Grade 3 Overview
God gave us eternal life in His Son
What is eternal life? How do we inherit eternal life? What must we do to obtain eternal life? The theme of this year is taken from both the Gospels and the letters especially St. John, St. Luke and St. Paul
- Unit 1: Repentance and Confession:
- Who is the sinner? Our Lord loves the sinners. 1
- Children should perceive a sinner to be someone who says no to God. The one who refuses to love God (the first 4 commandments) and their neighbor (the last six commandments)
- Our Lord Jesus Christ loves the sinners – story of Zacchaeus, emphasize on Zacchaeus’ love of money (the first commandment) more than God and how our Lord, through loving him, brought Zacchaeus to give up love of money.
- Who is the sinner? Our Lord loves the sinners. 2
- How God is pleased when we come and say sorry to God
- The Pharisee and the tax collector.
- Contemporary story that highlights one sin (disobedience) & the consequences (Adam and eve), and highlights the greatness of repentance.
- Our Lord, Jesus Christ loves all sinners, no matter how bad they are
- He came not for the righteous, but for the sinners. More rejoicing over one sinner who repents than 99 righteous (Luke 15:7), the lost sheep. Those who are not sick have no need for a physician, Mt 9:12: We all need God because we are all sick.
- Temptation is to feel like doing something wrong, while sin is to act upon the feeling. It is not always easy to be loving.
- Stories of saints that became friends of our Lord, Jesus Christ
- Reconciliation = making up
- St. Moses the Black
- Emphasize on how bad he was, and then how hard he tried to change; he used prayer, the help of his Abouna and confession. Even though you do bad things, our Lord is still waiting for you to ask for Him
- Our Lord, Jesus Christ will help us to become like Him
- Although God loves us, we do not enjoy His love until we come back
- The story of the prodigal son
- The emphasis is on
- The time the son spent with himself thinking and feeling sorry
- The confession he made “I have sinned..”
- That he could not eat – although the father continued to love him, and is willing to give him everything – except when he came back.
- How do we feel God’s love in our hearts: the work of the Holy Spirit
- Father and mother don’t stop loving us when we do something wrong, they just don’t like the thing that we did.
- The Mystery of repentance and confession 1 – the work of the Holy Spirit
- The result of sin is sadness, no peace; we do not feel good about ourselves.
- The story of St. Peter’s repentance. (Highlight how he went out and cried bitterly when he felt very bad).
- We receive the Holy Spirit in Chrismation. The Holy Spirit helps us to love God and others. (you can show the picture of the baby who received the light during Chrismation)
- The Holy Spirit is present inside of us. I can feel his presence when I feel peace, love, and Joy. The Holy Spirit will help me to find what I have done wrong. We can rely on the work of the Holy Spirit. We should take time everyday to listen to the Holy Spirit (teach the kids self examination).
- Stories of how our Lord forgave sinners and that forgiveness gave peace and joy (for example, the Samaritan woman)
- How He told His disciples (His helpers) to do the same (John 20:21). They in turn gave that to their disciples, through all the generations until even our Pope (…) today, who gave Abouna (…) to do that for us today.
- The Mystery of repentance and confession 2: the confession (in steps)
- When we go to confession we meet our Lord Jesus to say sorry and be forgiven.
- how to make a good confession:
- prepare with a prayer, (offer a prayer to recite or read) asking the Holy Spirit to help you finding what you have done wrong
- when I go to the priest, he prays the “our Father” with me
- I tell my sins to the priest
- The priest sometimes gives us advice and sometimes reads with us something from the Bible
- The priest gives us an Absolution = a prayer that the priest prays to God on our behalf to ask forgiveness from God in our Lord Jesus name. Then he would make the sign of the cross as he anoints us with oil.
- We come out feeling Peace and Joy and that we are able to start over loving God and others.
- Make a list of regular confession every month to check on students to establish them in the mystery. Parents should be involved.
- The Mystery of repentance and confession 3 – becoming better persons – (do it with review of the unit)
- How to do our best, not to go back to sin, to change our ways.
- How to highlight need for discipline (stories of discipline and correction)
- Story of King David and how he was disciplined.
- Unit 2: The Liturgy
The purpose of this unit is to lead the children to discover the journey of the liturgy as a living memorial of our Lord’s life and sacrifice, as well as a way of unity in the church. How everyone gets out of their bed and their homes to become what our Lord called us to be- “His own holy people”. We come to share His life through prayers and actions, we tell the story, and what we offer and receive as God’s own family of Love. And how we are transformed by it to be able to serve and transform the world.
(Use the fake liturgy altar, the liturgy pictures and a white board, this unit would be appropriate to act out and show pictures. Kids should be able to recite the main events in Our Lord’s life on earth that we would act out in the Liturgy)
- Introduction to the liturgy
- During the liturgy, they must stand when the Bible is read and during Communion
- They can sit during the litanies and during the commemoration of the saints
- The preparatory: we prepare ourselves and the altar– Bethlehem.
- How do we prepare ourselves?
- body: fasting 9 hours ( to be hungry for Him), clean, appropriate clothing
- heart: confessed my sin, have no hate
- mind : shut all other interesting thoughts and ideas as with a key
- Girls and boys should be properly dressed. Girls should cover their heads (the head of a woman is a beautiful thing, and it is glorious, and it takes the attention from the glory of Christ)
- The offertory: we offer bread and wine as representative of ourselves as well as material gifts and prayers. We give our offering to the priest to offer them to God with the rest of the offerings of everyone. The offering starts in The Jordan River and ends in the tomb
- We offer bread and wine with prayers (thanksgiving). Tell the kids that it is a good idea, , to give abouna prayers (on a piece of paper) or to confess (before taking Communion)
- The liturgy of the word: (We listen carefully)
- What do we read?
- Part from other apostles’ letters – Catholic epistle (teaching).
- Part from the book of Acts – Epraxis (story of first church).
- Story of the saint or martyr of the day – Synaxarium (story).
- Read a piece from the psalms (a prayer).
- Read a piece from the Gospels (the good news) – (story and teaching of Our Lord Jesus)
a- We sing Alleluia (praise God) with the reading of the psalm to show our happiness of receiving God’s word.
b- We give God respect and honor by saying “Doxasi kyrie” which means (Glory to You O Lord) as He is about to talk to us. At the end we say “Glory to God forever. Amen”
Activity for the Lesson: Put the Readings on separate pieces of paper and ask the kids to organize it
- The Reconciliation prayer: (forgive us as we forgive) a request for peace through cleansing of sins – the kiss of peace: we forgive one another by the resurrection. by the tomb of Christ
- The Anaphora and the Trisagion (worthy and Holy), Heavenly praise. Heaven
- The Consecration prayers- Institution (“He broke” and “He mixed”) the upper room
- The litanies and The commemoration of the saints and the departed –
i. Litanies: prayer for everything and everyone (to be one body and have a share with all saints part 1) upper room
ii. commemoration of the saints and the departed solidarity with the church in heaven (to be one body and to have a share with all saints part 2) heaven
- The fraction and The confession
i. Fraction: breaking the body- offering Our Lord’s body and blood to the Father with everything we offered up till now (ourselves, our confessions, our prayers and material offerings, requests for others, our heavenly family) (The broken Holy Body and the spilled precious Blood) Golgotha
ii. Confession: pledge of faith and partaking to receive (forgiveness of sins and eternal life, as well as unity with everyone in the church). (I believe, I confess, so I partake)
10. How to receive communion
- We come out ready to do the work of God:
- Enjoy time with family and friends
- Unit3: The Old Testament fathers of God’s family: The patriarchs Isaac (who consecrates the family) and Jacob (who protects the family). “obedience and honor to parents”
- Review of Abraham’s life as God chosen to father his earthly family from last year.
- God renew His convent with Isaac to continue to lead the family of God. Genesis: 26.
- How Esau is displeasing to his parents: Genesis 26: 24-25. Even in trying to please them, he is late, and does not try to understand what they really want from him, he thinks that his parents want their children to marry from their relatives so without taking their advice he went and took a daughter of Ishmael. Whom the Lord had cast out. Genesis 6-9. The blessing of those who carefully follows the intension of their parents. And the difficulties that will meet those who follow their own ways.
- Isaac blesses Jacob. How all the senses are engaged? Jacob is keen to receive the blessing of his father. He is appointed the next patriarch. He waits on his father to dismiss him. He is in obedience to his parents leave to go to his uncle’s land to take a wife from his daughters. Genesis 27 and 28: 1-9.
- God renew the covenant with Jacob. The ladder to heaven Genesis 28:10-22.
- Jacob meets Rachel and loves her.
- Jacob marries Leah and Rachel not by his own choice. A chance to talk about the rule of monogamy.
- Jacob had eleven children before leaving his uncle. Laban continuously cheats Jacob, as Jacob works for him in Shepherding. How the patriarch work is always accompanied with hardship and tribulation. From within and without. Genesis 30.
- Jacob leaves Laban.
- How Jacob was not afraid of Laban because Jacob was innocent and had done nothing wrong to his uncle. And how we feel strong when we are on the right side. And also God supported him. Compare this situation to his fear when he is going to meet his brother. Genesis 31and 32.
- Jacob struggles with God (Genesis 32) and man (Genesis 33). Talk about how he is afraid of his brother. He is not sure of himself because he cheated his brother of his blessing and birthright. A blessing by omission; Jacob dislocated hip was the reason for Esau to let him go without harm. Highlight the insistence of Jacob on receiving the blessing from God. Not for himself but for his children. The real rule of the patriarch or the bishop or even or our fathers or our physical fathers in intercession Genesis 32 and 33.
- Simeon and Levi kill people in time of peace without taking any advice from their father.
- Simeon and Levi are not like their father.
- When Jacob comes to bless his family (Genesis 49: 5-7) he was not very pleased by their actions.
- God bless Jacob at Bethel. How Jacob consecrate places for God by using oil Genesis 35:14. Review Genesis 28:18. How the bishops use Myron oil to consecrate church items (show pictures of the Pope consecrating altars)
- Unit 4: Mysteries of baptism and chrismation
Purpose of the unit- introduce the students to the initiation mysteries which are baptism, chrismation, confession and the Eucharist and how each of the mysteries would give us a gift from God that we cannot get on our own. In the baptism we become the children of God and we are one with Christ, we are born again from heaven. In the mystery of chrismation we become the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is our anointing from God to become “anointed”.
- The flood- in this lesson we will bring the flood as a baptism for Noah and his family
- Highlight the evil that was spread in the world and how Noah and his family were the only people who loved and obeyed God.
- Noah and his family had peer pressure to be like the rest. Ex: they were mocked for following God and not following the people in their wrong practice
- God decided to give Noah a chance by wiping out everybody by water.
- The arc saved Noah and his family from dying physically, the water saved them from dying spiritually. 1 Peter 3: 20-22
- The baptism of Noah and his family saved them from corruption in the world, our baptism saves us from the corruption of our time.
- The arc saved Noah and his family from physical death, Christ saved us from both physical and spiritual death when we are in the church
- Naaman the Syrian ( 2 kings 5)
- The blind man John 9
- Philip and the Ethiopian Acts: 8
- The baptism of Christ and our baptism-Chrismation