In my ongoing religious studies, mainly of Catholicism, I decided to do something interesting. I signed up for an online class at a place called CatechismClass.com. It is, so they advertise, basically what you would get from an RCIA instruction. There is only so much you can get from a study Bible, this certainly does a large amount of filling in blanks. It was pretty cheap too, $57! The lessons offered follows:
- Life of Christ #1: Annunciation and Incarnation
- Life of Christ #2: Visitation
- Life of Christ #3: Nativity
- Life of Christ #4: Presentation and Holy Family
- Life of Christ #5: Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
- Life of Christ #6: Baptism of Jesus and John the Baptist
- Life of Christ #7: Wedding at Cana
- Life of Christ #8: Parables & Sermons of Jesus
- Life of Christ #9: Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
- Life of Christ #10: Transfiguration
- Life of Christ #11: Institution of the Holy Eucharist
- Life of Christ #12: Agony in the Garden
- Life of Christ #13: Scourging at the Pillar (Flagellation of Christ)
- Life of Christ #14: Crowning with Thorns
- Life of Christ #15: Carrying the Cross
- Life of Christ #16: Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ
- Life of Christ #17: Resurrection – Easter
- Life of Christ #18: Ascension of Christ
- Life of Christ #19: Descent of the Holy Ghost – Pentecost
- Life of Christ #20: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Life of Christ #21: Mary: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Apparitions
- Sacraments #1: Grace – Actual and Sacramental
- Sacraments #2: Matter & Form
- Sacraments #3: Sacraments of Initiation
- Sacraments #4: Baptism
- Sacraments #5: Confirmation
- Sacraments #6: Holy Eucharist
- Sacraments #7: Confession
- Sacraments #8: Holy Orders
- Sacraments #9: Holy Matrimony
- Sacraments #10: Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick)
- Mass #1: Prayer
- Mass #2: Liturgy
- Mass #3: Word
- Mass #4: Eucharist
- Mass #5: Meal
- Mass #6: Transubstantiation
- Mass #7: Sacred Vessels
- Mass #8: Vestments and Linens (In the Roman Rite of the Church)
- Mass #9: Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Tridentine Mass)
- Mass #10: Exposition (Eucharistic Adoration)
- Mass #11: Benediction
- Mass #12: Sacred Triduum Liturgies
- Old Testament #1: Adam & Eve
- Old Testament #2: Noah & The Great Flood (i.e. Deluge)
- Old Testament #3: Tower of Babel
- Old Testament #4: Abraham and Isaac, Melchizadek, Covenant, Prefigurement
- Old Testament #5: Jacob – Israel
- Old Testament #6: Joseph – Famine
- Old Testament #7: Moses, 10 Commandments, Plagues, Red Sea
- Old Testament #8: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel
- Old Testament #9: Kings – Saul, David, Solomon
- Old Testament #10: Wisdom Books – Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Sirach
- Old Testament #11: Major Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel
- Old Testament #12: Minor Prophets
- Old Testament #13: Maccabean Revolt; Conclusion of Old Testament Lessons
- Creed #1: I Believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
- Creed #2: I Believe in Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord
- Creed #3: Holy Trinity
- Creed #4: Mary
- Creed #5: He Suffered Under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried
- Creed #6: He descended into Hell, on the third day He rose again, He ascended into Heaven.
- Creed #7: He is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- Creed #8: I Believe in the Holy Spirit
- Creed #9: I believe in the Holy Catholic Church
- Creed #10: The Communion of Saints
- Creed #11: Forgiveness of Sins
- Creed #12: Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting
Funny, about the only thing I knew about this religion a year ago or so I learned from The Exorcist! I just bought the course last night and will not even get into it until next weekend. However, I did do a cursory look over. And here are a few observations.
Something similar to this is required if you wish to join the Catholic church. It takes about a year from what I read. This is way different from my family’s church (if you want to call it that, I remember going to Bible camp once, and church once when I was very young) of Lutheranism. You don’t have to do jack to be a Lutheran. There are no classes required, although most have them if you wish. You go to church on Sunday (if ya wanna) take a nap, go home, never go again, whatever.
There is a whole detailed process for Catholics. After a year or so of going to RCIA classes (if you are an adult, it is different for children) you have a whole other process where you get confirmed during Easter. Something like that, I just glanced that over!
And the stuff you have to keep track of. There are daily readings in something called a Lectionary. There are daily observations, feasts and fasts, for an endless array of saints. There are a litany of prayers, something called the Rosary – which I thought were merely beads that priests used in excising demons from hapless little girls. As is shown above there is a bunch of sacraments and then there is a bunch of stuff they do at Mass (which I guess is the equivalent of what Lutherans do on Sunday, but probably more formal).
Holy moly, makes the head spin.
I was kind of disappointed to read one thing. One of the teaching tools they use is a reference work called the Baltimore Catechism. In it I came across the following:
Q. 345. How many years passed from the time Adam sinned till the time the Redeemer came?
A. About 4,000 years passed from the time Adam sinned till the time the Redeemer came.
Usually I am quite comfortable with how Catholicism handles a lot of these issues. But 4,000 years? From the first man, Adam, to Jesus Christ? Sorry, not going all Evolution! on anyone, but 4,000 years don’t fly. No way. Unless someone wants to claim the people of Sumer, for instance, were not human. That is just a civilization that attained enough size to be known to us.
But other than that, this is very fascinating.