Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 30, 2013

Super Bowl and the Mass

There is an ambiguous relationship between sports and religion in the United States. On the one hand, we might wonder why it is easy to get 70,000 fans to a football game but it is difficult be to fill a church on Sunday morning. On the other hand, spectator sports can be a healthy family activity.

Ask students to compare these aspects of the Mass and a NFL football game to find similarities and differences. (Suggested answers provided)

  • Entrance procession (Announcement of players, coaches, and refs/Priest processes in with deacon, readers, and altar servers)

  • Statement of Beliefs (Pledge of allegiance/Creed)

  • Music (Fight song, Liturgical Music)

  • Expected Dress (Team colors/nicer clothes)

  • Types of Participation (Cheering/In the Mass, a person participates in the Celebration of the Eucharist – visible participation includes responses to the priest’s statements)

  • Social element (both are places to meet family and friends)

After considering the parallels, complete the activity by posing this dilemma and question:

  • The popularity of sports in the United States reveals that Americans have a real desire to invest themselves in something bigger than they are. Does this fascination with spectator sports disguise a deeper longing that sports do not fulfill?

Comments

1 William O'Leary

Jan. 31, 2013
Good connection. Thanks!

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