My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #6


It’s no secret that I love music! Over the years in my books and here on my blog, I have advocated for integrating music into catechesis in a variety of ways. This brings me to one of my favorite lessons: The Psalms: We Can Talk to God Under ANY Circumstances.

Research tells us that young people (junior high and high school) listen to an average of 3.5 hours of music each day. Music is certainly a language they understand and is an important medium through which to reach them. What I enjoyed most about this session was the natural connection between the Psalms and music, since the Psalms were originally intended to be sung as part of Temple worship. In this lesson, I identified 12 different emotions and found well-known songs that captured or expressed these emotions. We enjoyed listening to the songs, then connecting them with the emotions and finally, praying a Psalm that addressed the same emotion.

Young people, filled with a wide range of emotions, need to know they can go to God with whatever emotion they are experiencing. They already know that music speaks to their emotional state. They need to know that Scripture can speak to them no matter what emotional state they find themselves in! Enjoy the lesson.

P.S. What are some more recent popular songs that might better capture one or more of the 12 emotions in the chart?

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

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