Catechesis: A greater understanding of Christ


  • Catechesis comes from the Greek word for teaching.
  • In particular, the word was used to describe the preparation people received before baptism.
  • It involves the basic elements of Christian faith and life.
  • From the word catechesis we get catechism.  The catechism as summaries of the faith of the church.

Catechesis and Lent

  • Because Lent was the final preparation for baptism, we continue to emphasize the basic elements of faith and life during this season.
  • It is a “back to basics” season.

Catechesis in Lent at Los Altos Lutheran

  • Each year we take one portion of Luther’s catechism as our focus during Lent.
  • In 2017 we are focusing on The Lord’s Prayer under the theme: …Love Justice…Do Kindness…Walk Humbly… + The Justice and Peace of the Lord’s Prayer

Luther’s Catechisms

    • Martin Luther, the 16th century reformer from whom the Lutheran community got it’s name, wrote two catechisms:
“I had a friend who struggled with anorexia. Her Lenten fast was to eat three meals a day: a tremendous challenge for her, but an act of obedience and courage that helped her heal.”
— Pastor David
    • The “Small Catechism” for parents to us with their children
    • The “Large Catechism” for pastors to use with adults
  • The catechisms arose after a tour of the churches in Saxony (where Luther lived) showed that people lacked basic knowledge about Christian Faith.

A “Condensed Version” of the Bible

  • Luther understood that the catechism should not just be a list of questions and answers about God, but that the catechism should, like the scripture, create faith.
  • Luther’s catechism is a concise proclamation of the Biblical message.

What’s in the Catechism?

  • The Catechism has five parts (maybe 6)
    • Ten Commandments (What God requires of us)
    • Creed (What God has done for us)
    • Lord’s Prayer (Where to go for help in time of need)
    • Baptism, and
    • The Lord’s Supper
  • (The “sixth” section is about confession and absolution. It is attached to Baptism in the Large Catechism and to Holy Communion in the small catechism)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:4

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