Catechism (Confirmation Classes)
Classes for 2017 begin on Wednesday, September 20th from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., in Room 10.
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:
- Ecclesiastes 12:1
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Catechesis is instruction in the Christian Faith. It is not like a regular school class, but instead is a lifelong activity beginning with Baptism and going until our Lord calls us to eternal glory. At Trinity, we value Catechesis, and strongly emphasize it in our teaching and preaching.
Our Catechism classes here at Trinity are usually designed for the Confirmation process. It is a three (or more, depending on the needs of the child) year process of instruction. The instruction is designed to not just be a rote learning of facts, but instead instruction in the Christian life. Here our children learn “The Faith”. This means life and living as well as facts.
Our Catechesis is based upon the Word of God. Because the Word of God is the only source and norm of Faith and Life, it is the basis for our instruction. We use Luther’s Small Catechism (1943 edition). In keeping with Luther’s exhortation to stick with the same version, we continue to use it despite new translations being released.
“Repitition is the mother of all learning” is a fast-fading method of teaching, but it is a time-proven way to teach the basic truths of Christianity. Our Catechesis at Trinity reflects a strong emphasis on memory work, where our Catechumens are asked to memorize Bible verses, the Small Catechism, and some of our great hymns. First we learn the patterns of words, and then we can start to learn the meaning. It takes a lifetime to learn the meaning.
The first two years of Catechesis are on the first three chief parts of the Small Catechism (The Ten Commandments, The Creed, and The Lord’s Prayer). These three teach us that we daily sin much and that we need a Savior (The Ten Commandments). Then we move onto that Savior (The Apostles’ Creed). From that we learn that we have a gracious Father who wants us to boldly approach Him as dear children approach their dear father (The Lord’s Prayer). These things are taught as a part of life, not just facts to be memorized. These things are also taught from a biblical foundation.
The third and final year of Catechesis is designed to teach the last three chief parts of the Small Catechism (The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, The Office of the Keys and Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar). In this year we learn what it means that we are baptized, and how our baptism shapes our lives in Christ, and how we daily return to our baptism. It also teaches us about God’s most precious gift of the Office of Holy Ministry and what it does in God’s stead and by His command. Confession is taught as a valuable practice, only because of the Absolution that follows it. The Church is in the business of the forgiveness of sins, and we seek to teach and live that. Finally, the Catechumens learn about the great gift of the Lord’s very Body and Blood, given and shed for us. They learn how to examine themselves in preparation to receive this gift, and also learn about the great benefits that it brings.
The Catechism process is a fun one, filled with bearing one another’s burdens, and living both in faith toward God and in fervant love toward our neighbor. We enjoy studying, teaching, and learning from God’s Word. Catechesis is a lifelong process, and we thank God for the great opportunity we get to have in it!