In level I of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, three to five year old children receive and enjoy the most essential elements of our faith – the announcements of God’s love in the person of the Good Shepherd, who died and is risen.
Materials on the life of Christ and his teachings help make the mystery of God concrete for the child. The geography materials establish Jesus as a real person in time and space. Infancy narratives announce the birth of Jesus. Parables about the kingdom of God encourage joy, wonder and appreciation. How beautiful is the kingdom of God! How small it begins! How slowly it grows!
The major themes for this age group are Gift, Light, and Unconditional Love. These themes find expression in scripture and liturgy. Through the arranging of the chalice, paten, fair linen, candles, and crucifix, the child becomes familiar with the articles of the Eucharist. The child enters the mystery of the Eucharist through the most important gestures including preparation of the chalice, the epiclesis and offering, and the gesture of peace. From these gestures, the Eucharist emerges as the Sacrament of the Gift.
The child becomes acquainted with the historical character of the liturgy through the events of the Last Supper, Christ’s death, and His resurrection.
The liturgical colors and calendar situate the child in the church year and express the Paschal mystery – Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
A prayer corner reflects the liturgical cycle with appropriate colors, prayers, songs, banners and readings.