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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
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by Carol Boucher, May 2007

Subject:  Prophecies


Title:       The Light


Age:         3+


Sources:   Isaiah 9:1; RPC, p. 98-100, 105-108; GS&C, p. 76,80


Liturgical Time:  Advent – Week 1 (early in Advent or before Advent starts)


Doctrinal Points:

  • People who walked in darkness and see the great light communicate the word of God.
  • The prophet gives a three-fold message:

-         God has a wonderful gift for us.

-         God loves us and wants to be with us.

-         God is coming here.

  • The prophet is one who listens deeply to God and is empowered to speak for him.
  • Jesus is the light of the world.   He is the “light” for all people.


Direct Aims:

  • To offer the image of Jesus as the Light.


Indirect Aims:

  • To prepare for the celebration of Christmas.
  • To introduce and explain Advent.
  • To introduce the symbol of the Advent wreath.
  • To introduce the prophets and their role in salvation history.
  • To give a sense of salvation history – that God prepares his people, reveals himself to his people and has watched over his people throughout history.
  • To nurture prayer language.
  • To enhance greater participation in Liturgy through the introduction of traditional scriptures.
  • To nurture the sense of wonder and awe.
  • To facilitate the use of signs – introducing Jesus as the sign of light.
  • To prepare for Baptism work and Liturgy of Light.
  • To lay a foundation of respect for our Judaic heritage.
  • To prepare for later prophecies and infancy narratives.
  • To help the child enter into the mystery of his/her relationship with God.


Description of Materials

  • Prophecy Card w/ words of the prophecy – LIGHT (all in caps) neatly handwritten using simple fonts (recognizable to young children – i.e. a, g) on 8x10 parchment style paper (showing a sense of age) within an 11x14 photo mat in purple (color of Advent)
  • Prophecy card may include image depicting light at top center of card
  • Prophecy card includes a citation in the lower right corner (biblical reference – Isaiah 9:1)
  • Sturdy stand to hold the matted words




  • Prayer table prepared for Advent with:    (can be left empty if doing a procession)

-         A prayer cloth in rich purple fabric (some churches may use blue for Advent)

-         A drape in the same purple cotton fabric to hang behind prayer table on decorative hooks (or use a richly colored tapestry or an appropriate mounted picture to hang behind the prayer table.  Perhaps it could be a picture of the Good Shepherd.)

-         an Advent wreath (simple ring w/ or w/o greenery) or four candle holders

-         candles for Advent wreath (3 purple and 1 pink)

-         matches, a tray for the spent matches

-         a snuffer





        Empty the prayer table before the children arrive.

        Prepare for a procession to prepare the prayer table by noting the number of items needed and the number of children available

        Ask who would like to carry each of the items for the table (If there are more children than objects to carry, tell the children w/o anything to carry that they will be able to carry something the next time.)

        Reverently process around the room, singing an appropriate song and ending the procession at the prayer table.

        Carefully have the children each place their item on the prayer table and then   take a seat for the presentation.



        Talk about changing liturgical colors with the seasons.

        Talk about the Advent wreath.

        Talk about the season of Advent – what are we waiting for? – The birth of Jesus.

        Talk about the prophets - They lived in the Land of Israel long before Jesus came.   The prophets told the people that someone was coming.  The prophets are able to give us God’s message because they first listened deeply to God.

        Talk about the people of Israel waiting so long – what are they waiting for?


    Reading of Scripture with Meditation

        Light the first candle on the Advent wreath.

        Read the scripture in a slightly louder, but reverent voice.   Be aware of posture.

        Proclaim the scripture reading, pause and look at the prayer table.

        You could ask the children the following questions:  

-         What is it like to wait?

-         Who are we waiting for?

-         What is it like to walk in the darkness?  (scary)

-         What is it like to walk in the light?   (good)

-         Is Isaiah talking about the light from the sun?   Maybe he was talking about a different kind of light.

-         I wonder who could be the light Isaiah talked about.  (Jesus is the LIGHT!!)     



Children’s Responses:      (possible response could be silence)

        Sing a song about light

-         “The People Who Walked in Darkness”

-         “This Little Light of Mine”

-         “The Light Shines in the Darkness”


Restoration of the Material:

  • Snuff the candles
  • Invite children to find  work or dismiss to parents (if at end of session)


Children’s Work with the Materials:

  • Copying the prophecy
  • Original artwork
  • Creating a scroll (older children) using parchment paper w/lines
  • Reading the prophecy
  • Sitting at prayer table


Children’s Responses (notable things the children say or do):







CGS Level 1 Catechist Training