There are seven sacraments in the Catholic Church and knowing them is an essential part of children's catechism classes. Making the sacraments accessible and interesting to children is essential to their ability to incorporate them into their lives. Working craft projects into your sacramental lesson plans provides a tangible connection to the often abstract concepts of the sacraments.
Baptism is often the first sacrament children receive. In the Catholic church, baptism is given to infants, so many children will already have been baptized by the time they are in catechism. You can reinforce the notion of baptism as a way into God's community by making angel crafts. Make a craft with a paper cup body, construction paper for wings, a Styrofoam ball for a head, and pipe cleaner for a halo. Have the children paint the cup and draw the face onto the Styrofoam ball with a marker.
Eucharist, also sometimes called Communion, is the process in which wine and wafers become the body and blood of Christ. Taking First Communion is a major event in the life of a Catholic. Consider making a reproduction of the chalice and the communion wafer with clay. Get clay that air-dries, which is easier to work with in a classroom setting than oven-bake clay. Have the children shape their clay into a miniature chalice and have them make a miniature communion wafer. They can use their clay props to re-enact the ceremony of the Eucharist.
Reconciliation is the sacrament of confession and forgiveness. God washes away our sins just like soap washes away dirt. For this sacrament, get bars of soap and plastic knives and have the children carve the soap into crosses. They can take the soap home as a continuous reminder of the sacrament.
Confirmation is performed at the age of reason, generally when a child is 12 years old. It represents the child's informed choice to become bound by their faith for life. Make a small, single-decade rosary. String 10 beads on a pipe cleaner and twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together. Add one more bead at the junction of the two ends and use the tips of the pipe cleaner to make a cross shape. Any other craft that represents an adult relationship with the faith would be appropriate as well.
Marriage is the sacrament that binds a couple together for life. Use sections of pipe cleaners to make rings. Explain to the children that the rings represent an unbroken circle, as marriage is not intended to be broken.
Holy orders is the sacrament by which priests are ordained. There are several crafts you can use to discuss the importance of Holy orders and the role of the priest in the community. One project involves making a poster with pictures of community helpers on it. Include a picture of your parish priest. Discuss with the children the ways each person on the poster contributes to the community.
Anointing the Sick
Anointing the sick is a way of absolving a person of sins when they are sick. Contrary to popular belief, it is not used just when a person is dying. A heartfelt craft for this sacrament is to make cards for parishioners who are hospitalized.
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