Last evening was our Confirmation intensive during which we presented the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Virtues, and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit using contemporary pop music (see my post from January 8 that provides a complete chart of songs used). It went very well and was a lot of fun! Here’s the scoop:
Each catechist had a CD player and a CD with the appropriate songs for their session.
- I covered the 7 deadly sins (since I was most familiar with the activity, I gave myself the biggest number of songs to go through) while the others divided up the topics as follows: Chris (the Theological Virtues); John (the Cardinal Virtues); Mary Kay (the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that help us to KNOW God’s will); Jim (the Gifts that help us to DO God’s will).
- The kids were pretty animated by the format. I even received a few comments complimenting the choice of songs!
- They seemed to be able to match the songs with the corresponding deadly sin, virtue, or Gift of the Spirit quite easily and were quick to call out the answer when they figured it out.
- The kids were very comfortable swaying to the music, rocking their heads, tapping the table, moving their hands and arms – all unsolicited – just a natural response to music they enjoy. In only a couple of cases did a few kids get a bit silly and overreact…that’s to be expected…the acitivity invites reaction.
- I observed a good deal of “connectedness” during the sessions…kids making eye contact with me as I offered a few comments about the song and the corresponding deadly sin. Kids who are musically inclined were very animated and were eager to show their friends how “astute” they were when it came to the music scene.
- At the end of each mini-session, I tried to see if, as a group, they could name the deadly sins, and they typically did quite well.
- At the end of the evening, I asked each of my students to summarize something they learned. This turned out to be a bit disappointing because they seemed very tired and worn out (almost slap happy) at this point and I can’t blame them…that’s a long day for them…it was coming up on 9 pm!
- Chatting with the other catechists afterward, we agreed that it went very well and that it engaged the kids in a creative manner and acheived the desired effect. We also agreed that one more Confirmation intensive will be quite enough – 4 of them are just right, otherwise the kids will become over-tired and will resent the time being put in, even if it’s a fun experience.
I know that the kids will never be able to hear these 21 songs again without remembering that they relate to either a deadly sin, a virtue, or a Gift of the Holy Spirit! I call it the “lesson that keeps on teaching!”