VOCATIONS Lesson Plans LESSON 1: Baptism – Promise and Potential Goal: Develop an understanding of the continuing relevance of Baptism. Through Baptism, we are cleansed from original sin, but there’s more. We are also called to live holy lives. Core Concepts: – Another word for vocation is a calling. In Baptism, we are called by God to holiness. It is the beginning of a person’s sharing in the sacramental graces and mission of the Church. As we get older, He also calls us to a more specific vocation: ordained or religious life, marriage and family life, or life as a single layperson doing good works in the world. Opening Prayer Loving God, – A sacrament is not just a symbol; it effects a real spiritual we call you “Father” change in us. (This isn’t hocus-pocus; it is grace freely given by God through the Holy Spirit.) because we are part of Your family. – Baptism of adults was the norm for the early Christians, but as time went on, more and more Christians were baptized as infants. You create each of us to uniquely meet some of Activities: the needs of our world. ACTIVITY 1 Help us to see where needs In this activity, students will discover the meaning of exist and where we can baptism – our initial call to holiness. help – whether at home, Step 1 school, church, or Talk about the core concepts listed above. in the community. Step 2 Amen. Have students individually complete Worksheet 1A, “Baptism: Symbols and Spiritual Change,” which asks them to write their ideas of what four symbols used at baptisms represent. Step 3 Using your chalkboard, white board, or newsprint, make four lists: • Water • Oil • White clothing • Candle Write down students’ ideas on what these items symbolize. Baptism – Promise and Potential (continued) Step 4 D. The child is clothed with a white garment, Using the following outline and your students’ a symbol of being clothed in Christ. Looking ideas, talk about what happens during Baptism. at a Christian, people should be able to see (The outline is for Baptism of an infant, rather something noticeably different and good, just than an adult.) Remind your class that sacraments as a new outfit is noticeable. are not only symbols; they bring about a real change in the person by an outpouring of grace. E. A candle lit from the flame of the Easter This grace is the presence of the Holy Spirit candle is given to the parents and godparents. within us. The celebrant prays that the child will be enlightened by Christ. Fire can spread rapidly, A. The presiding priest, deacon, or chaplain and as believers, we hope that the flame of asks that God give the child new life our faith will consume us and spread to others through water and the Holy Spirit. Water is around us. a powerful symbol in Scripture. For example, the Red Sea parted, and the Israelites escaped ACTIVITY 2 from slavery to freedom. In the New Testament, Time permitting, have students break into small Jesus changed water into wine, beginning groups to discuss the questions on worksheets His earthly ministry of making God’s presence 1B-E. One person from each group should visible. Immersion and coming up out of the summarize the discussion for the entire class. water symbolized dying and new life. B. The parents and godparents renew the vows of their own Baptisms, rejecting sin and professing their faith. The celebrant HOMEWORK: then welcomes the child being baptized into the faith and anoints him/her on the Find two Scripture passages that deal head with chrism oil, symbol of strength. with one of the symbols (water, oil, white Athletes used oils on their muscles to prepare clothing, candle/light) used in the Rite of for Olympic competition in ancient times. It Baptism, and write a paragraph about how sometimes takes a lot of strength to stand up the passages relate to our understanding for Christian ideals! Oil has also been used in of this sacrament. the past to anoint kings. We recognize that in Baptism a person becomes part of the Church, which is the Body of Christ (our high priest, prophet, and king). Worksheet 1A In Baptism, we see four symbols, each with something to tell us Baptism: about what is really happening in this sacrament: Symbols and Spiritual Change • Water • Oil • White clothing • Candle In the space below, write your ideas about what each of these things could symbolize and why it is part of the Rite of Baptism. During the Rite of Baptism, the presiding priest, deacon, or chaplain asks that God give the child new life through water and the Holy Spirit. What do you think the water symbolizes? (It may help you to consider some scripture passages in which water is important.) Worksheet 1A (continued) After the parents and godparents renew their own baptismal vows, the celebrant welcomes the child being baptized into the faith and anoints him/her with chrism oil. Certain oils are believed to nurish and strengthen muscles. Oil has been used to anoint kings. Thinking of these and other uses, why do you think anointing with oil is one of the symbolic gestures in the rite of Baptism? The child is clothed with a white garment. What we wear tells people something about us and our personal style. What could a white garment say about someone newly baptized? A candle lit from the flame of the Easter candle is given to the parents and godparents. Fire and light appear frequently in scripture. What are the positive images that come to mind, and which of these do you think relate to use of a candle in Baptism? Worksheet 1B Discussion Questions Name five ways that parents and godparents can follow up once a baby is baptized. Of these, which do you think is the most important, and why? Check the most important follow-up. ❑ 1. ❑ 2. ❑ 3. ❑ 4. ❑ 5. Explain why the item you checked above is the most important follow-up for parents and/or godparents to do once a child has been baptized. Worksheet 1C Discussion Questions In Baptism, we receive our fundamental vocation to holiness by becoming members of the faith community whose task is to carry on the ministry that Jesus began, knowing that God will give us whatever grace we need. As we begin to make career and life choices, God calls us to a particular way of life: ordained/vowed religious, married, or single life as a layperson doing good works in the world. For each vocational choice listed below, identify how that way of life can be a path to holiness. 1. Ordained (priest or deacon*) or religious life as a priest, brother or sister in a religious community can be a path to holiness because 2. Marriage and family life can be a path to holiness because 3. Single life as a layperson can be a path to holiness because Do you think that any one of the three vocational choices above is holier than the others? Why? * Note that a deacon is ordained but may be married or single. Worksheet 1D Discussion Questions Do you think that parents who disagree with some of the Church’s teachings should have their children baptized anyway? ❑ Yes, because ❑ No, because ❑ It depends on the particular Church teachings with which they disagree. For example, Worksheet 1E Discussion Questions What change(s) happen to a person through Baptism? Are there any differences in the changes that happen to an adult versus an infant who is baptized?