Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 2, 2015

Prayer Experience: "The Light of the World"

For this prayer experience you will need tapers, slips of paper, and something to write with. Gather the students in an open space. Have them sit in a circle. Give each person an unlit taper candle. Follow these directions.

  1. Remind the students that Jesus calls himself "the light of the world" (Jn 8:12).
  2. Have the students write on small slips of paper specific elements of darknes in their own lives (e.g., jealousy, hatred, prejudice, fear, loneliness) and on other slips of paper specific ways Jesus has brought light to their lives (e.g., a special friendship, a caring teacher, a favorite spot in nature, peace through participation in the sacraments, prayer).
  3. Have the group sit in a circle with the unlit taper candles. Make the room as dark as possible.
  4. Call on one student to begin by sharing an occarsion of darkness from his or her life. Repeat the process around the rest of the circle with each student sharing about darkness.
  5. Then, repeat the sharing, this time with the participant telling about how Jesus brings light to their lives (e.g., family relationships, friendships, achievements, nature, compassion, love). Light the first person's candle.
  6. Repeat the process. After each new person has shared, they should light their candle from the person who spoke before them.
  7. Conclude with a song, perhaps "I Am the Light of the World" by Greg Hayakawa.

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