How to Become a Liturgical Catechist


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Presentation on how catechists can learn to use colors and symbols of the liturgical seasons, basic symbols, postures and gestures of the Mass to help students develop a liturgical sensibility.

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How to Become a Liturgical Catechist

  2. 2. What is a Liturgical Catechist? A Liturgical Catechist  Connects the classroom to the weekend liturgy  Uses symbols, colors, gestures, postures and patterns of speech from the Mass  Leads prayer in a liturgical way  Teaches young people to love the liturgy
  3. 3. Why become a Liturgical Catechist? To fulfill what Vatican II documents tell us:  The Mass is “Source and Summit” of Catholic life  One of the goals of Christian education is to learn “how to worship God the Father in Spirit and in Truth”  To encourage “full, conscious and active participation in the Mass.”
  4. 4. More reasons to be a Liturgical Catechist To encourage a fully Catholic lifestyle:  Learning about liturgy shouldn’t stop after First Communion  Living the Liturgical Year is a fundamental practice that brings us closer to Christ and the Saints.
  5. 5. No artificial separation between catechesis and liturgy Teaching for participation in the liturgy is one of the fundamental tasks of catechesis: “Helping to know, to celebrate and to contemplate the mystery of Christ.” General Directory for Catechesis
  6. 6. How to become a Liturgical Catechist? 4 steps  Observe and study what happens at Mass  Start to collect “Props”  Connect to the Sunday Lectionary  Connect to the Sunday Eucharist
  7. 7. What to observe at Mass What colors and symbols do you see during the seasons of the Liturgical Year?  What songs are sung in your parish that reflect the seasons?
  8. 8. What to do in class  Use seasonal colors for prayer spaces. Bring in objects, religious and natural, that “speak” the season without words.  Sing or play recordings of music of the season
  9. 9. Name that season!
  10. 10. How many seasonal symbols can you think of?  Advent  Christmas  Ordinary Time  Lent  Easter
  11. 11. What to observe at Mass What looks important in the church?  Altar  Ambo (pulpit)  Book of the Gospels  Baptismal font  Paschal candle (Easter candle)
  12. 12. What to do in class
  13. 13. Why is this important?
  14. 14. What to observe at Mass How do we move and speak?  Movement with reverence  Verbal formulas  Postures – when do we stand and kneel?  Gestures
  15. 15. What to do in class  Have a procession to prayer area  Hold the Bible or Lectionary high for all to see  Begin/end every prayer with the sign of the Cross  Begin a scripture reading as we do in church “A reading from....” end with “The Word /Gospel of the Lord”  Have students respond to Gospel introduction with the three-fold cross, and end with “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”
  16. 16. When/why do we do that in church?
  17. 17. Discussion: What have you observed at Mass and used in class? What do you think you could use?
  18. 18. Liturgical props: “smells and bells” Catholic liturgical prayer is physical and sensory in nature.  Seasonal colors  Sacramental symbols  The smells of incense and chrism  The sounds of words and music
  19. 19. Prayer table or prayer focus  Cloth the color of the liturgical season  Cross  Candle  Bible  Other seasonal symbols
  20. 20. How to build your liturgical props collection  Keep the size in proportion to your space  Choose things that look “worthy” – not tacky  Look for items from nature when you are outside
  21. 21. Use your prayer table  Have students process from their regular seating to come stand or sit around the prayer table  Light your candle  Read from the Bible on your prayer table
  22. 22. Connect to the Sunday Lectionary  Cycle A: Matthew  Cycle B: Mark  Cycle C: Luke  Gospel of John read every year during Easter Season
  23. 23. Refer to the Sunday Gospel  During class before on that Sunday  Whenever something you are teaching is related to a gospel story about to be read or recently read at Mass
  24. 24. Connect to the Sunday Eucharist  Know and teach the meaning of the Mass and the role of the people in the pews
  25. 25. Teach the meal and the sacrifice  We come to be nourished by word and Sacrament  We come to receive the sacrifice of Jesus Christ again and again – and to offer ourselves with it to be changed into a people of sacrificial love.
  26. 26. Help your students develop “Catholic bones” Always make classroom connections to  The liturgical season, its colors and symbols  Basic symbols of the liturgy  Postures and gestures of the Mass  Verbal formulas used at Mass
  27. 27. Connect to the family- the “domestic church”  Send home seasonal prayer and activity ideas  Email parents links to good liturgical videos  Start your own Pinterest board for great ideas – and share with families  Always encourage Mass attendance  Consider sitting as a class group – all your families – at Sunday Mass
  28. 28. Review
  29. 29. Resource: TheLiturgicalCatechist