A Lesson Plan on the Sacraments of Initiation

For the past week, while traveling from coast to coast, I’ve been rambling about my lesson for this evening on the Sacraments of Initiation (and a connection to the Old Testament) and posting bits and pieces here and there as I came up with them. Now, I’ve put it all together into a coherent (hopefully!) lesson plan for this evening! Here ’tis:

The Sacraments of Initiation

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Big Idea: We pledge allegiance to God through the Sacraments of Initiation


Preliminaries (15 mins)

  • Welcome and attendance – children write out prayer intentions
  • Opening prayer ritual/procession to set up prayer center

 Engage (10 mins)

  • Ask what country each of the students’ families came from.
  • Explain that we are a country of immigrants and that a big story in the news this week is immigration reform.
  • Point out that when people become U.S. citizens, they pledge an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and renounce allegiance to foreign authorities.
  • Invite young people to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance
    • What does the word allegiance mean? (loyalty)
    • Explain that the Jewish People, when they were led from slavery in Egypt, renounced allegiance to Pharaoh and pledged their allegiance to God.
    • Today, we are going to learn how we pledge allegiance to God through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

 Explore and Reflect  (25 mins)

  • Review the Exodus/Passover story.
    • Project on screen the Exodus/Passover Review exercise that shows images of the Exodus/Passover event and requires students to place the images in chronological order.
    • Identify the images and then invite volunteers to come forward one at a time to “drag” the next image into place. When completed, they should be in this order:
      1. Hebrew people as slaves in Egypt
      2. Moses and the burning bush
      3. Moses before Pharaoh
      4. The ten plagues
      5. the blood of the lamb on doorposts
      6. the Passover meal
      7. the Hebrew people are set free
      8. the Crossing of the Red Sea
      9. the destruction of Pharaoh’s army
      10. the Hebrew people celebrate

The Hebrew People

The Exodus/Passover and the Sacraments of Initiation



Slaves to…


A lamb

Saved by the blood of…

The Lamb of God

The Red Sea

Passed through the waters of…


A Pillar of Fire

Led by…

The Holy Spirit


Ritual celebration…


  • Invite volunteers to come forward to explain the comparison in their own words, using the chart as a reference.
  • Read aloud Finding God pgs 106 (Entering a New Life with God’s Family), 107 (The Eucharist), and 108 (Changed for Life).

Parents Open House (20 mins)

* This evening, parents are welcome to visit their children’s classes to see them in action.

  • Repeat, as above, the Exodus/Passover review activity and the comparison between the Exodus/Passover experience and the Sacraments of Initiation, highlighting the children doing all of the explaining.
  • If no parents attend, invite children to their sacred space and play Finding God CD Recorded Guided Reflection (Belonging to God)

Respond (5 mins)

  • Tell the children that, for Catholics, we have a very short version of our own pledge of allegiance to God – it’s called the Sign of the Cross.
  • Invite the young people to pass the bowl of Holy Water around and to bless themselves.
  • Ecnourage them to begin each day by “saying” this pledge of allegiance!

[Clip art courtesy of American Flag Clipart – http://www.wilsoninfo.com/americanflags.html]

About Joe Paprocki 2746 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

6 Comments on A Lesson Plan on the Sacraments of Initiation

  1. Great way to combine curriculum with the “add-ons” that often appear. I am going. To try to adapt for use with my group. Thanks, Joe.

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