21 December 2013

Catechesis For Fourth Sunday Of Advent 1964-style

We were discussing the need for catechesis recently, and concluded that it is one of the things which have been lost from catholic education.

What follows is from the children's missal I was given for my First Holy Communion, which followed the scheme for catechesis used in my school.  I had made my FHC in top Infants (Year 2), so would have been taught this in December, in bottom Juniors (Year 3).

What I find interesting is the assumption that the themes here are considered to be understandable by seven year olds if properly taught. The way the teaching role of the priest is subtly linked to the prophetic mission of John the Baptist is particularly inspiring.

This is a contribution to debate, not a proposal to turn back the clock, so that when we take about evangelisation, we might reject from the outset any thought that we might need to dumb down the message.


"John, the son of Zachary", to a world now awaiting its God, pleads for our final pre-Christmas "make ready".  "Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight His paths" (GOSPEL).

Heroically, in the desert, he warns against the softness of iife in the city, pictured in the background. Alive to the danger of a "soft-garments" Iife, he is seen ia a rough "garment of camel's hair", carrying a baptismal shell, "preaching a baptism of repentance."

Introit Is. 43
DROP DOWN DEW, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just; let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour. The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands. Glory be, etc.

STIR UP THY MIGHT, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come; accompany us with great power, so that by the help of Thy grace, we may be mercifully hastened along when our sins weigh us down, Who livest, etc.

EPISTLE 1 Cor 4, 1-5
BRETHREN: let a man so account us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now here it is required in stewards that a man be found trustworthy. But with me it is a very small matter to be judged by you or by man's tribunal. Nay I do not even judge my own self. For l have nothing on my conscience, yet I am not thereby justified; but he who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, pass no judgment before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and make manifest the counsels of hearts; and then everyone will have his praise from God. THANKS BE TO GOD.

THE Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His Holy Name. Alleluia, alleluia. Come, O Lord, and do not delay; forgive the sins of thy people Israel. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 3 1-6
NOW IN THE FIFTEENTH YEAR of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judaea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of the district of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysarnis tetrarch of Abilina, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the desert, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight his pads. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth; and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.'"

HAIL, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with the. Blessed art thou among women and blessed it is the fruit of thy womb!

LOOK DOWN favourably upon these sacrifices, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that they may be profitable both to our devotion and salvation. Through Our Lord, etc. Turn to page 31

BEHOLD A VIRGIN shall conceive, and bring forth a son; and His name shall be called Emmanuel.

HAVING RECEIVED Thy gifts, we pray thee, O Lord, that the frequent reception of this sacrament may advance the work of our salvation. Through Our Lord, etc


KEY WORDS: "Servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (Epistle). "The voice of one crying the desert: 'make ready the way of the Lord'" (Gospel).

I believe that priests have the mission of teaching and governing for the sake of sanctifying members in the mystical body of Christ; that they are messengers of God's truth and dispensers of the sacraments.

I believe that we should have the deepest respect and reverence for their high office; that we should pray often for priestly labourers.


Mike Cliffson said...

Pope Emeritus Benedict said something along these lines not so long back.Approx:
Kids can and should get first communion at the age of reason.
Which is held to be around seven.
To my embarrasment for years afterwards, It seems that I was woken up on my seventh birthday and happily announced "I've reached the age of reason."
Point being not so much that I had garroulous middleclass converts for parents and a ditto nun for a Godmother - all true - rather, in considerably less than middle class catholic state schools , including one where half my class's dad either was inside, had been , or was expected to be , the idea that kids could cope with the faith was a given.
It was only many years later that I came across - or it sank in - the (Jesuit?) idea/quote that if the gist( ok , gist can be a bit of acopout, but if you assume otherwise as a parent and educator your assumptions will turn into selffulfilling prophecy,look at your nearest Catholic-labelled school or family, to observe, not judge, our American cousins are rightly put off by an Obamacare ad of a onesie -clad(Internet gives the most popular brand called "forever-lazy") nearthirtyyearold childish sissified dork still living at home sponging off parents and society,"PajamaBoy" ), if the gist, then, of a catholic doctrine or dogma CAN't be taken aboard by a kid at the age of reason, then it ISN'T catholic doctrine or dogma.
There is the point that catequesis these days is more of a fight against worldly countercatequesis telly/internet/schoolfriends.
But that doesn't affect the basic idea .
I don't remember your particular post - but straight after communion we got preparation for confirmation at the bishops next visit.
Mindyou, until the good lord finds an effective ballaams ass , aint no dioces but hasn't armies of educational and catequetical experts , some of whom do suprisingly have clear ideas, but the main impression one gets is the superb nutritrional qualities of pap, only true as compared to water.

Mike Cliffson said...

BTW: Point of Balaam's ass - If the clever dicks won't do the Lord's will getting his message out, he'll get a braying ass to do it- I can manage the first part of being braying ass myself, no problem, same as asking the lord to make one a servant , the unworthy/useless part is within my competance without divine aid.

Anonymous said...

This note concerns connections to alleged prophecies that I feel should be observed with open mind and guarded caution. Are we in the end times written about in the Book of Revelation? Compelling connections offered for you below.
Why would the cardinals be laughing during an act of papal veneration? http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/pope-francis-kisses-a-cross-during-a-meeting-with-cardinals-news-photo/174547606
And why the veneration of this particular, bizarre looking cross? http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/pope-francis-holds-a-cross-during-a-meeting-with-cardinals-news-photo/174550364
Would such a cross, which has no semblance to the traditional crucifix, warrant a sermon before a gathering of Church leadership? http://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/pope-francis-holds-a-cross-during-a-meeting-with-cardinals-news-photo/174547601
The possible answers?
*after evaluation of the above links take into account this prophecy: http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com/my-poor-holy-vicar-pope-benedict-xvi-will-be-ousted-from-the-holy-see-in-rome/
The prediction therein was given exactly one year prior to Pope Benedict’s 2/11/13 resignation press conference.

Consider this comparison: (observe carefully the words used in both the Caritas International video and the prophecy link below)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvC-k1ai71Q (4:46 minute video; taken from www.romereports.com; Caritas International production)

An unusual event to compare:
Here is a sample review of the 2014 Grammy Awards (event featured religious ritual): http://www.spiritdaily.com/grammys.htm

An alleged prophecy concerning the continuing rise of satanism among celebrities and the subsequent fallout: http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com/you-must-pray-for-their-souls-as-they-have-sold-them/

*hyperlinks have been removed in order to bypass sensitive email filters – copy and paste desired link address into your internet browser search box.