This summer I’m encouraging my kids to learn the three basics of catechism, i.e. The Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer and The Apostles’ Creed. For all of July they must memorize—verbatim—all three essentials of the Christian faith.
I culled from various renditions, scrupulously edited them for content and punctuation, and printed them on card stock and gave a copy to each of our children. I aimed for one essential catechism for everyone (i.e. one not just for children while a different version for adults, but one singular catechism for everyone).
As an incentive for memorizing them (when I was a younger parent I would have disdainfully called it bribery), we put out a monetary award, as well as a family celebratory breakfast at our favorite breakfast haunt.
So far this morning, while listening to some upbeat bluegrass music, one of my daughters was speed-rapping to The Apostles’ Creed. Disturbing combination but I’ll take it.
Download the PDF here.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17)
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below—you shall not bow down to them or worship them.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony.
- You shall not covet.
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.