In this 4th Grade lesson, we examine the Creed on the four marks of the Catholic Church. People are often unsure how to tell which religion is the true one. The four marks of the Church help us know that the Catholic Church is the True Church, and they also help us trust that the teachings of the Catholic Church are the true teachings passed down from God Himself.
All CatechismClass Lessons follow our time-tested 7 Step format: Introduction, Opening Prayers, Scripture and Commentary, Catechism Passages, Integration of the Lesson Topic, an activity, and a closing prayer. Quizzes end each of the lessons.Preview This Lesson
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How do we know that the Catholic Church is the church Jesus began? How do we know that the teachings of the Church are the same as Jesus’? There are four special things that help us figure it out. The four things are called marks.
The four marks of Jesus’ Church are: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Let’s look at each of the Four Marks.
One. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus gave us one Church. He said, “On this rock I will build my church.” He did not say churches. This tells us that there is only one Church that Jesus gave His teachings and power to.
When we say “one Church” we don’t mean only one building. The Church is a single body of Faith. That means there is one Truth. There is one Liturgy. There is one Eucharist. These are shared between many people in many buildings, but it is still one Faith.
The Church is also one because we follow one leader. Jesus is the head of the Church. Because He couldn’t always be with us as a man, Jesus gave us a human leader to represent Him. This is the Pope. The Apostle Peter is the first Pope. The Church follows Jesus by following the Pope.
Holy. We say that the Church is a single body of Faith. Whose body is the Church? Jesus’ body! He is the Head, and the Church is His body. As members of the Church, we are a part of Jesus. Since the Church is a part of Jesus, the Church is holy like Jesus. This means we are holy, too!
Catholic. This means “universal.” The Church is for all people, in all places and all times. Because the Church teaches God’s Truth, all people learn from the Church. Even non-Catholics!
Anyone who is baptized is a part of the Church. It is a serious sin for a baptized person not to accept the teachings and authority of the Church.
Apostolic. The Church was built on one man, Peter. Peter became the Pope. The other Apostles became bishops. Every Pope and bishop in the Church follows after the first Pope and bishops. All of them have taught and kept safe God’s Truth through Christ’s body, the Church. This line of Popes and bishops who give us the same teachings of Jesus is called the Apostolic Tradition. This line marks the Church as the one started by Jesus.
Let’s end with a rhyme to help you remember the importance of the four marks of the Church:
My Church has four marks that are easy to see.
Catholic is universal, for you and me,
God gave us Simon, John, James, and Paul,
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