Theme: Explore the Sacrament of Baptism
Virtue: Courage (to be brave; to face fear, danger or difficulties with strength in the Lord)
Light a candle. Ask the kids to tell you what they see on the prayer table and talk about some of the items.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, thank you for our Wilderness Adventure VBS. Be with us as we explore the sacrament of Baptism. Give us the courage we need to seek you and live out our baptismal promises. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day:
Show the Bible Verse poster and watch the Bible Verse video.
“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
Theme Intro: The First Sacrament
- Baptismal certificate and Baptism poster
Who can tell me which is the very first sacrament that we receive?
Baptism is the “first sacrament”; it’s the “door or gateway” to all the other sacraments. (CCC #1213) Point to the Baptism Sacrament Poster. Without Baptism, you can’t receive the other sacraments. Baptism is the way we start off our life as a Christian! It’s an exciting ADVENTURE of faith!
Can anyone guess why I have balloons to talk about Baptism?
Your Baptism day is like your birthday! It’s an extra special day; a super celebration. It’s the day you were born into God’s family; the biggest family in the world!
Who knows the date of their Baptism and where they were baptized?
I was baptized on (share your Baptism day and show your certificate), so that is my baptismal birthday. If you don’t know the date of your Baptism, you can ask your mom or dad when you get home. Wouldn’t it be great if we all celebrated our baptismal birthday every year, too?
What are some fun ways you can celebrate your baptismal birthday?
- Look at pictures and and videos of the day you were baptized. Show a photo of your own Baptism.
- Decorate a cake and light your baptismal candle.
- Do something special with your godparents.
Teaching: What is Baptism?
- Baptismal candle
- Bowl with water and a small cup or shell
- Jar of Holy Oil (Ask to borrow the chrism oil from the church.)
- White garment (baptismal gown)
Who can tell me what happens at a Baptism?
Place the baptismal items in front of you as you teach the lesson.
In the sacrament of Baptism, there are four very special things that are used.
1. The first thing is holy water. Show the bowl of water.
Scoop some water into a cup and pour it slowly back into the bowl.
When the priest pours water on the forehead of the person being baptized, it washes away all sin from their soul. He says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” When we make the sign of the cross, we are remembering our Baptism.
2. The second important part of our Baptism is that we are anointed with holy oil. Show the holy oil and invite some children to smell the oil.
Holy oil is a sign of being anointed for a mission to live and love as Jesus lived. When the priest anoints the one to be baptized, he asks God to fill them with the Holy Spirit and grant them the graces to live as a follower of Jesus.
3. The white garment represents “putting on Christ”; being “clothed in Christ.” Show the white garment/baptismal gown.
We become a son or daughter of God and begin a new life in Christ.
4. The candle represents the light of Christ.Show the candle.
It reminds the newly baptized person to keep the flame of faith alive in their heart and in the world.
How many times can a person receive the sacrament of Baptism? Just once.
Why is it really important that we receive the sacrament of Baptism?
- We need to be baptized in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Show Bible and read from John 3:5. Jesus says: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
- Baptism washes all sin from our soul. Both original sin (the sin passed down to us from Adam and Eve) and all personal sin (actual sins that we have committed against God) are washed away.
- It makes us a part of God’s family and a member of the Catholic Church.
- It puts a special (Sanctifying) grace into our soul; it’s what makes the soul holy.
- It also brings the Holy Spirit into our soul.
Choose two of the following activities:
Bible Story: Baptized in the River
- Crazy hair wig (for John the Baptist)
- White altar serving robe (for Jesus)
- Plastic bin or bowl filled with water
- Small cup
Assign roles to the kids and distribute the specific items before reading the story. When each person’s part comes up in the Bible story, invite them to the front and have them act out their character.
There once was a man named John the Baptist. Invite a boy to come and wear the crazy hair wig.
He was a cousin of Jesus and was known throughout Israel as a great prophet. A prophet was a holy man who preached about the coming of the Messiah. John lived in the desert and would go around telling people to repent from their sins and be baptized. He was preparing people for the coming of Jesus.
John spoke to the people saying, “I baptize you with water, (repeat) but there is someone coming who is more powerful than me. (repeat) He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (repeat)
One day, John was at the river Jordan, preaching and baptizing people. All of a sudden, Jesus came and asked John to baptize him. Invite a boy to be Jesus.
John was amazed. He said, “No Jesus, I am not worthy. You should be baptizing me.” (repeat)
Jesus said, “It is important that I do this. (repeat) I am ready and I want to be an example to others and show them that it is important.” (repeat) John agreed and brought Jesus in the water.
Have the boy playing Jesus lean his head over the bowl filled with water. John the Baptist will scoop water over Jesus’ head and then dry his hair with the towel.
When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened, (Jesus looks up with his arms stretched to heaven) and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and landed on Jesus’ shoulder. The voice from heaven called out and said, This is my Son whom I love; I am pleased with him.”
John the Baptist and Jesus give each other a hi-five. The two boys can return to their seats.
Baptism is the first sacrament that we receive (show Baptism poster) and it opens the door to all the other sacraments. Jesus showed us how important it was because it was the first thing he did before beginning his public ministry. It is also the last thing he said before he went up to heaven. Jesus told the apostles, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Who baptized Jesus? John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin who was a prophet)
What happened after Jesus was baptized? The Holy Spirit came down and God spoke from heaven.
Have you ever seen someone get baptized?
Letter to Godparents
- Letter to Godparents
Can anyone tell me the names of their godparents?
Why do we have godparents? To pray for us, to be examples of faith, etc.
Godparents have the great responsibility to be examples of Jesus to us and see that we stay faithful to God and grow in our Catholic faith. (CCC #1255)
- Write your godparent’s name at the top of the letter and your name at the bottom.
- Color the letter.
- When you get home, ask your mom or dad to help you send it to your godparents. This is a great take home activity to send home with the kids.
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
- Holy water
Did you know that we can make a special commitment to God by renewing our baptismal promises?
You may have heard this before since we renew our baptismal promises every year at the Easter Vigil. The priest also sprinkles holy water on us. We are going to go through the six questions that the priest asks us when we renew our baptismal promises. When I ask each question, you are going to answer, “I do.”
Do you reject Satan? I do.
And all his works? I do.
And all his empty promises? I do.
Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth? I do.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? I do.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? I do.
Give the kids a blessing with holy water. You can have the kids line up to receive a blessing on their forehead.
We are going to listen to a short story from Moses the Cat, Papa, Josh, Hannah and their cousins, Jesse and Sarah. They are camping in the wilderness, and we get to listen to some of their adventures.
Play Audio Drama Clip
Moses, the Cat: Psssst… It’s me again... Moses. Did you hear that? Snacks, songs and a roasty-toasty fire! Me-ow! I love camping in the great outdoors. It’s the best! Gee, I sure hope Papa cooks up some of that fish they caught. Nothing beats good ol’ Jackfish, over an open fire, Little bit of butter, salt n’ pepper, but not too much pepper, ‘cause it makes me sneeze! Boy, am I hungry!
I think we’re in for a real treat. Last night, we stayed up listening to Papa’s camping adventures. It was great!!! It was like being at the movies. Stories about white water-rafting, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and meeting up with a great big Grizzly Bear. Hmm…I’m curious to hear what they’ll chat about this time. I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking around for this one. I don’t want to miss a thing. (In background: Papa strums a tune on his guitar) Shh!!! Listen…It sounds like they’ve already started. Well, bye for now.
Hannah: Papa, would you like a rootbeer or an orange pop (soda)?
Papa: A rootbeer would be great. Thanks, Hannah.
Josh: Hey, Sarah, could you pass me the marshmallows?
Jesse: Hey, Uncle Jer, were you playing that Jesus song?
Papa: I sure was Jesse. How do you know that song?
Jesse: Uuummm… I think I heard Hannah sing it once before.
Hannah: Yeah, at Easter. Right?
Sarah: Yeah, you sang that one for Grandpa and Grandma.
Papa: Well, do you remember what it’s about? (music fades in)
Hannah: (eagerly) It’s a song about… having joy cause Jesus is in our heart.
What kind of fish does Moses the Cat like to eat? Jackfish
What kind of bear did Papa meet up with on one of his camping adventures? A Grizzly bear
Wilderness adventures are a lot of fun! This week at our Cat.Chat VBS, we will be going on a different kind of wilderness adventure: an adventure through the seven sacraments!
Picture yourself as an explorer on a wilderness adventure, trekking through deep forests and climbing up steep mountains. You may encounter some challenges along the way, but with the right equipment (prayer and scripture) and the seven signposts (sacraments) showing the way, you will eventually reach the top, which is heaven.
Ages: 4-8 year olds
John the Baptist: Saint for Baptism
This is a great book to help kids learn more about the story of St. John the Baptist and how he helped prepare the way for the coming of Jesus.
His story teaches us how the sacrament of Baptism gives us the gift of God’s grace and the strength to live out our faith.
This book can be given to the snack leader to read as the kids are eating their snack.
VBS Saint of the Day
Does anyone know who baptized Jesus? St. John the Baptist.
St. John the Baptist is our VBS Saint of the Day. Read the saint story and ask the following questions:
Who were John’s parents? Elizabeth and Zechariah.
Why was John thrown into prison? For preaching to King Herod.
What is he the patron saint of? Baptisms.
Give each child a saint card as a special VBS take home item. Encourage the children to read the story on the back of their saint card with a parent.
John the Baptist is often pictured using a shell to baptize. The seashell is used as a symbol of Baptism and is often pictured with three drops of water, which represent the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
(Opt.) Give everyone a seashell as a keepsake to remind them of their Baptism.
Jesus, thank you for this time together to grow in our faith. May we continue to experience you in our heart, while learning about the sacraments at our Cat.Chat Wilderness Adventure VBS. Amen!