It is important to start our year with a lesson on the Circle of the Church Year so that children can understand the cycle and seasons of the Church and the important times of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.
This lesson can be reviewed at home as follows:
Each year, Christians move through a circle of memory and expectation to open themselves to the elusive presence of God. In the Godly Play classroom, we pay attention to this circle of movement, using a cloth wall hanging that has colored "blocks" for the Sundays of the year and a golden arrow that moves from Sunday to Sunday.
There are three great times in the Church year: Christmas...Easter...and Pentecost.
We need time to get ready to come close to these mysteries. There are three times for getting ready. The time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Christmas is called "Advent." It is four weeks long.
The time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Easter is called "Lent." It is six weeks long, even greater than the time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Christmas.
Easter is so great that it keeps on going! You can't keep it on one Sunday. It overflows and goes on for six more Sundays.
The time for Easter is also a time for getting ready to come close to the mystery of Pentecost. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down. The Church was born. The Apostles glowed with the power of the Holy Spirit. They were more alive than they had ever been before. That's why the color of Pentecost is red like fire.
Look at all of the great green Sundays of the year. Some come between Christmas and the beginning of Lent. The rest come after Pentecost and before Advent.
It is all here. Everything we need. For every beginning there is an ending, and for every ending, there is a beginning. It goes on and on, forever and ever.
As we close each storytelling session, we have wondering time where we can think further about the story as a group.
Some wondering questions to try at home:
I wonder which one of these colors you like best?
I wonder which color is the most important?
I wonder why the Church tells time with colors?
Remember. This is not a time to quiz children on what they may or may not recall about the lesson. Rather, it is an opportunity to be quietly present as the children share their own experience.
You may view a video presentation of this lesson here.