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The Final Four

Last Things

Edge Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this night is to grow in our understanding of the “last things” (death, purgatory, heaven and hell), so we understand what everlasting life means. People have a lot of misconceptions about death, heaven, hell, and purgatory; by the end of this night the misconceptions will be discussed and clarified. Ultimately, the goal is to empower each middle school youth to desire heaven more at the end of this night.

About this night

The four last things are death, purgatory, hell and heaven. Christians proclaim in the Creed that, “We believe in Life Everlasting” and everlasting life includes two options: heaven and hell. After death a person will either spend eternity in heaven or hell. Heaven is for those who die in the friendship of God and have been completely purified. Hell is for those people who have rejected God and die with mortal sin on their souls. There is Catholic belief in purgatory, which is a place of final purification. Purgatory is for those who die in God’s friendship but have not yet been perfectly purified.

This night will begin with a video that shows the common opinions that people hold on heaven and hell. The video will be a fun way to clarify many misconceptions that people have. The room will be divided into four for the night; death, hell, purgatory, and heaven. The Proclaim will be given in each area of the room that coincides with that portion of the talk. At the end of the rotating talk the middle school youth will go to small group to discuss the four last things. After a time of small group questions, there will be an activity that the each group will work on and then present to the larger group. After the large group sharing, the Send will move into a quieter, more reflective time. The youth minister will read a story on a “Teen’s View of Heaven,” leading into Adoration. The night will wrap up after Adoration.

Parental Notice

Tonight we talked about the Last Things: death, purgatory, heaven and hell. The goal of this night is to grow in our understanding of the four last things and so we understand what everlasting life will be like. People have a lot of misconceptions about death, heaven, hell and purgatory; hopefully, by the end of this night your child has a greater understanding of the Church’s teaching on the last things. We discussed that death is not the end, heaven is our goal, hell is a result of our choices not to follow God and purgatory is a time of purification so we can stand before our perfect and holy God. Ultimately the goal is to empower each middle school youth to desire heaven as their goal in life.

Here are some conversation starters for the ride home:

1. What did you learn about heaven and hell tonight?

2. Purgatory is challenging to understand, can you explain it to me?

3. What does Scripture say about heaven?

Environment

The room will be split into quadrants – you can divide the room into fourths with large masking tape on the floor. Each quadrant will have a theme of death, heaven, hell or purgatory. Below are ideas for the four themes:

Death – Grey tomb stones in a grave yard. You can create two or three gravestones by cutting out and coloring poster board. Write names and dates on the tombstones with a marker.

Heaven – White clouds. You can create clouds with inexpensive pillow stuffing that you can find in any craft section of a store. Pull apart the stuffing and fluff it to make it appear like clouds. Place an inexpensive treasure chest on a table. You can find a treasure chest at any party theme store.

Hell – Create a dark, lonely, and desolate environment by using black cloths and leaving it empty. If it is possible have a monstrance used for Eucharistic Adoration placed in this quadrant on a table. This monstrance will not hold the Eucharist it will be empty.

Purgatory – Fire made out of orange, red, and yellow paper cut like large flames. In addition to the flames, have a table with one or two dirty dishes. Next to the dishes have a bowl of soapy water and a towel.

Supplies List

• Masking Tape

• Pillow Stuffing

• Treasure Chest

• Construction Paper

• Dishes and Bowl

• Monstrance

• Bibles for each small group

• Handout A: “Search for Heaven”

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