Anchor is simple in its language, in its method and in its layout.
Each session should last an hour and a half: 90 minute.
A session normally lasts 90 minute: an hour and a half. You can easily provide more time for activities and discussions by lengthening the session, leaving questions to the end (offering an opportunity of escape for those who have to go) or adding a 7th session at the end of the course.
The Leader's guide provides a detailed explanation of the resource and of each session in particular.
The Leader simply initiates the different activities. The answers are all given in the Guide. The text in each session is to be read aloud slowly, giving everyone a chance to follow and interiorize the teaching.
The language of the resource is simple, allowing a wide range of adults and young people of different backgrounds to understand it.
Although simple, the language is not simplistic, as it offers an exact explanation of Catholic doctrine and definitions of difficult words.
Although it is specifically designed for parents whose children are being prepared for the sacraments (alongside firt confession and first Holy Communion preparation), Anchor can be used with everyone.
It is used as a supplement for RCIA and confirmation programmes, as a training course for teachers in Catholic schools, as a programme for prison chaplaincies, as a Lenten course...
It is best used in the parish, inviting newcomers to discover the riches of the Catholic Faith and longstanding parishioners to renew their love for Jesus Christ who comes to meet us in the Sacraments of the Church.
Each Anchor session offers 4 types of group activity based on the discovery of religious and sacred Art, Scripture, sacramental Rites and Prayer.
Listening to God who reveals Himself in his Word is essential to Catechesis. Activities based on Scripture are found throughout Anchor, at least twice if not 3 times in each session. The participants learn to read Scripture prayerfully, to ponder together on the Word of God and to find their way in the Bible (Anchoring you in the Faith - Session 3).
Activities based on the liturgical Rites (Baptism, Mass, Confession) are central to Anchor. In group activities, participants learn to recognise, understand and feed on the words of the sacramental Rites, the language of God's interaction with his Church in the Liturgy.
The first activity of each Anchor session is based on an Artwork which illustrates a piece of Scripture. Together, the participants explore the artwork in the light of the Word of God and learn to recognise the doctrine in the paintings.
You can find links to the different artworks below.
Each session begins and ends with prayer. There is also a more substantial time of prayer, 'Praying with the Church' towards the end of each session. At this time, the participants are invited to move into the church or a prayerful area to spend 5 to 15 minutes in silence. Reflections and Scripture are provided to help them pray during that personal time of encounter with Jesus Christ.
A session has 4 parts: the Faith, the Sacraments, the Moral Life and Prayer, for an integral transmission of the Catholic Faith and communion with Jesus Christ.
The 1st part of each session is 'Professing the Faith'. The essential truths of the Faith revealed by God and handed down to us through the Apostles, are clearly explained.
The 2nd part of each session, 'Celebrating the Sacraments' offers a step-by-step explanation of the Rite of the Sacraments: Baptism, The Eucharist, Confession.
The 3rd part of each session, 'Living the Faith', offers a reflection on a particular aspect of the life of grace, lived in communion with Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with each other.
The 4th part of an Anchor session, 'Praying with the Church', takes place in the church or prayer corner, where the group gathers to spend 5 to 15 minutes in silence with the Lord.
Artwork - Anchor on the Mass
Artwork - Anchor on Confession
Here you can find downloads and links that will help you lead an Anchor programme.
Music for Anchor on Baptism