Theme: Explore the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
Virtue: Self Control (controlling your behavior; making sure your actions, thoughts and words please God and others)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Loving God, please help us when we are tempted to do something that we know is wrong. Sorry for the times we bring sorrow and pain to others. Please help us to have self-control and choose what is good and right. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day:
Show the Bible Verse poster and watch the Bible Verse Video.
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:17
Theme Intro: Sacraments of Healing
- Priest’s stole
- Holy oil
There are two sacraments that are known as the sacraments of healing.
Does anyone know what they are? Point to the Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick Sacrament Posters.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as Confession.
Can anyone tell me what happens in the sacrament of Reconciliation? You tell your sins to a priest, God forgives our sins, our hearts become pure and clean, etc.
Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing because it heals the wounds in our heart that are caused by sin.
Another sacrament of healing is the Anointing of the Sick.
Do you know anyone who has received this sacrament? Share a story of anyone that you know who has received this sacrament.
Anointing of the Sick happens when someone is very sick or close to death. A priest wears his stole, and blesses the person with holy oil. Show the stole and oil. The priest will pray over them, hear their Confession, give them Holy Communion and anoint them with a final blessing. This sacrament gives your soul a special grace, strength and healing and prepares your soul for entry into Heaven.
Can you receive these sacraments of healing more than once? Yes.
We should be going to the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month, and the Anointing of the Sick can be received whenever someone is very sick or close to death.
Teaching: Sin and Forgiveness
- Glass dish with water
- Black pepper
- Dish soap
- Towel and jug of water
This bowl of water represents our hearts and this jar of black pepper represents sin.
What is sin?
Sin is when we freely choose to say or do something wrong; it’s an offense against God. (CCC #1850)
Sprinkle a bit of pepper into the dish of water.
Sin stains our soul and makes our hearts unclean and impure. It gives us a yucky feeling inside and makes our soul feel sick.
What are some ways that we sin and turn away from God? Sprinkle pepper each time a sin is mentioned.
Disobeying, complaining, lying, cheating, using bad language, etc.
There are two kinds of sins: venial sins and mortal sins.
Venial sin is a less serious sin. Little sprinkle of pepper.
Mortal sin is a more serious sin. Add lots of pepper.
Mortal sin separates us from God; it is “a rupture of communion with Him.”(CCC #1440)
We should confess mortal sin as soon as possible in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
What are the great things about the sacrament of Confession?
God wipes away our sins (all the bad things we’ve done or said).
Invite the kids to come closely to the see the cool things God does when he wipes away our sins. Add dish soap to your finger and place it in the center of the glass dish full of pepper. Pepper will quickly move away to the side of the dish. Wipe up all the water with a towel.
God gives us the gift of a special grace in our soul. He fills us with His peace so we can experience a sense of freedom and joy and a fresh start. Pour fresh jug of water into the empty glass dish.
God gives us His power and strength to help us become better Christians. Reconciliation is a cleansing experience and also a strengthening one, too.
Someone once said that receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation is like going for a car wash. When we confess and are truly sorry for our sins, our souls get all washed up. We are strengthened to go out on the road again and be a witness of Christ to others.
Go Deeper with Older Kids
Why do we confess our sins to a priest?
This is the way Jesus Christ wants our sins to be forgiven. Jesus gave his apostles the power to forgive people’s sins. Since the time of the early apostles, the Catholic Church has kept this tradition. “The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you. When He had said this, He breathed on them; and He said to them: Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” (John 20:20-23)
Why can’t I just tell my sins to God instead of going to Confession?
It’s good to talk to Jesus and tell him all your sins in prayer, but there is something extra special that happens when we receive this sacrament. We receive a special grace into our souls that helps us to overcome temptations to sin.
Sometimes we can wonder: What will the priest think of me? Will he tell my parents? Will he be angry with me?
God is a loving God and it pleases Him when we recognize the sins we’ve done and when we try not to sin again.
Why should we not be afraid of Confession?
In this sacrament, the priest sits in the place of Jesus. The priest is never allowed to tell anyone any sin he has ever heard in Confession. He'll forgive you with the love of Jesus.
What is penance?
Making up for our sins. The priest might ask us to say a prayer, or to do a special act of kindness for someone, or to think of five things you are thankful for, etc. Our penance helps us to stay away from sin and become better people. This is why this sacrament is also called “The sacrament of Penance.”
How can we prepare for Confession?
Before going to Confession, spend some time thinking over the sins you have committed by examining your conscience.
- Did I forget to pray everyday?
- Did I not pay close attention at Mass?
- Did I disobey my parents or teachers?
- Was I unkind, angry, impatient or bossy?
- Did I say bad words or think mean thoughts?
- Did I fight with anyone?
- Did I refuse to forgive someone?
- Did I hurt anyone on purpose?
- Did I take anything that was not mine (steal)?
- Did I tell lies?
- Did I read impure books or watch the wrong kind of movies?
Choose two of the following activities:
Bible Story: Coming Home
7 minutes - THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON - LUKE 15:11-32
- Old, worn-out clothes and fancy clothes
- Small bag of coins
- Candies (1/child)
Jesus told his disciples a parable. Invite two boys to come and play the roles of the father and the son.
One day, the son said to his father, “Father, give me my inheritance.” Son repeats.
An inheritance is the money that the father would give his children when he died.
Father gives the bag of coins to the son. The father gave his son the money, and the son left to another country and spent it all on food, friends, and parties.
Have the younger son put on the fancy robe and go to the other side of the room. One day the son realized that he had spent all his money, and he was forced to go and live with the pigs. Puts on old clothes and sits down shivering.
He was suddenly so poor that he had no home and nothing to eat. The son thought to himself, “My father’s servants are treated even better than this. (repeat) Maybe my father will accept me as his servant.” (repeat) So the son decided to go back home and beg his father to let him come back and work as a servant. The son gets up.
Now the father was worried about his son, and everyday he waited to see if his son would come home. As soon as he saw the son, he rushed to welcome him with open arms.
Father opens his arms wide. The son kneels down at his feet.
The son knelt down at his feet and said, “Father, I have sinned. (repeat) I know I’ve done wrong. (repeat) I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (repeat)
The father gave him a big hug and said to his servants, “Quickly! Go get the best robe and put it on my son. (repeat) Cook a giant feast and get ready for a celebration. (repeat)
My son was lost, and now he is found.” (repeat) Everyone cheers! Whoohoo! The father gives everyone a candy.
Everyone began to feast and celebrate the return of the younger son. Ask the kids to cheer loudly.
How did the father respond when the son came home? He welcomed him, he gave him a big hug, he loved him, he was so happy to see him, etc.
How does it feel to be forgiven after having done something wrong? Answers will vary.
How does God the Father act when we come to him after we have sinned? He loves us, he forgives us, he welcomes us with open arms, etc.
Visit the Confessional
Plan for the kids to see the inside of a confessional or reconciliation room. It will also help the younger kids to feel more comfortable and little more prepared one day to receive this sacrament.
In this sacrament, you tell your sins to a priest through a screen in a confessional or face to face in a room.
How to confess your sins to a priest:
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- Mention the length of time since your last Confession. (one month, three months, etc.)
- Tell the priest your sins.
- The priest will talk to you and give you a penance to do after you leave the confessional. (Ex. Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.)
- Pray an Act of Contrition.
- Father will absolve you of your sins and make the sign of the cross. You say: “Thank you, Father.”
- Do the penance the priest has given you.
Before leaving the confessional, ask the kids if they have any questions.
Give the kids an Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition card to take home.
Giant Get Well Card
- Poster board (folded in half) (1 set/group)
- Colored markers
This is a great activity if there are people in your parish who are sick.
Write their name on the front of the card.
- Get into small groups.
- Write your name, perhaps a short message and draw a picture on the inside of the card.
In this short story, Papa tells us about his experience with the sacrament of Reconciliation when he was at a youth retreat.
Play Audio Drama Clip
Jesse: Re - treat? What’s that? Some kind of extra treat?
Josh: Hey, speaking of treats, are there any more granola bars?
Hannah: Sorry, Josh, I just ate the last one.
Josh: Aaah, man.
Sarah: Aaachoo! Aaachoo!
Hannah: Bless you, Sarah.
Sarah: Thanks…So, what happened at this retreat?
Papa: Well, it was exactly what I needed. I had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Jesse: Recon-silly what?
Josh: You know… CONFESSION.
Sarah: Isn’t that like, when you tell a priest all your sins?
Papa: That’s right, Sarah. When we confess that we are truly sorry for all our sins, then by God’s mercy and grace, we are forgiven! Our heart that was once stained and dirty becomes fresh and clean again. Oh yeah… and at this retreat, there was this awesome youth speaker and what he said opened my eyes.
Hannah: Well, what did he say?
Youth speaker: Young people, you know Jesus suffered and died on that wooden cross for our very own sins, and He rose again, to give us abundant life! Are we gonna respond to the Holy Father’s words when he said “Open wide your hearts to Jesus Christ?”
Youth speaker: (Crowd cheers: Yaaah) Are we willing to allow Jesus to make a difference in our life? (Crowd shouts: Yaaah !!!) Well, together, let’s you and I say NO TO SIN and YES TO GOD!
Which sacrament did Papa receive at the retreat? The sacrament of Reconciliation.
What’s another name for this sacrament? Confession (or Penance).
What is Confession? Telling your sins to God through a Catholic priest or bishop.
What does Papa tell us about this sacrament? When we confess that we are truly sorry for all our sins, then by God’s mercy and grace, we are forgiven! Our heart that was once stained and dirty becomes fresh and pure again.
Ages: 4-8 year olds
Padre Pio: Saint for Reconciliation
Padre Pio was a priest and confessor who was born in Italy. He heard millions of confessions during his lifetime. He had the gift of healing people and knowing what was in their hearts when they came to Reconciliation. He filled people’s hearts with peace and helped them to love God.
This book can also be given to the snack leader to read as the kids are eating their snack.
VBS Saint of the Day
Our VBS Saint of the Day was a very holy man who lived just a short time ago. Many people would come to him for the sacrament of Reconciliation and to receive healing. He is known as Padre Pio, which means Father Pio.
Read the saint story and ask the following questions:
Where was Padre Pio born? Pietrelcina, Italy.
How old was he when he joined the Capuchins? 15 years old.
What were some of the gifts that Padre Pio was given? The Wounds of Christ (Stigmata), bilocation (being in two places at once), and reading people’s souls in confession. WOW!
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.
Jesus, thank you for giving us the sacraments of healing. Help us to remember your mercy and grace when we sin, and to know that you are always ready to forgive us. We love you. Amen.