Theme: Explore the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders
Virtue: Hope (to expect something good will happen; a confident expectation of good things to come)
Light a candle.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please show us how we can bring hope and be a light to others. Amen
Bible Verse of the Day:
Show the Bible Verse poster and watch the Bible Verse Video.
“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16
Theme Intro: Marriage
We have two more sacraments left to explore: the sacrament of Matrimony and the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Who can tell me something about the sacrament of Matrimony?
The sacrament of Matrimony is when a Christian man and a Christian woman get married. The couple makes promises to each other and to God to love in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health.
What are some of the great things about the sacrament of Marriage?
God gives a married couple special graces and blessings to love each other with the love of Christ. Marriage helps a husband and wife to become a better person, to grow in virtue and get to heaven,
Think about a man and a woman that you know who have a great and beautiful marriage.
What makes their marriage so special? Answers will vary.
They pray together, they go to church together, they forgive each other, they strive to do God’s will, they have lots of kids, they go to Confession, they hold hands, they have fun together, they laugh together, etc.
(Leader: You could share a personal story or experience of the sacrament of Matrimony.)
The Bible teaches that marriage is part of God’s plan. God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper as his partner.” Gen. 2:18. God created man and woman so that they would be a great match for each other and bond together in married love.
Leader: Other Biblical references on marriage: Genesis 19:1-29; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 18-20
Teaching: Discovering our Vocation
- Wedding rings
- Wedding photo or album
Has anyone been to a Catholic wedding? (show of hands)
A very important part of a Catholic wedding is what is known as the exchange of vows. These words are the heart of the sacrament of Marriage; they form the covenant with God that establish the couple’s marriage. The marriage can’t happen without these exchange of vows, or consent.
The priest asks the bride and groom three important questions before the “exchange of vows.”
You can invite a married couple (special guests) to help you demonstrate the following:
“(Name) and (name), have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?” The bride and groom respond: “Yes.”
“Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?” The bride and groom respond: “I will.”
“Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?” Response:“I will.”
Priest (or deacon) goes on to say: “Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and his Church.”
Groom:“ I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
Bride:“I, (name), take you, (name), to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
Let’s give them a round of applause.
A wedding is full of symbols of marriage that have beautiful meanings in the Catholic faith.
What do you think the wedding rings symbolize? (show rings)
The rings are in the shape of a circle and symbolize the never ending love of the sacrament of Matrimony, and that the marriage vows are forever.
What does the white wedding gown remind you of? (show a wedding picture)
It is a reminder of the white baptismal gown (garment) worn when a Catholic first joins the Christian family and in a wedding ceremony represents the start of another new family that is rooted in Christ.
What do you think is God’s purpose for marriage?
God wants marriage to be a loving, life-giving and faithful relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is for the good of the couple and it can help them grow in holiness to become saints. God also intended marriage for having children and raising them in the faith, so that all of you can become saints and continue building up the Church.
What is the sacrament of Holy Orders?
The sacrament of Holy Orders was first given to us by Jesus. (CCC #1536)
Holy Orders is the sacrament which gives a man the powers of the Catholic Priesthood. God calls some men to become priests, deacons, and bishops. A man joins the priesthood of Christ at one of three levels: the diaconate (becoming a deacon), the priesthood (becoming a priest), and the episcopate (becoming a bishop).
What are some of the special things a priest does to help serve the Church and the people of God?
A priest can give us the sacraments, they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, (which includes the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ), they can forgive sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation, they can preach and teach the Word of God, they can counsel people, etc.
When did Jesus give us this sacrament?
At the Last Supper. The first men who received the power of priesthood were the apostles. Jesus gave the apostles the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood. Jesus wanted to make sure His work was continued here on earth.
Was Jesus a priest? Yes. Jesus was and is the Great High Priest.
Go Deeper with Older Kids
After the Apostles died, how was the priesthood handed down?
Before they died, the Apostles made other men bishops, who in turn made other men bishops, and in this way the priesthood has been handed down during the past 2000 years.
What are the steps a man has to take to become a priest?
A man that wants to be a priest has to go to study for many years at a special school called a seminary. If he is approved by his bishop and things go really well according to his learning, health, morals, character, etc…then he can become a priest by receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
What takes place in the sacrament of Holy Orders?
The Bishop lays his hands on the head of the priests and says a prayer asking for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In one part of the ceremony, the priest lies in front of the altar while the Litany of the Saints is sung or recited. In another part of the ceremony, a priest’s hands are anointed with chrism (special holy oil). The priest receives a permanent spiritual mark, called a character, signifying that they represent Jesus’ presence in the Church.
Who can give the sacrament of Holy Orders? Only a bishop.
Choose two of the following activities.
Bible Story: Jesus at the Wedding Feast
7 minutes - WEDDING AT CANA - JOHN 2:1-11
- White altar serving robe for Jesus
- Blue robe and veil for Mary
- Clear jug (or jar) filled with water
- Red food coloring in empty jar (few drops at the bottom)
- Wine glass
Invite a girl to play the role of Mary, a boy to play Jesus and two group leaders to be the servants.
Mary was the mother of Jesus and she was invited to a wedding celebration. Jesus and his disciples were also invited. While they were sitting down, visiting and enjoying their meal, Mary noticed that the guests had run out of wine. All the servants were very worried, but Mary knew what to do.
She said to Jesus, “Jesus, they have no more wine.” Mary repeats.
Mary knew that this was important, and so she told the servants, “Do whatever Jesus tells you.” Mary repeats.
Jesus got up from the table (stands up) and tells the servant, “Fill the jars with water.” Jesus repeats.
A servant takes the full jug of water and pours it into the empty jar containing drops of food coloring. As the water changes to wine, the servant looks amazed. Servant dances around and says in excitement: “Wow, we now have wine again!”
Jesus said to the servant, “Now pour some and take it to the head servant.” Jesus repeats.
The servant pours the wine into a wine glass and gives it to the other servant.
The servant was amazed. He said, “This is incredible. Servant repeats. Usually the best wine is served first, but this good wine has been saved until now.” Repeat.
Jesus’s presence at the wedding shows his great love for married couples. He knew that they would be very embarassed if they ran out of wine for their guests at the wedding, and so he chose to work a miracle for them. This was the first public miracle that Jesus did. His disciples were amazed and they all believed in him.
Everyone cheers and goes back to their seats.
Who first noticed that the wedding had run out of wine?
Mary did. She sees our concerns and brings them to her Son, Jesus.
Invite a priest or married couple as special guests to participate in a Q & A session about vocations. Encourage the guest to keep his/her sharings and responses very simple and brief. Give some of the kids Question Cards to ask the special guest.
You can give the guest a list of the questions beforehand so he/she can prepare for the session.
Questions for Priest:
How old were you when you became a priest?
Can you explain what happened when you received the Sacrament of Holy Orders?
What’s the best part about being a priest?
What’s the most challenging part about being a priest?
What is a typical day in the life of a priest?
What would you tell a young boy who is thinking about being a priest?
Questions for Married Couple
How old were you when you were married?
Can you tell us a bit about your wedding day?
What’s the best part about being married?
What’s the most challenging part about being married?
What are some fun things you do when you go on a date?
Ages: 7 and up
- Sacrament Cards
- One person will pick a sacrament card from the bag.
- Act out the sacrament and everyone else has to try and guess it.
Play until all the sacrament cards are used up.
In this story, Papa leads the kids in a short prayer time and shares scriptures that helped him in his life.
Play Audio Drama Clip
Papa: I want you all to close your eyes.
Josh: Close our eyes?
Papa: Josh, close your eyes.
Papa: And you too, Jesse. Now, picture Jesus sitting right beside you, holding your hand and telling you how special you are and how much He loves you. And then, you whisper to Him all the little and big prayers on your heart. Now, keep your eyes closed and repeat after me: Jesus, I need you
Kids: Jesus, I need you.
Papa: Jesus, I love you
Kids: Jesus, I love you.
Papa:Jesus, I trust in you
Kids:Jesus, I trust in you.
Papa: I invite you into my heart.
Kids: I invite you into my heart.
Papa: You know, Jesus says in the Bible: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.” And He also says,“Know that I am with you always.” I had to repeat those scriptures in my heart over and over again when I was going through the saddest and most painful time in my life.
Hannah: Papa, was that after Mama died?
Papa: It sure was, sweetheart. That was so hard and sometimes it still is.
Josh: It is for me too, Papa.
Papa: Yeah, I know. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s Jesus who carries us through the ups and downs of everyday life. And, I’m so thankful that we have hope and faith in Christ Jesus!
What were some of the scriptures that Papa had to repeat in his heart over and over again?
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:34
“Know that I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
Who can carry us through the ups and downs of everyday life? Jesus
VBS Saints of the Day
Read the St. Gianna saint story and ask the following questions:
What was Gianna’s job that she loved? She was a doctor who took care of mothers and young babies.
How many children did Gianna and her husband have? 4 children.
What happened when Gianna was giving birth to their fourth child? There were complications while giving birth and Gianna died. Gianna gave up her life so her baby could live.
Read the St. John Vianney saint story and ask the following questions:
What was something that John Vianney struggled with? His studies.
How many hours would he spend hearing confessions? Up to 18 hours a day.
How old was he when he died? He was 73 years old, and his body was found to be incorruptible. (Meaning it is still intact and has not decayed.)
Give each child two saint cards as a special VBS take home item. Encourage the children to read the stories on the back of their saint cards with a parent.
Jesus, thank you for giving us the wonderful gift of the seven sacraments. May everything we experienced and learned this week at our Wilderness Adventure VBS stay close to our hearts so that we can continue to love you and others every day of our lives. Amen.