“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them.” Psalms chapter 34:8
“Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and through them you will spread to the west and the east, to the north and the south.”
Source: USCCb.org “Genesis” chapter 28:14
This Week’s Prayer
Prayer To Saint Gabriel, The Archangel
who from among all your angels
chose the archangel Gabriel
to announce the mystery of the incarnation,
mercifully grant that we,
who solemnly remember him on earth
may feel the benefits of his patronage in heaven
you who live and reign forever and ever.”
Source: Catholic Prayer Book for Children Page 18
For Parents to Share with Their Children
We Review the “Apostles’ Creed”
This is an ancient profession of faith that states all that we believe as Catholics. It is shorter than the Nicene Creed and less complicated. Children can memorize the Apostles’ Creed easily, by reciting it out loud daily. Soon, they will have it memorized.
The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15, 2018
“R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mary is taken up to heaven;
a chorus of angels exults.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.”
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 is a Holy Day of Obligation. This means that all Roman Catholics have an obligation (a duty) to attend Mass on this special day. There are ten Holy Days of Obligation. According to CatholicAnswers.com:
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains holy days of obligation this way:
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.
Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest.
The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health [CCC 2185].”
“The Holy Days of Obligation are:
- the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,
- the Epiphany,
- the Ascension,
- the Body and Blood of Christ,
- Holy Mary the Mother of God,
- her Immaculate Conception,
- her Assumption,
- Saint Joseph,
- Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles,
- and All Saints.”
Source: Catholic Answers.com
Flowers for Mary–A Family Art Project
Materials and Method
For this collage, I used old watercolor paintings and cut them into flower and petal shapes. You can use newspapers, magazine pages, old paintings the children have made, a brown paper bag, or wrapping paper. Arrange the cut-out shapes, moving them around on a piece of sturdy paper until you like the design, then glue it down with school glue or glue sticks. I put books on top of a plastic placemat over the finished collage to weigh it down and to keep the glued shapes from curling up. After a few hours they are dry and the cut-outs are flat. This is a fun way to recycle and reuse forgotten drawings, scrap paper, and paintings.
This week we learn about Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. Jacob is one of the fathers (patriarchs) of the Jewish people. Before he became the patriarch of a great tribe of people, he was a boy, then a young man. Jacob had a twin brother, Esau, whom he fought and wrestled with. They were very different from one another. Jacob and Esau were rivalrous and competitive. As adults this rivalry continued. When their father, Isaac was very old and near death, Esau was given instructions by his father to go out and hunt an animal, then prepare it for Isaac’s meal. After Esau completed those tasks, Isaac would give him a blessing which included his inheritance. Rebekah, the sons’ mother, heard the news about the intended blessing, and devised a trick for Jacob (whom she thought should receive the blessings and family wealth) to play on Isaac so Jacob could receive the blessing and patrimony intended for Esau. This was accomplished, and Jacob had to leave his family and homeland for a while until Esau’s anger subsided. This story is about palace (or tent) intrigue, subterfuge, lying, deceit, betrayal, trickery, and choosing favorites. It’s a great story that shows how terribly humans can act, and leads us to the story today, “Jacob’s Dream at Bethel.” Jacob grows up to be the patriarch of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
An Excerpt from the USCCB.org
Source: USCCB.org “Genesis”, chapter 28:10-17
“Jacob’s Dream at Bethel.”
*10 Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
11 When he came upon a certain place,* he stopped there for the night, since the sun had already set. Taking one of the stones at the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.
12 Then he had a dream: a stairway* rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s angels were going up and down on it.
f13 And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants.
g14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and through them you will spread to the west and the east, to the north and the south. In you and your descendants all the families of the earth will find blessing.
h15 I am with you and will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.
Note* The symbols and letters are related to the commentary on the USCCB.org webpage that has this reading, Genesis, chapter 28. All of the Bible readings have this notation for readers.
An Excerpt for Children
“Jacob’s Dream at Bethel”
“Jacob left Beersheba and started toward Haran. At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone.He dreamed that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. And there was the Lord standing beside him. ‘I am the the Lord, God of Abraham and Isaac,’ he said. ‘I will give to you and your descendants this land on which you are lying. They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants, I will bless all the nations. Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.'”
Jacob woke up and said, ‘The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn’t know it.’ He was afraid and said, ‘What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven.'”
Source: The Catholic Children’s Bible, Genesis chapter 28:10-15 Page 62
An Excerpt for Young Children
“Jacob’s Dream” Genesis 28
“Jacob was traveling to the house of his uncle. On the way he stopped for the night. He lay down on the hard ground to sleep and had a strange dream. He saw a stairway resting on the earth with its top reaching to heaven. Angels were walking up and down it.”
“At the very top stood God. He said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants this land. They will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread to the west and the east, to the north and the south. I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised.'”
Source: The Illustrated Bible for Little Ones, Page 35
A Song About Jacob’s Ladder
“Jacob’s Ladder” Source: Hymnary.com
A Video from a Catholic High School Choir
“We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder”
Writing Project–A Blessing
“A blessing is a prayer that asks God to favor someone or something.”
“Live It!” Source: The Catholic Children’s Bible, Genesis chapter 28 Page 61-62
“You and your family members can bless each other too! To bless someone, make a cross on the person’s forehead with your thumb. Here is a blessing prayer to say while you make the sign of the cross: ‘I bless you, [Say the person’s name], in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’ You and your parents can use this blessing prayer at bedtime to bless each other.”
With simple tools for writing– white watercolor paper, watercolors and a small brush, markers, colored pencils and stickers– write this blessing and decorate it. It will be a lovely reminder to hang in a room or on a wall that we all can bless loved ones.
The watercolor of Jacob sleeping with his head on a rock, underneath the ladder and the angels, was painted with dry cake-style watercolors on watercolor paper. Circular sponges on a stick make the heads of the angels. The words in color are key elements to remember the story of “Jacob’s Dream.”
Another option for children is to paint a rainbow ladder with a quick brush stroke for the rungs, and make a a chain of Q tip-made dots for the connecting rope. I used watered down liquid watercolor to paint a small sheet of watercolor paper in pastel yellow, orange and blue. When they dried, I traced a quarter eight times to make circles, which I cut out to symbolize floating angel heads. Add a snippet of the same painted paper to create a small halo.
Wash, then paint a flat river rock with white paint for a “canvas.” Then draw or paint a few words or a symbol of the “Jacob’s Dream” story onto a clean rock. After it dried, I used blue, yellow, and white paint with an angled small brush to make a ladder, rays, and sky blue dots to represent heaven. I found the rock in my husband’s rock collection, which was very convenient. You can buy rocks in garden stores, or even find them in your neighborhood. I paint them with a coat of Mod Podge for a glossy finish once they have dried.
As always, the art projects are a fun way to remember a new story.