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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
Bethlehem or The Town
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by Lisa Orchen 

Subject:         Prophecies


Title:              Prophecy of the Town


Age:                4+


Liturgical Time:      Advent


Source:          Micah 5:1; RPC: 106-113;  LGC: Ch 14; CCC:  461-463, 479, 483

                        (Incarnation), 2305 (Peace), 102, 134 (Jesus in prophecy), 450, 455, 468

                        (Christ the King); Sing With Joy Music, SPSA Course Notes, MLB


Doctrinal Points:

Ÿ         The Prophet gives a three-fold message (1.) God has a wonderful gift for us,     (2.) God loves us and wants to be with us, (3.) God is coming here

Ÿ         In the history of salvation, God prepares God’s people to recognize and receive God’s gift of self in Jesus.

Ÿ         The Prophet is one who listens deeply to God and is empowered to speak God’s message to others

Ÿ         God reveals God’s secrets to people through the prophets.

Ÿ         Jesus is the culmination of God’s plan for salvation.

Ÿ         Jesus is the one who is to be the ruler in Israel.

Ÿ         Jesus was / will be born in Bethlehem.

Ÿ         Great things come from small places.


Direct Aim:

Ÿ         To lift up Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born.

Ÿ         To wonder about how God brought such a powerful king out of such a small place.


Indirect Aims:

Ÿ         To prepare for the celebration of Christmas

Ÿ         To introduce and explain Advent and the symbols of Advent

Ÿ         To offer a sense of salvation history - that God prepares the people, reveals God’s self to people and is present through history to people

Ÿ         To explore God’s incarnation as a baby who was also so much more

Ÿ         To foster trust in God’s promise and power

Ÿ         To assist with control of movement

Ÿ         To foster prayer

Ÿ         To assist the child enter into the mystery of his/her relationship with God

Ÿ         To encourage greater participation in liturgy through introducing the traditional scriptures used during Advent

Ÿ         To nurture a sense of wonder and awe around the mystery of the Incarnation

Ÿ         To lay a foundation of respect for our Judaic heritage

Ÿ         To prepare for later work with the prophecies and infancy narratives

Ÿ         To foster a sense of humility



Ÿ         Prayer table prepared for Advent (prayer table, purple prayer cloth, purple drape or accessory clothes, Advent wreath, matches, snuffer)

Ÿ         Prayer card, 11x14, matted in purple to match Advent purples in Atrium with the words handwritten on parchment style paper: 

But you,


too small to be among

the clans of Judah,

for you shall

come forth for me


who is to be

RULER in Israel

Ÿ         Prayer card stand





At the Prayer Table, open mat on the floor.  Gather children in a semi-circle around the mat. 



“Does anyone remember the name for our circle of candles on our Prayer Table?“  Advent Wreath.  “Last week when we were here we lit our first two candles on our Advent Wreath.  Now we are in the third week of Advent and we will light three candles on our Advent Wreath.” 


“Every day during Advent we light a candle to help us wait and prepare.  What are we waiting for, do you remember”…..”Yes we are waiting to celebrate Christmas with Joy.”


“We’ve been talking about the prophets.  The prophets are people who listened to God very carefully and were able to give us messages from God.  A lot of the messages were about the one who would come.  We know one of the names for the one to come is the light.  We know there are many other names also.  We are going to listen to another prophet today to hear about where this light would come.”


Lighting the Candles


Light three Advent candles.  Place prophecy in stand.  Read once or twice through.


But you,


too small to be among

the clans of Judah,

for you shall

come forth for me


who is to be

RULER in Israel




“Micah the prophet is saying that Bethlehem is too small.  But from that tiny, tiny place will be born the one who will be the ruler of Israel.”


“We know who that one is, don’t we?  We might think that Jesus came from a very important place.  But Micah tells us that it was very small, very unimportant place.”


Read Prophecy again.


Welcoming A Response

Listen and respond to children’s answers to the open ended questions.  Try not to explain or answer but to respond with further questions to help their reflection go deeper.


Continuing to Pray

“Is there anything else you would like to sing or pray about this child?”


Invite the children to sing “Holy Ground.”


Continue on with Prayer Table Celebration.


Children’s Work


Ÿ         Copying prophecy (have parchment paper with printed lines)

Ÿ         Original artwork

Ÿ         Reading the prophecy

Ÿ         carrying the prophecy in procession

Ÿ         Sitting at Prayer Table


Children’s Responses:




CGS Level 1 Catechist Training