The true origin of the Apostles' Creed is unknown. Some believe it was written by the Apostles 10 days after Jesus ascended into heaven, with each man contributing one of the 12 articles. Certain Christian denominations, particularly the Catholic Church, use this prayer in church services, and it's also part of the Catholic Baptismal ritual. Learning and understanding the Apostles' Creed can be a valuable part of a child's religious education and foundation.
Go through all 12 articles and explain what each one means. Divide the 12 articles into groups of three, four and five. You can teach much of the creed in the form of a story, starting with the first three articles. For example, the first article is about God being the creator of heaven and earth. The second article is about Jesus, his son, the Lord. The third article explains that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to the Virgin Mary. In summary, teach the kids that the first three articles tell us about God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary.
Explain that the next four articles tell what happened to Jesus. The fourth article states that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, was buried and descended into hell. The fifth one states that on the third day he rose again from the dead, and the sixth article explains that Jesus ascended into heaven and that he now sits at the right hand of God. The seventh article states that he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
Teach the kids that the last five articles state their belief in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Have the kids recite the creed together daily. Repetition is an excellent way to teach and learn. Having them write the creed would also be helpful. The more they say it, the easier it will be to remember, and if they understand the articles, the creed will be meaningful for them.
Have one child recite the first line out loud, followed by another child reciting the second line, followed by a third child reciting the third line and so on until the end of the creed. This will help you identify which kids know it well and which kids need more practice.
Test the children's knowledge by having each child recite the creed aloud on his own. You might choose to have just one child recite the creed each day until all the children have had the opportunity to say it alone.
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