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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

October 31, 2019

Tour of Sacred Places

Lead your students on a guided tour of several places in and around a church, chapel, and/or school that have sacred importance to the prayer life of your community.

Examples

The altar (and altar relic). Explain that the altar of a church should be located in a central space where it attracts the focus of prayer. Explain the traditional association between martyrs and saints and Catholic altars. For many years it was required that the relics of a saint or martyr be placed in the altar stone. If the altar at your church or chapel has a relic tell something about it and show where it is placed.

A grotto or statue of the Blessed Mother. Tell its history and note its dedication plaque. Also, explain that older churches have side altars since more than one Mass were often celebrated at the same time.

The statue of the church or school’s patron. Prepare a short biography of the person to share when the group has gathered near the statue.

The bell tower. Recall the traditional ringing of the bells three times a day to announce the Angelus. Explain and share the Angelus prayer. If your school or church does have a bell tower, consider having the students climb into the loft.

A news rack in the foyer of the church or school. Point out the various types of spiritual readings included and any other prayer cards. Also, show announcements for forming prayer groups like Scripture students and the like.

The Blessed Sacrament. Pause and kneel with the group before the Blessed Sacrament. Point out the sanctuary lights, indicating Christ’s presence. Explain something of the history and practice of Benediction, a short ceremony from the fifteenth century in which the Eucharist, in the form of a large consecrated host, is venerated.

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