Visiting the Church in Different Seasons

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Instead of doing one long tour of the church with students, think of doing a church tour in pieces. Let students get up close and personal, asking questions about the place we celebrate our faith and sacramental life. One way to do this is to visit the church during the different seasons of the liturgical year or before special feasts.

For All Saints Day, look at the images of the saints in and around the building. Pray a litany of the saints using the names of the holy people featured at your parish and the patron saints of your students.

During Advent, highlight the purple color wherever featured in the church, and point out the Advent wreath. Note that the Church only starts the celebration of Christmas on Christmas Day, and when the decorations come, we celebrate the greatest gift of all, Jesus.

During Lent, invite young people to walk up close to the Crucifix and the Stations of the Cross. Pray the Stations of the Cross with your group, and give young people time to share their questions or comments.

Just before Holy Week, interest older students by sharing how the oils are blessed by the bishop in the cathedral and sent to the parish. Discuss the Church’s different uses for oils, and tie that to a discussion of the Easter sacraments.

During the Easter season, pray the Apostles’ Creed, and then send students on a hunt to find where the beliefs are expressed in the church. Explain the symbols on the Paschal Candle and how it is used at Baptisms and funerals.

In May pray the Hail Mary or the Rosary in church near an image of Our Lady. Use actions or images to illustrate the Mysteries of the Rosary.

In church, getting up close and personal brings our faith alive. Whenever visiting the church with young people, encourage questions. For help in explaining what children are seeing at different times of the year, read the Loyola Kids Book of Seasons, Feasts, and Celebrations.

About Eileen Morgan 3 Articles
Eileen Morgan began her career in faith formation as her high-school service project and later as the coordinator for Navy base faith formation. In later years, Eileen coordinated programs for grades K–12 and adults. She developed and coordinated teams for RCIA and RCIA adapted for children and implemented sacramental catechesis, incorporating parent participation for all levels. She has implemented family-based catechesis in parishes to build the community for all. In four different dioceses she developed and presented catechist certification programs and parish catechetical leader training sessions. She presented workshops at diocesan conferences and one for the NCEA convention. She has published articles in the Religion Teacher’s Journal, Momentum, Catechist, and The Word Among Us. Eileen and her husband have been married 50 years and enjoy life on Puget Sound, where they volunteer locally and see their grandchildren often.

1 Comment on Visiting the Church in Different Seasons

    But I had a prior commitment.

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