Life in the atrium is meant to parallel the life of the greater Church. During this season of Lent, Catechists draw the children’s attention to this time of preparation, emphasizing that together, with the whole Church, we are getting ready for something very important to happen.
Atrium activities have taken on the more solemn tone we see in the Lenten liturgy. The word “alleluia” is missing from our singing and prayers. From their work with the liturgical colors, the children have learned that purple is the color for preparation, and are now covering the prayer table with the purple cloth. Children may notice the absence of the fresh flowers they so love to arrange, and a smaller collection of statues and other embellishments for our prayer table. This mirrors the sparseness they see upstairs in the sanctuary, as we reflect on sacrifice and Christ’s journey to his death.
Level I children are encountering the essentials of the paschal mystery with lessons about the Good Shepherd, the Mystery of Life and Death (the Grain of Wheat), and preparation of the Eucharist. Just like the Infancy Narratives that illustrate Jesus’ birth and childhood, exploring the 3D model of the City of Jerusalem is showing them that Jesus was a real person, who lived in a real time and a real place. They are connecting the events that occurred there with real locations, touching each landmark and following the path Jesus walked.
Level II children are also deepening their connections within the paschal narratives, examining the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus as parts of God’s plan for the fulfillment of his Kingdom.
We encourage your child to join us in the Atrium for this special season in the Church, as we contemplate Jesus’ death and resurrection, one of the central mysteries of our faith.
If you’d like to read more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and how it can nurture your child’s relationship with God, the National Association has a wonderful parent resource section on their website. Take a look at cgsusa.org/parentresources.aspx.