There’s only one Ascension craft for this Sunday worth doing, and that’s because it’s so good! I tried one year to make something different that was just as engaging, but there was no knocking this plastic cup project off its pedestal.
You guessed it! It’s Jesus on a string pulled up into a cup decorated with cotton balls. The hardest part is getting the yarn through the hole in the top. I have just a couple recommendations, and I’ll use my time to give you supplemental activity and fun stuff at home ideas instead of instructions.
- Put two stickers, sticky side together, around the end of the piece of string that comes out of the top of the cup. This will ensure you don’t have to thread that thing more than once.
- If you’re out of cotton balls, grab some stuffing. If you don’t have that, pull apart q-tips. Still none of those? Just use white paper to cut cloud shapes.
- For Jesus, draw your own (see videos below), use our Jesus PDF from the Gospel reading a few weeks back (Road to emmaus 3rd Sunday of Easter A Jesus), or grab one from your favorite coloring pages. Our Jesus in the video is from CraftingtheWordofGod.com. There are several coloring page links below.
Jesus finally gets to go home. He promises to be with us always. This brings to mind one very big question for me that is so pertinent in quarantine: What does it mean to be “with” us? I think the current pandemic can teach us a ton about being “with” each other and trusting in that presence.
Of course, we’re human, and we can’t fill hearts like the Holy Spirit. But we can be united in so many ways! We know the ones that come to mind first – zoom, texting, the phone (why is this so far down the list now?!!), letters and cards, messages written on the sidewalk and in windows. The most powerful way to be “with” each other, though, is in prayer. If we want to truly imitate God’s way of being with us, shouldn’t we connect through him? Our prayers seek relationship with God and the entire Communion of Saints. The hardest part isn’t getting on our knees, but trusting that that can be enough for now. We also have to trust that others are doing what they can to be with us, too.
The last part takes courage. Getting up every morning and facing every day trusting that God is still with us, and so are our loved ones, has gotten harder than we’ve known in our generation. Just as the Disciples suddenly lost their way of life following Jesus on earth, so too we’ve lost our day-to-day norm. Take this Gospel reading and think about what the Disciples did even though they were scared. That’s what we’re called to do, too. Pray for fortitude. God is still with us!
A great way to reflect on when Christ first entered our hearts is to think about our Baptism. In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Baptism is one of the presentations given during Easter. Each child is given a candle lit from the model Paschal candle and called by name to receive the Light of Christ. Remember that Christ’s light is the Light of the Risen Christ and that it is an individual call. It is a light that never goes out. Baptism marks the day the Holy Spirit first enters our hearts and begins helping us perfect ourselves on earth so we can fully enjoy heaven later. He’s still there, still helping us.
Family Activities, Worksheets, Coloring Pages, and Resources for Ascension Sunday
Now that we’re all at home, take the opportunity to practice living out the Liturgy all week long. I’ve split this up into the themes that make sense to me. I hope they make sense to you, too. I’ve listed my ideas for subjects, and I’ll fill in with links as I find them.
- Readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052420.cfm
- Gospel: Ascension, aka the Great Commission
- Sacrament Study: Baptism
- Work of Mercy: Instruct the Ignorant
- Virtue: Fortitude
- Saint: St. Philip Neri
- Prayer: Mary, Our Mother
- Extensions: spread of Christianity, geography of Israel, cloud formations, trumpet music, famous Ascension masterpieces
- Follow cgsusa.org guidelines and explore the memories of your Baptisms. Pull out your Baptismal candles, white garment, and pictures.
- Call your Godparents, or the Godparents of your children. Pray for them together.
- Create your own Ascension artwork with chalk on the driveway, with paint on paper, with torn pieces of paper in a collage, with yarn, or even with Legos. Take a picture and wish your family “Happy Ascension Sunday”!
- Assemble the cup craft above, or something from CatholicIcing.
- Make your own trumpet to use while reading the psalm by following directions on InsidetheOrchestra.org. Then, start a parade proclaiming Christ’s Ascension. You can even pretend to be the Disciples going out to Baptize all nations, making each room of the house a different “nation”.
Find music from Jazz trumpet player Miles Davis, an upbeat rendition of “All Creatures of our God and King,” and “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.” You can also enjoy some Group VBS songs about God’s power from years past.
To emphasize fortitude, read “A Little Spot of Courage,” or any adventure chapter books like the “Magic Treehouse,” series or “Narnia.” For Gospel references for kids, I suggest the Catechism of the Seven Sacraments. To get a true definition of the virtue of fortitude, check your Catechism, or find the online version. For information on Philip Neri, try this chapter book, or this graphic novel. (Disclaimer: I haven’t read these myself, but I’m excited they exist!)
Download and print:
TheCatholicKid.com has coloring pages for the Ascension and St. Philp Neri. CraftingtheWordofGod.com also has a coloring page, puzzle, and craft. Holy Heroes always includes quizzes and coloring pages with their Mass Prep. Sign up to download them! LooktoHimandBeRadiant, one of my favorite sites, has a Fortitude coloring page, and a great Virtues lesson plan, too.
- Christ gave the Disciples a “new commission” from the same mountain where he proclaimed the Sermon on the Mount. Why is that important?
- What does it mean to be “with” someone? How is Christ with us each day? How can we be with Him?
- What new direction has God been writing on your heart since the pandemic changed everyday life?
- If we’re supposed to continue Christ’s mission as His Disciples, how many people would we each have to evangelize if we wanted the entire world to hear His message? (Hint: Look up the population of the world and divide by the world population of Catholics.)