We have been reviewing the steps of the ecclesial method used in the Image of God series. The next step of the ecclesial method is the Proclamation. I think this step is the most misunderstood and the most often skipped Let me explain what a Proclamation is. It is a statement of the heart of the lesson. For example, if the lesson is on the Trinity, the Proclamation could be “There are three Persons in one God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit”.
A Proclamation should be short, concise, and easy to remember. Most importantly, it is not read but joyfully announced from the heart with confidence by the teacher. It should be visually present before the students on the board, on handouts, etc. It should be constantly reinforced throughout the lesson.
In the Image of God series, sample proclamations are given in each lesson, but you can certainly create your own. Proclamations can be taken from the lesson. Choose a sentence (or two) that contains the essence of the lesson. Proclamations can be taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or from the YOUCAT. Look up the topic in the index and choose a sentence from the paragraph(s) suggested. Proclamation can also come from Scripture. Choose a sentence from the Scripture reading suggested in the lesson.
To help the Proclamation come alive and help the students remember it, have them copy the Proclamation from the board. Younger students can practice their printing skills and older students their cursive writing skills. Have the students decorate the paper. Have the students do this for each lesson Proclamation. Collect the papers after each lesson and keep them on file for the students. At the end of the year, have students make a cover and staple all the papers together in lesson order. This gives the students a great reminder of all they have learned about their Faith.
In Sacred Scripture there are many instances where we are instructed “to proclaim” God’s Word, the kingdom of God, etc. Colossians 1:28 tells us, “Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.” This Proclamation step gives us the opportunity to proclaim the Good News and to teach our students that they may mature in their knowledge of the Faith.