Chapter 5: Glory to God in the Highest

In this chapter we talk about the concept of ‘glory’ and how important it is to give thanks and praise to God.

At Mass, the Gloria is the most wonderful song of praise to our God.

Talk about what we mean by glory – in that it is something that is magnificent, something that has left your child gasping in wonder. What each of us find is glorious is different as we are all different. God is glorious and each of us are glorious.

We all have something that we are good at.

Everything Jesus did was for the GLORY of his Father and we are invited to do the same. In fact, everything we do should be to honour and to give glory to God. In the new translation of the Mass, the last words the priest says are: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”

Make the link with Mass (page 52) – like the shepherds who experienced the glory of baby Jesus we also experience the glory of Jesus present at Mass in the Eucharist (Holy Communion).

Point out where the tabernacle is in the church and explain that this is where Jesus is present and where his glory is.

Remember to do the online quiz (one for each chapter) – reading through the chapter and completing the quiz are the two things that must be completed, everything else is optional and there to support you if required.

Some questions to ask

Most of these are open ended and should be used to help your child explore these ideas/their feelings:

Q. What special experiences show us God’s glory?
A. There are many answers but some examples are scoring the winning goal in a team sport, seeing a beautiful firework display, seeing snow for the first time, seeing a bird’s nest or spider’s web or a special moment shared with friends etc.

Q. Where can we find God’s glory in Mass?
A. Your child may have noticed the ‘amazing’ glory and the happy feeling of a favourite hymn being sung by everyone or the joy felt by a family at their baby’s baptism or at a wedding which they have been to in church. Be ready to acknowledge any feelings they may share of NOT experiencing glory at church, or their feelings of boredom during Mass. Point them to some examples of where they could look for glory during Mass.

Q. How can we show God’s glory by what we do?
A. God’s glory is within everyone. Some examples are showing kindness, mercy, compassion, understanding and love. Making use of their individual gifts and talents – art, singing, sport etc – is another way of showing God’s glory through their lives.

Moses and the Burning Bush

Jesus and the Shepherds

The Readings

Old Testament Reading

Moses and the Burning Bush

In case you need go over who Moses was with your children, it may be worth reading Exodus 1&2 (the story of Moses as a baby), as well as Exodus 3 (The Burning Bush). The main focus here is to highlight Moses’ moment to experience God’s glory and to make comparison to your child’s own experience of glory. Moses was also chosen by God to do a special task – so God’s glory was within him too. God’s glory is in each one of us, for we are His children.

New Testament Reading

The shepherds

The people were waiting for a glorious King and Leader. But it was a group of lowly shepherds who first experienced God’s glory, when the angels announced the birth of Jesus to them. Emphasise the different kinds of glory experienced by the shepherds. One was the amazing glory of a whole choir of angels lighting up the mountainside, the other was the quiet glory of meeting the small and helpless new-born baby Jesus – so glory can be experienced in different ways.

Suggested Activities

  • Enjoy some family prayer time and help your child to write a prayer of thanks or praise to God.
  • Go through the children’s activity sheet (PDF) with them.
  • Read the Glory Be prayer which can be found on page 130 of the I Belong Book.
  • Talk about how and when we pray, it can be anywhere, maybe show them how to put their hands together in prayer.
  • Show your child how to genuflect as we enter a pew and why it is important, as it is our way of recognising that God is present.
  • Next time you attend or watch Mass online, count the number of times the word glory is said during mass.
  • Look at the additional resources that can be found on this page – not compulsory.

Colouring Pages

Download the colouring pages by clicking on them.
Moses and the Burning Bush
Angels appearing to the shepherds
Angels appearing to the shepherds

Chapter Six: The Word of the Lord (Liturgy of the Word)

In this chapter we take a closer look at the second part of the Mass – the Liturgy of the Word. It is about the importance of listening to God and to each other. Talk about the different readings, when they are in Mass and why they are different – these are noted on page 63. We listen to God by listening to the readings at Mass. Think about what stops us from listening to God and to each other.

Some key words to talk about:

  • Liturgy – word of God in a public place
  • Parable – a story with a message e.g. The Prodigal Son
  • Gospel – stories about the life of Jesus – “good news”
  • Creed – means I Believe – we say this in Mass after the Bible Reading
  • Tabernacle – the special box behind the altar where the consecrated hosts are reserved and where the presence of God dwells.

Practise signing with three crosses – bottom of page 61 and what each cross means – think, speak and love.

Remember to do the online quiz (one for each chapter) – reading through the chapter and completing the quiz are the two things that must be completed, everything else is optional and there to support you if required.

Some questions to ask

Most of these are open ended and should be used to help your child explore these ideas/their feelings:

Q. What are the names of the Readings we hear in Mass?
A. The First Reading (Old Testament), The Responsorial Psalm, The Second Reading (New Testament) and the Gospel Reading.

Q. What is a Lectern?
A. It’s the special stand where the Lector (Reader) or Priest stands to read God’s Word.

Q. What is your favourite Bible story and why?
A. This question will have a variety of answers, but your child’s answers can help you draw out the excitement that comes with many of the most well-loved Bible stories (PDF), as well as talking about the messages contained in them. Many stories contain high drama (e.g. Noah and the Ark), others describe amazing miracles (The Feeding of the 5,000). Others, still, bring home a strong message about God’s love (The Lost Sheep) or forgiveness (The Prodigal Son).

Q. What is your favourite sound and why?
A. You can talk about the sounds you most like to hear and why. Some favourite sounds may include the gentle sound of a cat miaowing, the sound of daddy or mummy coming home from work, the crinkling sound of someone opening a chocolate bar or the cheers of a crowd supporting their football team.

Q. Why do we need to be quiet to hear something? Why is silence important to hear God’s voice?
A. Allow your child to share their ideas. It is only when we listen carefully that we pick up what is being said. Make the link to listening to God – both through the Readings at church, but also through his voice that we can hear in our hearts in prayer.

The Readings

Old Testament Reading

The Call of Samuel

This is a story that reminds us that we are called by God. When we hear God calling, we should respond. Samuel is called by name – as each of us is – and takes the Word of God to others (a prophet). That is our calling too. God loves us each individually and, when we hear God’s messages in the Bible, we should carry those messages out to others.

New Testament

There is no reading here but a link back to Chapter 5 is made, about the way in which Jesus entered our world (the Nativity), in quiet glory. He came as a fulfillment of all the prophets of the Old Testament. Those prophets heard God’s Word and spread the Word of God they had heard. We believe Jesus is the Word of God.

Colouring Page

Download the colouring page by clicking on it.
Jesus proclaiming the Good News
Jesus proclaiming the Good News

Suggested Activities

  • Put your Bible in a central place in your home and read a story with your child. Look at the Bible stories to captivate your kids sheet in the online resources and pick one to read.
  • When you attend or join Mass through the live stream encourage your child to remember and spot the order of the Readings in Mass.
  • Encourage your child to say a prayer to God each day and write a family prayer.
  • Look at the key words sheet (PDF).