Too much?

Readers, I need your help.  I will be preparing two children to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).  One is 8 years old.  The other is 9 years old.  One thing I would like them to do is memorize some prayers.  Not having much experience teaching kids that young, I am not sure if my expectations are too high.  I don’t think so, but…thus why I am asking.  I know I am grateful for the prayers I learned as a child because I still say them every night.  So your thoughts are appreciated.  I’ve listed the prayers  below for your review.

Of course, I plan on running this past Father T also.  I mean, after all, it is his parish!

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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done,

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

            In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

The Angelic Salutation

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.

  

Bedtime Prayer

Into Thy hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me, save me and grant unto me everlasting life. Amen.

 

OR

 

Now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray my soul the Lord to keep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray my soul the Lord to take.

 

The 10 Commandments

1.      I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.

2.      You shall not make for yourself an idol.

3.      You shall not take the name of your God in vain.

4.      Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

5.      Honor your father and mother.

6.      You shall not kill.

7.      You shall not commit adultery.

8.      You shall not steal.

9.      You shall not bear false witness.

10.  You shall not covet.

 

Psalm 119: 1 – 3

Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Happy are they who obey His commandments, who seek Him with all their heart and do no wrong, but walk in His ways.

 

All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us!

Lord cleanse us from our sins!

Master, pardon our transgressions!

Oh Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name’s sake!

 

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14 thoughts on “Too much?

  1. no not too, too much considering their ages. I am of the same mind as debd forgoing as of yet the commandments and add the Beatitudes instead.
    and I am hear to tell you s-p is spot on about the punishment/ memorization thing all too true or it was for my brother and I.

    I would just start singing the prayers at home – cause, well I guess I am a bit off – that I wanted my kids to start “remembering” (children 4, 6, 7 currently)

    so The Lord’s Prayer, some doxologial(spelling? sorry) prayers were instantly a fun hit.

    I would like to add the following – the real reason I responded, think on adding the Jesus prayer

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God
    Have mercy on me a sinner

    take care and may God bless and protect you and yours

  2. Kids can memorize a LOT of stuff if they are interested in it. The thing to avoid is making the memorization a “punishment” or attaching punishment to them if not done. On the other hand, the kids need to know that the spiritual life is work and sometimes requires doing things we don’t WANT to do. God bless your kiddos (and you!)

  3. Aha! When there’s html code ending with a semicolon, immediately followed by a close-parenthesis, the comments code thinks it should make a smiley out of the two of them.

  4. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I will talk with Father of course. I like the idea of the Beatitudes rather than the 10 Commandments.

    Suzanne, don’t have a clue about the wink. I suspect it has something to do with the closing parenthesis and the ending quote mark because it shows up in another person’s comment.

  5. I think your choices are very good, but I’d choose the “Into Thy hands, O Lord,” prayer instead of the “Now I lay me down to sleep.” I also agree that memorizing the Beatitudes (which I’ve heard called “Christ’s commandments”) instead of the “Ten Commandments for the same reasons mentioned above.

    Have you considered one or two the the Children’s books from Conciliar Press? They have one especially about children’s preparationn for first Confession.

    I know you’ll do a good job.

    http://conciliarpress.com/products/Guardian_Angel_Children_s_Prayer_Book-161-11.html

    http://conciliarpress.com/products/My_Orthodox_Prayer_Book-163-11.html

    http://conciliarpress.com/products/The_ABC_s_of_My_Church_Andrew_s_First_Holy_Confession-206-11.html

  6. I agree it will depend on time – but they should at least be sight familar with them, I agree.

    Maybe make a quick little book with them in it that they can decorate the cover of, and make it pocket sized so they could carry it with them to Confession.

    You, and they, will be in my prayers.

  7. The bedtime prayer I have been having in my head recently: “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, bless the bed that I lie on.” (Short and helps one remember the evanglists.)

    The Trisagion Prayers are useful to know (Glory… both now… Heavenly King… Holy God (3x)… Glory… both now… All-holy Trinity… Lord, have mercy (3x), Glory… both now… Our Father …) since they show up everywhere.

    Also, a mealtime prayer might be good to have in one’s prayer repertory. The Orthodox one I learned: “Christ our God, bless the food and drink of thy servants, for thou art holy now and always, unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

    Another good one is the Jesus Prayer. And anything set to music is easy to learn. The “Panaghia With Us All” cd (http://www.saintdemetriosrr.org/news/2005/panaghia/index.shtml) has a sweet version of that which can be done in rounds.

    A harder one would be the Creed, but that seems like the next step. Thank you for bringing this kind of question up!

    When my father was my Sunday School teacher (in middle school), he offered rewards (like alarm-clock/radios and little “cool” things) at the end of the year for those who memorized a certain prayer before the rest of the class, and recited it to him any time they found him at church. I thought this was weighted in my favor, until we all had to recite what we already knew and were no longer in the running for those prayers: we had to learn new ones.

  8. Those prayers are excellently chosen. I would spend some time making sure that they understand what they are saying. Maybe have them write a sentence or two of their own about what it means. It is easier to remember things that we understand. Those ages are perfect to start with memorizing projects.

  9. I think your selections are fine. The key is just to have them keep repeating them. My 5 (almost 6) and 7 year old have memorized a goodly number of prayers just from daily repetition. I also had them memorize the 23d psalm this year and they did fine..small chunks at a time and daily repetition. They’ll get it, you’ll just have to get the parents “in on it” as well.

  10. How much time do you have to help them memorize these? I think that would be a factor as well.

    If it was me I would probably drop the 10 commandments and add the Beatitudes instead. Which would make it a bit easier since they should be hearing it in DL each week. It’s not that I don’t think they should know the 10 Commandments, it’s just I wouldn’t put a heavy emphasis on memorizing it.

    My son (6) and I have been saying a children’s version of the prayer to the Guardian angel before bed each night. I was surprised at how quickly he memorized that and the Lord’s Prayer. So, I think if I was doing this I would have more than I thought I would need, and then add them, one at a time, to see how much you can get.

    Just my paltry 2cents worth.

  11. I’m pretty sure the little ones are reading in school at this age. The prayers you have chosen are excellent. You may want to try the Religious store. They might have a large selection for you to choose from.
    God Bless you sweetheart. The Lord must be very pleased with you as you serve HIM well.

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