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"Introduction to the Sacraments: Sign, symbol and ritual" Large and small group

Lesson Plan 6 for HS FLAME November 2, 2008

5:15 PM ­ 7:00 PM

OBJECTIVES · For our teens to understand the meaning and importance of the seven sacraments in the catholic tradition. · For our teens to better understand the multidimensional elements of the sacraments. · For our teens to distinguish between the seven sacraments and the many sacramentals. OVERVIEW I. II. Teen Band and choir to play an intro set of worship and praise from 5:155:30pm Large Group welcome, prayer & intro ­ Paul McMahon, Director of Youth Ministries (5:305:45) · Prayer: Matthew 4:1317 "The baptism of Jesus" · Emphasize that Catholic tradition teaches us that the sacraments were instituted by Christ. The sacraments begin in the life and ministry of Jesus. Each relates to stories and teachings of Jesus. · Sacraments call us to get in touch with the sacred inside ourselves. · The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred". · The seven sacraments are divided into sacraments of initiation, healing and service/vocation. . Announcements: · Groups should be planning their service trips for the year and when they will serve mass and hospitality. · F2 classes should register online for Pizza with Pat if they have not already. · F2 classes should get copies of their baptismal certificates to Jason if they were not baptized at HF. · F2 classes have the rite of enrolment mass coming up on November 16 at 4pm. This is where the teens that want to be confirmed publically proclaim their intention to receive the sacrament. Teens can invite their sponsor if they have chosen one, or at least a parent should attend mass with them. This is the beginning of the public phase of the sacrament and more intense study of confirmation over the next 6 months. · Turkeybowl for all HS teens is Friday, November 28 at HF. · Kairos 6 is November 710 and many peer ministers are going. There is no FLAME this weekend. · F1 retreat is Sunday, November 23 from 95pm and includes the 4pm mass. Catechists should plan on being with their small group on the day. The retreat director from Resurrection will meet with catechists after FLAME on November 16 at 7pm. Peer ministers are invited to the F1 retreat too.


IV. V.

Collection for the day: PADS collection for safety gear such as night vests, backpacks and helmets. Small group break out to discuss the topic of the day.

VI. Announcements in small group, closing prayer & dismissal in small groups at 7pm.




Greeting/Icebreakers · Peer Ministers can and should be used with ice breakers. Catechists should discuss ahead of time what can be done. · Small group is encouraged to share the highs and lows of the week. Any Birthdays? Special occasions or events coming up? Scripture Readings: Breaking open the word Matthew 4:1317 "The baptism of Jesus" o o o o How is the baptism of Jesus the beginning of our seven catholic sacraments? Why do you think baptism is our first sacrament? What meaning and symbolism does water have in the sacrament of baptism? What do teens think about full immersion baptisms that HF does at Easter? Why do we practice this ritual?

Background for catechists and peers · Read the Catholic Updates in your files titled, "What are Sacraments?" C0895 and "The Sacramentals" C0793. Catholic Teaching and small group discussion These questions follow the text of the Catholic Updates. If you would like to develop your own questions from the Updates, please do. The Updates are merely a starting point to discus the question of "What are sacraments" If a catechist wants to prepare their own lesson about the 7 sacraments from scripture trying to answer the question above, that is fine too! The 7 sacraments can be found in scripture in the life and ministry of Jesus. 2

· Begin class by asking the group to look at the pictures on the front of the Catholic Update, "What are Sacraments?" · Explain to the teens that there are 7 boxes of symbols that represent the 7 sacraments. Have the teens name each sacrament by looking at the symbols. · Discuss how each sacrament has its own specific symbols. Talk about the 7 sacraments in general and what some of the signs and symbols are for each sacrament. · Explain that symbols can mean more than one thing at the same time. Symbols are different to signs because signs have a more literal and singular meaning. The symbol of a cross for example can have so many different meanings to each individual. Ask the teens to describe what different symbols mean to them such as a cross, the Eucharist, a dove, a heart, fire etc. Look for symbols around the room or on the teen's clothing and discuss the levels of meaning that these have. For example a Nike swoosh can bring about thoughts of Nike itself, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, sport's clothing, sweatshops etc. · With Thanksgiving coming up, ask the teens to share the different symbols that are associated with Thanksgiving. What symbols do the teens have in their families that relate to thanksgiving? What symbols are put on the thanksgiving table (think decorations, cornucopia, colors etc)? What do these thanksgiving symbols represent and mean to the teens? Explain that symbols themselves cannot be easily defined like signs can. · Thanksgiving for example is a ritual action that contains symbols, much like the sacraments do. · Transition from a discussion on symbols in general back to symbols within sacraments. · Define the word sacrament for the teens: The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred" How are the sacraments sacred? What is sacred? What other things in the lives of the teens would be considered sacred? Discuss. · Sacraments are celebrations of Christian tradition, of Christian life and of Christian hope. They share the dimension of past, present and future that give ordinary celebrations meaning. · Sacraments are an outward visible sign of an invisible reality that Jesus loves us. Discuss this statement. Can the teens see what the invisible realities are? In confirmation for example the invisible reality is that the teen is becoming an adult in his or her faith. The invisible reality is that the teens are in a conversion process from childhood to responsibility in young adulthood. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the HS that we will study on 11/16, the teen can become more of what Jesus wants them to be. · Page 3 of the update, "What are Sacraments?" has a good flow chart of the 7 sacraments and how these 7 sacraments share the dimensions of past, present and future. Have the teens look over the chart. Do they have any questions about the sacraments? · Explain that our catholic tradition has 7 sacraments and even protestant churches have sacraments. · Our sacraments were instituted by Jesus and are based on his life and ministry. Ask the teens what gospel stories they know that relate to the 7 sacraments? Some stories like the baptism of Jesus are more obvious. § Why does John the Baptist want to baptize people in the NT? Why did Jesus choose to be baptized like everyone else?(Matthew 4:1317) § The apostles were confirmed in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:113) § Jesus celebrated the Eucharist at the last supper (Matthew 26:2630) § There are many gospel stories of Jesus forgiving others. Ask the teens for examples. § There are many gospel stories about Jesus healing others. Ask the teens for examples. § Marriage and Ordination are seen in the gospels when Jesus speaks of fidelity and commitment in many different ways. Ordination can be seen when Jesus chooses his 12 (Matthew 5:1822) and marriage is explained in Matthew 19:112. v The catechism of the Catholic Church defines as: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us." Try and explain what this means in "teen" language. I would say that sacraments are signs of God's love that 3

are already in us and come alive more so through the sacraments. The sacraments also help us towards eternal life. v Explain the three time dimensions of sacraments if you haven't already. For example the Eucharist celebrates the past in that Jesus celebrated the last supper and asked us to do it in memory of him. Eucharist celebrates the present in that the Eucharist strengthens a community and gives them spiritual food to live in the now. Eucharist celebrates the future in that as the body of Christ we are to go into the world for each other. Think of the final words of mass...go in peace to love and serve the Lord and each other. v Ask the teens for their memories of the sacraments they have received thus far, especially their first communion and first reconciliation. How were these experiences sacred? How have these experiences affected the teens in the daily living (try to push them on this....think about being the body of Christ for others by participating in the mass and forgiving others as Jesus forgives us). v Transition from the sacraments into a discussion on sacramentals. After discussing the personal stories of the teen's sacramental memories, ask the teens what special symbols or gifts did they receive for their first communion. I'm sure many of them received crosses, bibles etc. v Explain that these sacred objects help us get in touch with our spiritual and sacred side. These objects are examples of sacramentals. Sacramentals are any action, object or prayer that draws us closer to God. Ask the teens to describe the meaning of any sacramental they may be wearing. If a Peer Minister has been on Kairos, they may be wearing the Kairos cross...ask the peer(s) to describe what the cross means to them. The rosary beads we used last week are sacramentals also. v Brainstorm all the sacramentals that are in the church...objects, actions and prayers that draw us closer to God. How do these sacramentals help us become closer to God? What sacramentals exist in the homes and families of the teens? Have the teens explain the significance of these sacramentals. For example in my home, my wife and I have framed our wedding vows and keep them in our bedroom as a reminder of what we promised each other on our wedding day. My wedding ring is a sacramental. Catechists and peers can share what sacramentals have meaning to them. v Finish by making sure the teens know the difference between sacraments and sacramentals. v What are the teens looking forward to in the sacrament of Confirmation? This will lead into the lesson of 11/16. Social Action o Begin to plan the year ahead in service. FLAME Catechists should have signed up for SL, IH and mass dates. What other service does our group want to do? Challenges for the week (Lived out FAITH) o Ask your parents about their memories of their own sacraments. Ask them to look at photos of their sacraments. o F2 teens should be talking to their parents about sponsors for confirmation. A sponsor should ideally be a practicing catholic, or at least a practicing Christian. Sponsors should not be parents for the same reasons parents are not godparents. Sponsors are supports and additions to the spiritual life of the teens and should work with the parents in raising and mentoring the teens. Catechists and peers can share who they chose as sponsors and why. o F2 teens should be thinking about whether they will take a new confirmation name of reaffirm their baptismal name. Taking a new name has always been a sign of conversion in the church. Saul became Paul for example when he converted to Christianity. Teens should start to research 4

saints' names or think of a family member that is "saintly" and take their name as the confirmation name. If a teen's baptismal name is already saintly and they have already been named after a significant family member, the teen may choose to keep their own name as is. Catechists and peers can share their own reasoning for their confirmation names. Closing Prayer & Dismissal o Use the covenant prayer if you haven't already. Gather the teens in a circle, standing or seated. They may join hands if it's appropriate. Catechists and peers may add their own words and blessings on the group.

Please remember to dismiss class at 7:00PM only. Do not dismiss students earlier.



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