Precepts of the Catholic Church
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to help the middle school youth learn the precepts of the Church and that they exist to show the faithful what is necessary for us to do to grow in love of God and neighbor.
About this night
This Edge night tackles a subject some typically view as “minimum requirements” to be fulfilled for someone to be considered a faithful Catholic. The precepts of the Church, although minimal in subject, show us the great work that God calls each and every one of us to participate in as Catholic Christians. The night will familiarize the youth with the five precepts, in different ways throughout the night. The church is not an exclusive “club,” so the night plays off that topic in the Gather. Be sure to keep the focus on the positive aspect of the five precepts. They are not a punishment, but are the way we can grow in our relationship with Jesus.
As a way to introduce the concept of the precepts, the youth will create a set of precepts for their own country called “Edgetopia.” This will help them see that the precepts are not a punishment and that with any group we belong to, there are requirements to remain as an active member. The teaching will introduce each precept and put them in terms with which the youth can relate. During the Break, the youth will be challenged to make the precepts relevant and to put them in their own words. The night will conclude by challenging to begin following the precepts of the Catholic Church and sign a commitment to begin living out the precepts.
Tonight, we discussed the five precepts of the Catholic Church. The precepts are in essence the minimum obligations we have as Catholics to participate in the life of the Church. The precepts are a way for us to deepen our relationship with Christ. We likened the precepts of the Catholic Church to the guidelines one might have when being part of a team. To play a sport or be a part of a team, there are expectations to show up for practice, to work together, etc. As Catholics, we have similar expectations or precepts:
1. To attend Mass each week and Holy Days
2. Go to confession at least once a year
3. Receive Communion during Easter season
4. Follow the rules for fasting and abstaining
5. Share your time, talent and treasure with the Catholic Church. Come together as a family and discuss these precepts and how you can grow in better following these precepts and into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Set up the room to look like your version of Edgetopia. You can decide what you want Edgetopia to be: an island, a city, a small town, another planet, a building, a field, a farm, etc. Transform the room with signs on the wall, placing plants throughout the room, or whatever your Edgetopia resembles.
• Notebook paper
• Handout A: “Personal Reflection”
• Handout B: “Commitment Card”
• Poster board
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