Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teach the Trinity with Candles

As promised, here is my craft to teach about The Most Holy Trinity, the mystery of our One God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  In March I saw this post by Vicky at Mess for Less about making decorative votive candle holders, and I thought: what a great idea for a lesson about the Trinity!  

We decorated each of three candles with a symbol for the Trinity: Father = heart, Son = cross, Holy Spirit = dove.  I chose the obvious symbols for the Son and Holy Spirit and my eight year old daughter decided that God the Father should be represented by a heart, because of His love for us.

Each candle represents one expression or person of God, distinct and separate from one another.  However, each flame of the candle is identical, representing the one God that is present in each of the three persons.  The Trinity is one of the deepest mysteries of our Catholic faith, so I hope that this craft helps my children understand how three persons are still one God.  The image below may remind you of the triangle that is often used to explain this doctrine.

I could not find inexpensive undecorated votive holders, so we decorated some candles from the dollar store.  My older daughter made the heart candle all by herself.  I cut the crosses for my four year old and she glued them on with help from her sister for the top layer of mod podge.  I made the dove candle using a coloring page of a dove as a template.  You can find the page at the website of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (in the Miscellanea category).

I also used some of the extra shapes we cut from tissue paper to make a fourth candle with all three symbols; to me this one represents the mystery of the Trinity the best.

This craft is one that can be done several different ways, so I encourage you to use your creativity.  For example, my daughter’s original thought was to cover the entire candle with a rectangle of tissue paper that had the symbol as a cut out.  I was hoping to put more of the symbols in different colors overlapping each other on each candle.  Although we had hoped to make the cross brown, when we couldn’t find brown tissue paper my children opted for yellow, which admittedly is much harder to see, even when the candle is lit.

Ultimately, I let my children decide what they wanted to do.  They wanted to put a few symbols on each candle, which worked out well since we were short on time that day.  However, I think we will visit this candle idea again later in the liturgical year.  We could make many more candles to decorate our tabletop shrine throughout the year.

Please visit my Trinity Link up for more teaching ideas and reflections about The Most Holy Trinity, or to link up your own posts.

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  1. Today the Catholic Churches in our villages celebrated Corpus Cristy Day. We went to the park with friends and there was a large group of teenagers there. They had a bar-b-cue, then sang songs and played volley ball. I was surprised not to see parents. They must have celebrated at the church.

  2. Love this idea, really gorgeous way of explaining it


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