In Chapter 19 of Christ Our Life, Grade 7, young people read and reflect on the story of the resurrection of Lazarus and Christian views on death. There are several activities suggested in the Enriching the Faith Experience section (teacher edition) that dig deeper into the story of Lazarus and what it means for us today. The following activities are especially relevant when studying and discussing János Vaszary’s painting, Resuscitation of Lazarus.
Have the young people research the funeral traditions of various countries and cultures. Have young people write a report on one or more of the customs and provide a sketch drawing or picture to accompany the report. Have volunteers share what they learned about the funeral traditions of other ethnic or cultural communities.
Have young people write a conversation that Mary, Martha, and the bystanders would have had with Lazarus after he was raised from the dead. Encourage young people to be creative when thinking how Lazarus might describe the experience.
If possible, arrange for young people to visit a Catholic cemetery and tend to the graves. Remind young people that a cemetery is a sacred place for our deceased loved ones who now live in Heaven, and caring for their graves shows our love and respect. Provide gloves for weeding and flowers for planting, as well as garbage bags to pick up any litter.
To close the activity, ask volunteers to share their thoughts on death and resurrection. Point to the depiction of Christ in Vaszary’s painting and how his confidence over Death is evident. Say: We try to follow Jesus’ example to always be confident in our faith.