The Sacraments semester helps teens to see Christ in the Sacraments, focusing primarily on the celebration of the Eucharist.
Units included in the semester:
a. Sacraments 101
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will explain how Sacraments bring us into the family of God and give us a guaranteed encounter with His Grace, the sharing of His life. Each of the seven Sacraments of the Church will be briefly introduced.
Going Deeper Meeting: In our Sacraments 101 meetings, our goal will be to give the teens the bottom line reason to why Christ has given us His Sacraments. In particular, we will examine our culture’s attitudes about Sacraments and religious rituals. It will be essential for you to communicate to your teens that when we participate in a Sacrament, we are really meeting Jesus. We will also be looking at God’s overall plan of salvation and how the Sacraments fit into that plan. Finally, we will take time this meeting to look at some of the Scriptural roots to the Sacraments, showing that they are not Catholic inventions but God’s guaranteed occasions of grace.
b. Baptism and Confirmation
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will explain Baptism as the Sacrament that makes us God’s children, and Confirmation as the Sacrament that gives us the ability to become mature Christians. We will see how each of these Sacraments influences our daily life, calling us to imitate Jesus on a daily basis.
Going Deeper Meeting: In this meeting, we will look closely at the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. We will be looking at how each of these Sacraments calls us to transform our lives in Christ. We will answer objections against them; we will examine the Scriptural roots to them and the Lord’s intention for giving us them; and finally we will take time to make a decision to die to ourselves so that Christ can shine forth in our lives.
c. Mass Beliefs
Youth Group Meeting: This session will look at the basic purpose and plan for the Eucharist as God’s instrument of restoring and building communion with mankind. We will discuss the four ways that Christ is present in the Mass (the Baptized community, the Scripture, the priest and the Real Presence of the Eucharist).
Going Deeper Meeting: We have looked at the first two Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism (which makes us children of God) and Confirmation (which gives us the grace to become adult Christians). Now, we will focus our attention on the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which has been called our ‘pledge of future glory’. In this first of two meetings on the Eucharist, we will attempt to clearly define what the Eucharist is (the Body and Blood of Christ), and will outline many of the arguments directed against that Catholic understanding. We will also begin to define some key liturgical terms, give some Scriptural roots to the Eucharist, and allow the teens to commit themselves to a fuller and deeper participation at Mass.
d. Mass Etiquette
Youth Group Meeting: Following our unit that defined the main beliefs about the Mass, this meeting will explain what goes on at the different parts of the Mass and how we are called to participate during each part of the Mass.
Going Deeper Meeting: Our goal in this session is to examine the parts of the Mass in detail and to show how we are called to participate in the Liturgy at each moment. Our recommendation here is that you hold at least the latter part of this meeting in the church so they can not only learn but see where the Liturgy takes place.
e. Reconciliation and Anointing
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will explain the healing power of Christ as seen in His sacramental ministry here on earth. We will see that the purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism. This meeting is to be more of a ‘why’ we go to Confession rather than a ‘how to’. The ‘how to’ is discussed in the two ‘Going Deeper’ meetings on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will see that the purpose of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is to help us unite our sufferings to the sufferings of Christ.
Going Deeper Meeting: In this meeting we will address why so many teens avoid Confession, and give the Scriptural roots behind the Sacrament. We will also look at what to do when we go to Confession and how to make a good Confession. This session will not cover the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
f. Marriage and Holy Orders
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will explain how marriage is God’s Sacrament in which a husband and wife imitate the love of Christ for the Church. We will see how Holy Orders unites a man with Christ, the High Priest. We will discuss how both Sacraments are designed to bring communion to the Church with God.
Going Deeper Meeting: Our series on the Sacraments will look briefly at the Sacraments of Communion: Matrimony and Holy Orders. While it is crucial to teach these Sacraments to the teens, they are generally not part of their daily lives. While you may be tempted to give them a lot of information on them, just go for the essentials in this session. This session will be very interactive with the teens, allowing them to look at the actual liturgical rites and summarize what happens in them.
In the YMCentral Store, you can purchase each semester individually or you can purchase the Complete Package that includes all 12 semesters.