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, tapping 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 that they keep on their smartphone or other digital player. Explain that some songs and collections are labeled with warnings that the content is “explicit.” Tell the young people that, for better or […]

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 […]

Jesus: Wanna Get to Know You

This week’s “song of the week” for my 8th graders is a song from Shania Twain titled, Wanna Get to Know You. As we focus tonight on getting to know Jesus: his world, his words, his miracles, his people, and his death and resurrection, I thought this song would be appropriate. Here’s a sampling of some of the lyrics: I don’t wanna hurry I wanna take a lifetime to memorize your face Wanna know you […]

Song of the Week

I’ve begun a new feature this year to try to engage the young people through the medium of music. Each week, I bring in a contemporary song to play that is related to the theme of what I am teaching. In some cases, I choose a song that articulates the problem that the Gospel lesson is addressing. For example, for the class that I taught on “Trusting in God’s Goodness,” I played a song by […]

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