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)

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