so well I decided to do it again.

The idea is to hand out each puzzle piece to families with children before the Mass begins. During the homily the children are called up one by one to to place there puzzle piece on the board. Each piece is a mini-homily, i.e. talk about the North Star, Mary, Joseph, etc. The final piece is the Baby Jesus and I will try to have the family with the youngest child bring that last piece forward.

First I got on-line and ordered a nice large nativity poster. It took a couple of weeks to get here because I am in Dillingham, AK, in the middle of the Alaskan Bush.

Next, I found an old piece of paneling and glued the poster to it.

After the poster dried to the wood paneling I took a razor blade exacto knife, a steel straight edge, and then cut the puzzle into 11 pieces.

The poster I purchased did not have a North Star so I had Katlyn, a seven year old parishioner at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, draw one, cut it out and color it. I then glued it to one of the pieces of puzzle.

I used velcro squares to attach each piece.

I put both sides of the velcro on the puzzle piece and then pressed the puzzle piece onto the board.

After pressing down firmly all around the puzzle piece I pulled it off the boar. The fuzzy half stayed on the puzzle and the other side stuck to the board.

The faimily with the youngest child gets the honor of placing the last piece in the puzzle.

Here is an outline for the Homily I will use this Christmas, Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day DLG 2010 Jigsaw Puzzle

One piece of thin paneling, one 32x24 inches
One piece of plywood 40x30 inches
One Poster: 32x24 (the bigger the better)
40 Velcro squares
One easel to put board on
Box or bag to hold the puzzle pieces
Exacto Knife
Steel ruler

Glue the poster on the paneling.

With an exacto knife, cut the nativity poster up into 12 pieces, more or less. Be sure at least one contains the entire infant Jesus.

Number each piece of puzzle (in the order you want to put them up, I am doing the border first then saving the pieces like Mary, Joseph, and Jesus until last).

Frame the plywood board that the puzzle pieces will be attached to.

Put all the pieces on the larger plywood and again, trace very lightly each puzzle piece.. Put the number of each puzzle piece on the corresponding drawn out piece on the plywood. Should be done with a pencil so that just I can see the number and the outline, not the congregation.

Use Velcro to put each puzzle piece on the board. I used a few squares for each puzzle piece, depending on the size of the piece.

Print Christmas Puzzle across the top

Hand out pieces of the numbered puzzles to children before mass or call them up during the homily and hand out the pieces. I am going to be creative here. Since it is my first time doing it I really don’t know what I am going to do yet.


Talk about the toys children get for Christmas. For example, one of the all time favorite toys is a puzzle. What kind of puzzle is this? Most children will see the Velcro dots and say “connect the dots.” If you want introduce the volunteer Christmas angel or altar server who will be putting up the border of the puzzle.

As you put up pieces of the puzzle, talk about them. If it is only a partial picture, ask the children to guess what it is.

Star of David: Led the wise men to the manger. Illuminated the way for the shepherds. Pointed to the biggest event of the world.

Angels: Appeared to the shepherds. They told them about Jesus

Shepherds: Came to see Jesus. The shepherds can is like a candy cane. Turn it the other way and it = J-Jesus

Inn Keeper: Although there was no room in the Inn in Jerusalem, the inn keeper had a manger.

Joseph: A very dependable, honorable, responsible, skillful, and religious man.

Mary: Mary was conceived without original sin so that she could give birth to a savior. She was a virgin who became pregnant with our savior. The angel Gabriel told asked her during the annunciation, if she wanted to bear the Christ child. She said yes. The savior would be fully human and fully divine.

The last piece will be the infant Jesus. Put that in and then briefly review the entire story.

Jesus: Baby Jesus. The reason we are here. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

After Mass, process out with the picture held high.

Remember, its never to early to start preparing for a Christmass Mass.

Note: The idea for this Homily came from Msgr. Dermot R. Brennan, "Homilies Kids Can See." Our Sunday Visitor, Inc, 2002

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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