Learning long memory verses – Apostles’ Creed edition

This month’s 4-6th grade memory prayer is one of our longer challenges, the Apostles’ Creed.  Before you give up though; try the following:

  • Break it up – The Apostles’ Creed is composed of three sentences.  Spend time learning only the first sentence and then build up to the other two.
  • Make a game – Divide the phrases onto note cards and have your student arrange them in order.  Take one away and see if they can identify the missing part.  Listen to the Memory Verse CD you got at the beginning of the year (music almost always makes memorizing easier and stick longer).  Make up actions as if it were a VBS song.
  • Practice together – This may be more work for you, but you’d also reap the benefits of knowing one of the basics of the Faith.  It’s encouraging to kids to have you “share the work” and it’ll possibly also be fun for them to beat you in a little friendly competition.
  • Delve into the meaning – The base of the Creed is the Holy Trinity.  What does it have to say about God the Father?  What does it teach about Jesus?  What does it say we believe about the Holy Spirit?  (Bonus question – what does Amen mean?)
  • Start by defining the terms – Sure they can recite it, but is that enough?  If your kids don’t know what it means to descend and ascend, if they don’t understand that the communion of saints includes the faithful on earth, in heaven and in purgatory, and if they don’t know that conceived refers to the first instant of a person’s life in his or her mother’s womb, memorizing the Creed will not mean a lot to them.
  • Find a practical application – While it’s possible you would recite the Apostles’ Creed during Mass, the place you’ll most typically encounter it is while praying the Rosary.  Consider praying all or part of a Rosary each day this month.  Besides the obvious benefits of the additional prayer, it’s the perfect way to practice both of this month’s memory challenges.

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