Contemporary Versions of Traditional Hymns

When it comes to playing music in class, I am always torn between my desire for children to hear and learn hymns they will hear in church and songs that have more “pop” to them: a more contemporary sound. I like some Christian rock but I feel that if I rely only on that, the kids are not being catechized for the liturgy which is an important part of our role. With that in mind, […]

Music for Confirmation

Recently, my colleague and friend, Annie Lauer, asked me about music resources for Confirmation that might be used with the Confirmed in the Spirit Confirmation program. I wasn’t much help to her, but as a result of her own perseverance, she found a CD by David Haas titled With You By My Side (Volume II) with songs that focus on the Holy Spirit and Confirmation. What other music resources would you recommend for use in a […]

Building Your Library of Sacred Hymns

From time to time, you may notice that I mention playing a recording of a Church hymn. Over the years, I have built my own little library of CDs (now, of course, we can do so on our IPods, etc.) of sacred hymns to use both for my own enjoyment/inspiration and for use in catechetical settings. Recently, I just added a couple of CDs of traditional Catholic hymns to balance out my collection which is […]

“If I Were a Church Hymn”

This is an activity that I like to do with older participants (especially adults) who have a little more knowledge of the Church’s repertoire of hymns. I call it “If I Were a Church Hymn” and it basically invites participants to think of which Church hymn they would choose as either: their theme song the hymn that best captures the state of their spiritual life at this moment their all time favorite hymn The activity […]

Webinar Follow-up: Questions About Using Contemporary Music

During the Webinars on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, I received MANY questions about using contemporary music in a catechetical setting as a way to engage a young audience. Allow me to address some thoughts about that here (and as always, I invite you to weigh in as well). For young people, contemporary music is a huge part of their life. It speaks to them in a way that no other medium can. I often use […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: What Lenten Hymns Teach

Today’s Lenten activity  is an opportunity for catechists to reach those young people who are more musically inclined. You may recall that a little while back, I suggested an activity for those more artistically inclined and made mention of multiple intelligences, one of which is “music smart.” Today’s activity can tap into the musical/rhythmic intelligence of some of your students. What Lenten Hymns Teach Ask the young people to identify some of their favorite songs […]

Music Speaks to Confirmation Kids

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 […]

Name That Song (aka Name That Sin/Virtue/Gift)

OK, here’s the scoop for this coming Monday’s Confirmation intensive. Now, before I share this, I want to make a disclaimer that I may have made before but bears repeating. The activity I’m about to describe to you took many hours – several days, actually – to plan. I want to make it clear that the average catechist is NOT expected to spend this much time planning sessions. Please remember that, for all intents and purposes, […]

John Mayer and Saint Paul

As many of you know, I like to use a contemporary song (my “song of the week”) to snare the kids’ attention and introduce the theme of a particular class. This coming Monday, I’m going to focus on the role that Saint Paul played in changing the face of the Church and the world by proclaiming the Gospel to the Gentiles. For my song of the week, I’ve chosen John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World […]

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