Grade 2

For Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For the week of May 24, 2020

Memorial Day weekend. No religious education lesson or Sunday Zoom call for this week.

For Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For Sunday, May 3, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Zoom class is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. Please check your email for the invitation and link to the Zoom call.

For the week of April 19, 2020

Dear Grade 2 Parents,

I hope you and your family are safe through this pandemic! At this point, the June 14th date for the First Communion Mass is still uncertain pending further progress toward the resolution of the pandemic. In the meantime, I do want to give the children an overview of how to receive Holy Communion.

Please review the following with your child(ren):

1. Before a child receives Holy Communion, he/she should go to confession if any venial or mortal sin has been committed. This is to ensure that the child reconciles with God and receives the sanctifying grace. 

2. The child should not eat any food one hour before receiving Holy Communion. 

3. As I had mentioned in previous weeks, when we receive Holy Communion, we are receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, utmost respect should be shown. When the child stands in line to receive Holy Communion, he/she should have the hands folded (as in praying) and be quiet.

4. When the priest, deacon, or Eucharistic Minister, says the “Body of Christ,” the child should answer “Amen.”

5. The child has the option to receive the Eucharist on the tongue or the hand. By the former, the child should have the tongue fully extended. By the latter, if the child is right-handed, he/she should place the left hand on top of the right hand. After the priest/deacon/Eucharistic Minister places the Eucharist on the child’s left hand, he/she should quickly pick it up with the right hand and place it in the mouth before leaving the sanctuary. If the child is left-handed, the procedures are the exact opposite.

6. If the parent should allow the child to receive the Blood of Christ, the Eucharistic Minister would say the “Blood of Christ,” and the child should answer “Amen” and then take one small sip from the chalice.

7. In Transfiguration Church, some parishioners have followed the practice of dipping the Eucharist onto the Blood of Christ in the chalice as it was the practice previously in Hong Kong. This is called “intinction.” Please note that this is NOT allowed in any diocese in the United States. 

8. After the child receives Holy Communion, he/she should pray quietly and give thanks to our Lord.

On the web site, formed.org, there is a very interesting and entertaining short film called, “The Eucharist for Little Children.” Please sign up (if you haven’t already) and view this with your child.

If you have any questions on the above, please contact me via email (johnhum@me.com).

In our Lord,

John

————————————————– END

No reading/homework assignment for Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.

For the week of April 5 – 11, 2020

Dear Religious Education Grade 2 parents,

Last week, we discussed the Liturgy of the Eucharist and completed a review of the final portions of the Mass. This week, we will cover several related topics – the Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church and the color of the priest vestments in each period.

The Liturgical Year begins with the First Sunday of Advent which occurs in either late November or early December. It concludes with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, in late November.

For the current liturgical year, the key dates and the color of the priest vestments are as follows:

December 1, 2019: First Sunday of Advent – Violet

December 25, 2019: Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) – White

January 1, 2020: Solemnity Of Mary, the Holy Mother of God – White

January 13 – February 25: Ordinary Time – Green

February 26 – April 4: Lent – Violet

April 5: Palm Sunday – Red

April 11: Holy Saturday – White

April 12: Easter Sunday – White

April 13 – May 30: Easter Weeks – White

May 31: Pentecost Sunday – Red

June 7: Most Holy Trinity – White

June 14: Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – White

June 15 – November 22: Ordinary Time – Green

November 22: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – White

Holy Days of Obligation – These are the holy days on which all the faithful in the United States are required to attend Mass:

January 1: Mary, the Holy Mother of God

May 21: Ascension

August 15: Assumption of Mary (abrogated for 2020)

All Saints Day: November 1

Immaculate Conception: December 8

Christmas: December 25

If you have any questions on the above, please contact me via johnhum@me.com.

In our Lord,

John

For the week of March 29 – April 4, 2020

Dear Religious Education Grade 2 Parents,

Last week, we covered the history of the Creed and the meanings of key works in that profession of faith. This week, we move onto to the next significant part of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Let us begin by reading the excerpt from the Gospel of Luke on the Last Supper (Luke 22:14-20):

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Now, show your child this picture of a butterfly.

Ask your child the following questions:
* Where do butterflies come from?
* Can you explain how are they transformed?
* Do you know that there is a transformation at Mass too?

During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the bread is transformed to the body of Christ, and the wine is transformed to the blood of Christ. This is called Transubstantiation.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the presentation of the gifts, Several parishioners are asked to bring the bread and wine to the priest at the sanctuary.
There is a choice of six Eucharistic Prayers:
* Eucharistic Prayer I
* Eucharistic Prayer II
* Eucharistic Prayer III
* Eucharistic Prayer IV
* Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I
* Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II
Only a priest can say these Eucharistic Prayers, not a deacon. The usual choice for the priest is Eucharistic Prayer II.
During these Eucharistic Prayers, the priest calls forth the Holy Spirit to transform the bread to the Body of Christ, and the wine to the Blood of Christ. Other terms for the Body of Christ include the consecrated host and the Blessed Sacrament.
At the conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest calls all parishioners to join him in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
Afterwards, the parishioners exchange a sign of peace. Usually, this is done through a handshake. However, during times of transmittable diseases, the handshake is replaced with a gentle nod of the head.
The priest, deacon, and extraordinary eucharistic ministers (lay people) can distribute the Body and Blood of Christ. 

The Body of Christ is distributed from a ciborium or a paten. 

A paten

The Blood of Christ is distributed from a chalice.

A chalice

You can receive the Body of Christ by hand or by the tongue.

Please note that the standard rule in the Archdiocese of New York is that you cannot dip the consecrated host in the cup with the blood of Christ. 
If there are any extra consecrated hosts, the priest or deacon would place them in a ciborium in the Tabernacle which is located on the left side of the sanctuary at Transfiguration Church. Some children have called this the little castle.  Then the priest would say the Post-Communion Prayer, followed by the commentator announcing highlights from the parish bulletin. Afterwards, the priest gives the final blessing to all the parishioners.

If you have any questions on the above, please contact me via johnhum@me.com
In our Lord,
John

For the week of March 22-28, 2020

Dear Religious Education Grade 2 Parents,


We concluded last week’s class with the homily, where the priest or deacon would give a five to ten-minute talk explaining how the themes of those three Scriptural readings can be applied to our daily lives.

The next part in the Mass is the Creed. This is a statement of what we believe in the Catholic faith. The priest could use either the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed. Most of the time, the priest would choose the Nicene Creed. I have outlined the key materials of the creed below:

1. Historical background –
a. In early Fourth Century, there was a monk, named Arius, who claimed that Christ could not be God in the same sense that the Father was God. In his view, Christ was simply a created human being – a great man, but a man nonetheless. In the year 325, nearly three hundred bishops attended the council at Nicaea, a city in the present day Turkey. The council prepared a creed that affirmed  Christ has the same substance as God the Father (I will explain that later). Arius was excommunicated.
b. Since Arius persisted in his arguments, there was another council held in Constantinople (the present day city of Istanbul) in the year 381. In that council, the bishops confirmed the findings from Nicaea and stated that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. In another clause, the bishops stated that the “Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from  the Father and the Son…” This became the updated Nicene Creed which we still use today.

2. Key words/phrases in the Nicene Creed:
a. Jesus Christ…God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God – Christ is truly God, not just a great man as Arius had claimed.
b. Consubstantial – The Father and the Son have the same substance. Consider the example of two wooden chairs. They both have the same substance, the same material, which is wood.
c. Salvation – Jesus came to save us from the death of sin so we can enter eternal joy in Heaven.
d. Incarnate of the Virgin Mary – Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.
e. Pontius Pilate – He as the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus to die on the cross.
f. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – The creed affirms our belief in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – three persons in one substance.

The full text of the Nicene Creed is given below (as stated in the web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, usccb.org):

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

If you have any questions on the above, please contact me via email at johnhum@me.com.

For the week of March 15-21, 2020

The following are materials that you can review with your child over the next three weeks in preparation for their First Communion in June.

1. In the first part of this semester, the children are learning the basic parts of each Mass. During the past two Sundays, we have discussed in class the first important part of Mass, specifically, the Liturgy of the Word. This consists of four components – a. An excerpt from one of the books in the Old Testament (except during the Easter Season when we use excerpts from the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament)
b. Responsorial Psalm (excerpts from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament)
c. An excerpt from one of the letters written by St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, or St. John
d. An excerpt from one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
Every Sunday, you should share those four readings with your child. You can find them in the Bible section of the web site for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (usccb.org). The link for the readings of March 15 is shown below:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/031520.cfm

During class, we had discussed the outline of the Bible and shared some of the books that children might the familiar with.

2. After the Scriptural readings, the priest or deacon would give a homily explaining how the themes of those readings can be applied to our daily lives.
To help the child get a good understanding of each part of Mass, I encourage you to view the cartoon movie, “Brother Francis – The Mass, A Life-Giving Prayer.” It is available on formed.org. As a parishioner of Transfiguration Parish, you should have free access to this web site. 
Another cartoon movie that your child might enjoy is: “Brother Francis – The Bread of Life, Celebrating the Eucharist.” It is also available on formed.org.
If you have any questions on the above, please feel free to contact me via johnhum@me.com.

Have a blessed Lent!

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