LESSON 2: The Sacraments – Major Moments
Goal: Look at the sacraments as life-changing events. Once we ask
for and receive the sacramental graces, we will never be the same!
– We aren’t just people who go to a Catholic Church or believe in
the tenets of the Catholic faith. We ARE Catholic, just as a person
is male or female, black or white, artistic or athletic. Who we are
is reflected in what we do.
– The sacraments change us. In each sacrament, we become
Opening Prayer somehow new.
Lord, we believe that
You are always with us – – The “sacraments of initiation” are Baptism, Eucharist, and
Confirmation. By Baptism, we become Catholic Christians.
always available, even In the Eucharist, we are spiritually nourished by Christ’s body
when we fail to see You. and blood. He is part of us, not just an outside observer! The
relationship between God and us is a “covenant relationship.”
Thank You for the years
Through the sacrament of Confirmation, we make a commitment
You spent here on Earth to be lifelong followers of Christ and are strengthened by
and for the ongoing the Holy Spirit.
presence of – There are two “sacraments of healing”: 1) Penance and
Your Holy Spirit. Reconciliation, and 2) Anointing of the Sick. In these sacraments,
we undergo conversion. We experience metannia, the greek
word for “change of heart.” On a human level, we can relate
this to what happens when we hurt someone’s feelings, apologize,
experience forgiveness, and can be friends again. Likewise,
when we suffer an illness and recover, everything changes –
our physical strength, outlook, and focus.
– The other two sacraments are Matrimony and Holy Orders. In
matrimony, two people become one. Through Holy Orders, a
man is configured to Christ so that he can represent Christ here
on Earth in teaching, blessing, and leading the people of God.
(Note: Matrimony is the sacrament; marriage is the rite. Holy
Orders is the sacrament; ordination is the rite.)
The Sacraments – Major Moments (continued)
Use the accompanying worksheets to invite
students to look at who they are and who they
Write an essay about an important event
expect to be. The process of discovering God’s
from your past – something that affected
unique plan for them is called discernment.
In your essay, identify one or more personal
Invite a student to read out loud the Scripture
characteristics of yours that impacted the
passage at 1 Cor. 9:24-27 (run to win.)
unfolding of the event. For example, did
you make the varsity basketball team?
Your athletic ability certainly had an
Discuss the core concepts listed above.
impact. Did you get lost at a mall and
start to cry? Your independent spirit may
have contributed to getting separated
Have students each complete Worksheet 2A.
from your parents.
This should take 5 minutes or so and will be
used in Step 4.
Students will complete Worksheet 2B. By thinking
about their personal characteristics and “big
moments” coming up in their lives, students will
be entering the discernment process (the process
of discovering what to do with their lives).
Once both worksheets have been completed,
engage students in discussion of the sacraments,
using Worksheet 2C.
Think about what/who you ARE. Some things are integral and unchanging. They will be part of you now,
ten years from now, or fifty years from now. Other things are part of who you are now but may not be
in the future. For each item below, check off whether it is “subject to change” or “forever.”
Who I am Subject to Change Forever
Male or female
Baptized (member of the Catholic or other faith community)
A spiritual person
Leader or follower
Good at public speaking
Able to take a stand even when others strongly disagree with me
In need of God’s grace and forgiveness
Subject to accident or illness
Person who helps others see the face of Jesus in our world
Angry and/or bitter
Shy or outgoing
Introvert or extrovert
Identify five big moments still to come in your life. Tell which of the characteristics in Worksheet 2A
(subject to change or permanent) will be factors in the big moments. For example, one of your big
moments may be getting a driver’s license. What personal characteristics will you need in order to
get your license (e.g., intellectual ability to understand the rules of the road).
5 Big, Upcoming Moments Things about me that will affect my
(you don’t have to be 100% potential big moments
sure they will actually happen)
The sacraments of the Church are defining moments in the life of a Christian. Were any of these
moments on your personal list of five big moments?
Sacraments What makes them defining moments
for the Catholic Christian
Baptism In Baptism, we are called to holiness – our primary vocation (what
❑ Is on my personal list of God wants us to be). By responding positively to God’s plan in
potential big moments our lives, we will find our ultimate fulfillment.
Reconciliation and Penance We experience forgiveness and, thus, “rightness” in our relationship
❑ Is on my personal list of with God. We are called to seek forgiveness and make amends where
potential big moments possible, but also to forgive others as part of our call to holiness.
Eucharist Through the Eucharist, we are thankfully in communion (unity)
❑ Is on my personal list of with Christ and His Church. We need food to grow physically and
potential big moments maintain our health. Food is an appropriate vehicle for the grace
we receive through the Body and Blood of Christ—nourishment
we need to grow in faith.
Confirmation We confirm that we want to live as followers and imitators of
❑ Is on my personal list of Christ, personally saying “yes” to the Catholic faith. We receive
potential big moments an outpouring of the Holy Spirit--grace which empowers us to
serve God by meeting very real needs in our world.
Anointing of the sick This sacrament is for people who are seriously ill or injured. It is a
❑ Is on my personal list of sacrament of spiritual healing and, sometimes, physical healing.
potential big moments Oil can heal, such as baby oil softening damaged skin, and is an
appropriate symbol. There is no “magic” involved; there is God’s
loving Spirit to help us cope, no matter what the outcome (even
Matrimony Marriage is a vocation – the holy way of life for which some people
❑ Is on my personal list of are meant. The bride and groom’s relationship reminds us of the
potential big moments covenant relationship of love between God and His people.
Holy Orders Men may be ordained as deacons, priests, and bishops through
❑ Is on my personal list of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The vocation to ordained life is
potential big moments one of service. A person who is ordained keeps his individuality
while, at the same time, becoming a representative of Christ and
His Church here on Earth.