Open with a Prayer: Our Father, Hail Mary. Review with the students the first three lines of the Apostle Creed and continue with the fourth line.

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1 Rite of Christian Initiation for Children The Association for Catechumenal Ministry LESSON #5 The Sacraments of Initiation Objective: The students will learn that the Catholic Church has Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ while he was living on earth among us. The first three we will discuss are called the Sacraments of Initiation, because each one is a step we take to bring us more fully into the family of God. Open with a Prayer: Our Father, Hail Mary. Review with the students the first three lines of the Apostle Creed and continue with the fourth line. Teach: Today we are going to learn about the first three of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. These first three are called the Sacraments of Initiation (write words on board), because each of these sacraments welcome us more fully into the life of the Catholic Church. Remember from our second lesson when we talked about the reason Jesus came to be with us on earth (the PowerPoint)? We learned about the Old Testament covenants, the promises that God made with his Chosen People, the Children of Israel. He made covenants with Adam and Eve following the Fall, with Noah and his family after the Great Flood, with Abraham and his descendants after his test of faith, with Moses and the Children of Israel after the Exodus, and with David and the Kingdom of Israel. Every covenant reminded God s people that he was their God, that he alone was to be worshipped, and that he would love his people for ever. All his people needed to do was to follow God s laws and to do our best to live as children of God. But the Children of Israel kept forgetting how to live as God s children and even when they remembered they refused to follow God s ways but God still loved his people; so God finally fulfilled his promise to his people by sending his only Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and to show us how to live as Children of God. Jesus gave us many ways to live as God wishes us to live: he taught us with the Beatitudes (which we will learn about in another lesson); he taught us through his parables or stories (which we will also learn about in another lesson); he showed us how to treat others through his own actions; and he also gave us seven beautiful Sacraments to allow us opportunities to experience God s grace and love. Each of these seven sacraments were given to us by Jesus and can be found in the New Testament scriptures

2 Today, we are going to begin learning about the Sacraments. The first three we are going to talk about are Baptism, First Eucharist [or First Holy Communion], and Confirmation. These are called the Sacraments of Initiation. Ask: 1. Who would like to tell us something you know about the Sacrament of Baptism? (answers will vary) 2. Who can tell us about when Jesus was baptized? (answers will vary) 3. How do we know that Jesus wants us to be baptized, too? Let s check the Bible. Ask the students to open their Bibles to Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15-16; Jn. 3:5-6 (check index to Bible for many, many scripture references to Baptism). 4. What happens to the person during Baptism? (wash away [Original] Sin, become sons and daughters in God s family, become one with Christ, and become part of the Catholic Church and its mission in the world.) Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word." Ask the students to open their Bibles to Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15-16; Jn. 3:5-6 (check index to Bible for many, many scripture references to Baptism). THE RITE OF THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM (take student upstairs to Baptismal font) 53. When they come to the font, the celebrant briefly reminds the congregation of the wonderful work of God whose plan it is to sanctify man, body and soul, through water. He may use these or similar words: My dear brothers and sisters, we now ask God to give these children new life in abundance through water and the Holy Spirit. Blessing and Invocation of God over Baptismal Water 54. Then, turning to the font, he says the following blessing: Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power. In baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament. At the very dawn of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of - 2 -

3 baptism that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness. Through the waters of the Red Sea you led Israel out of slavery to be an image of God s holy people, set free from sin by baptism. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit. Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross. After his resurrection he told his disciples: Go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Father, look now with love upon your Church and unseal for it the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. The celebrant touches the water with his right hand and continues: We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the waters of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith 55. The celebrant speaks to the parents and godparents in these words: Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present these children for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit they are to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring them up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts. If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the Church. This is the faith in which these children are about to be baptized. 56. The celebrant questions the parents and godparents. Celebrant: Do you reject Satan? Parents and godparents: I do. Celebrant: And all his works? Parents and godparents: I do. Celebrant: And all his empty promises? Parents and godparents: I do. 57. Next the celebrant asks for the threefold profession of faith from the parents and godparents: Celebrant: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? - 3 -

4 Parents and godparents: I do. Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Parents and godparents: I do. Celebrant: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting? Parents and godparents: I do. 58. The celebrant and the congregation give their assent to the profession of faith: Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. All: Amen. Baptism 59. The celebrant invites the first of the families to the font. Using the name of the individual child, he questions the parents and godparents. Celebrant: Is it your will that N. should be baptized in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you? Parents and godparents: It is. He baptizes the child, saying: N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, He immerses the child or pours water upon it: and of the Son, He immerses the child or pours water upon it a second time: and of the Holy Spirit. He immerses the child or pours water upon it a third time. Anointing after Baptism 62. Then the celebrant says: God of power and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin and brought you to new life through water and the Holy Spirit. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation, so that, united with his people, you may remain for ever a member of Christ who is Priest, Prophet, and King. All: Amen. Next the celebrant anoints the child on the crown of the head with chrism, in silence

5 Clothing with White Garment 63. The celebrant says: (N.), you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourselves in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven. All: Amen. The white garments are put on the children. Lighted Candle 64. The celebrant takes the Easter candle and says: Receive the light of Christ. Someone from each family (e.g., the father or godfather) lights the child s candle from the Easter candle. The celebrant then says: Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. These children of yours have been enlightened by Christ. They are to walk always as children of the light. May they keep the flame of faith alive in their hearts. When the Lord comes, may they go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom. Ephephetha or Prayer over Ears and Mouth 65. The celebrant touches the ears and mouth of each child with his thumb, saying: The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father. All: Amen. THE RITE OF THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION: The next sacrament we are going to talk about is the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is the completion of a person s Baptism. See if you can tell why. Renewal of Baptismal Promises After the homily, the candidates stand and the Bishop questions them. They respond together: Bishop: Do you reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises? Candidates: I do - 5 -

6 Bishop: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth? Candidates: I do Bishop: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Candidates: I do Bishop: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who came upon the apostles at Pentecost and today is given to you sacramentally in Confirmation? Candidates: I do Bishop: Do you believe in the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? Candidates: I do Assent to the Profession of Faith Bishop: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Congregation Responds: AMEN Imposition of Hands The imposition of hands upon the candidates by the Bishop and concelebrating priests expresses the biblical gesture by which the gifts of the Holy Spirit are invoked. My dear friends: In baptism God the Father gave the new birth of eternal life to his chosen sons and daughters. Let us pray to our Father that he will pour out the Holy Spirit to strengthen his sons and daughters with his gifts and anoint them to be more like Christ the Son of God. All pray in silence for a short time. The Bishop and the Priests who assist him impose hands upon all the candidates. The Bishop alone sings or says: All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Congregation Responds: AMEN - 6 -

7 Candidates and sponsors will come forward row by row to receive anointing. Anointing with Oil and Sign of Peace Through the anointing with chrism, the baptized person receives the indelible character, the seal of the Lord, together with the gift of the Holy Spirit which conforms the Confirmed more closely to Christ and gives him/her the grace of spreading the Lord s presence among others. Bishop: N, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Newly Confirmed responds: Amen Bishop: Peace be with you. Newly Confirmed responds: And also with you. Emphasize: 1. Did you notice that the questions asked of the parents and godparents at Baptism were the same as those asked of the candidates at Confirmation? That is why the Sacrament of Confirmation is considered the fulfillment of a person s Baptism. At Confirmation, the individual has an opportunity to speak for himself or herself when answering (or confirming) the questions about his/her faith. 2. What else did you notice about each sacrament? (answers may vary; help the children to understand that each sacrament has a physical sign that points us to the inner grace or effect that we experience but do not see: Baptism sign = water and anointing with oil, the grace or effect = washing away of sin, member of God s family, members with Christ, part of Catholic Church and its mission; Confirmation sign = anointing with oil, the grace or effect = increased power of the Holy Spirit) THE HOLY EUCHARIST (FIRST HOLY COMMUNION): The last sacrament we are going to talk about today is the center of our worship in the Catholic faith The Holy Eucharist. Please open your Bibles to Lk. 22:7-20. We are going to read in scripture about how Jesus instituted the first Eucharist. After reading the scripture passage, teach: What do you think Jesus was telling his disciples in these passages? (answers will vary; he was sacrificing himself for them; he was making a new and ever-lasting covenant; he was creating a way that we can stay close to him; he was teaching us about self-sacrificing love, etc.). Explain: When Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, he was actually sharing the Passover meal (The Feast of Unleavened Bread) with them. The Passover meal is still celebrated every year to remind the Children of Israel about how God saved them from - 7 -

8 slavery in Egypt and brought them through the desert with Moses to the Promised Land. Part of the tradition of the meal is to share unleavened bread and cups of wine. Special prayers are said throughout the meal. As we go through the Eucharistic Prayers, we will talk about moments within the Mass that our prayers are very similar to the Jewish prayers of the Passover meal. Liturgy of the Eucharist (hand out Missals to each student WHICH THEY WILL KEEP): Offertory - Preparation of the Altar: The altar is set to receive the gifts of bread and wine from the people of the congregation; it is similar to the table upon which Jewish families would celebrate their weekly Sabbath Meal (Shabbat). Preparation and the Offering of the Gifts: The gifts are brought forward, handed to the priest, and placed on the altar. The priest acknowledges the goodness of God and the blessing that these gifts are to us and to the church. Following the Blessing, the priest asks the congregation to join in offering the gifts to God. The wording of these prayers is very similar to the words that are used during Shabbat (the Sabbath) and in the Seder Meal during the Jewish celebration of the Passover: Blessing the Wine at Shabbat and Passover: A kiddish cup is filled to the rim (to represent being filled with joy) with kosher wine or grape juice, and the blessing over the wine is recited. This blessing is called Kiddush, which means sanctification. Wine is poured into a silver cup, blessed, and thus sanctified: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Ask children to find similar words in the Eucharistic Prayer) Another action of the Jewish Shabbat and Passover meal is breaking the matzo (the unleavened bread). The leader lifts up the matzo and says: Blessed are art Thou, Lord, our God, king of the universe who brings forth bread from the earth. (Ask children to find similar words in the Eucharistic Prayer) Washing of the Hands: Signifies the great care and purity with which we should approach the altar. The ritualistic washing of hands is also part of Jewish tradition. Prayers over the Gifts: These begin with the responses, The Lord be with you; And also with you; Lift up your hearts; We lift them up to the Lord; Let us give thanks to the Lord our God; It is right to give him thanks and praise

9 Following these responses, the priest will pray the appropriate preface for this particular Mass. Eucharistic Prayer (holiest part of the Mass)- Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Invocation of the Holy Spirit (Epiclesis): Let your spirit come down upon these gifts to make them Holy so that they may become for us the Body and Blood (sign of the cross over the bread and wine) of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Consecration: This is my Body which will be given up for you this is the cup of my Blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. The bread and wine become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ at this point [Transubstantiation]. Offering to the Father: In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup. We thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. May all of us who share in the Body and Blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. Doxology: Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, forever and ever. Emphasize: The Catholic Church teaches that at the time the priest says the words of the consecration, the bread and wine really, truly becomes the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ; and that, as we partake of the Holy Eucharist, we are allowing Christ to nourish us and become part of our own bodies. This is the grace or effect we receive in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. This is a great mystery of the Church and is one that we are asked to accept in faith. Let s conclude this lesson by asking Jesus to help us to receive this mystery in faith and with his grace. (Include this with your concluding prayer below) Conclude with a Hail Mary, the Lord s Prayer, and the first four lines of the Apostle s Creed

10 THE APOSTLES CREED The Apostles Creed is the Church s statement of beliefs. If you read the creed carefully, you can see that what it is really saying is that we believe in God, in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. It also says we believe in the holy Catholic Church, in the community of all saints, in the forgiveness of sins, and in eternal life with God in heaven. Most theologians agree that the creed was created within the first 100 to 200 years after Jesus death and resurrection. Over the years, the words have changed but only very slightly. Every Sunday at Mass, the entire congregation recites another version of the creed called The Nicene Creed. It is a little longer, but it is the same set of beliefs. I believe in God, The Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, And is seated at the right hand of God, The Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, The holy Catholic Church, The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, And life everlasting. Amen

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