Someone recently posted on the Classical Conversations Facebook page asking about catechisms that can be used with our children. There are many great resources (my family has used several different ones over the years), and I thought it might be helpful to list three great ones:
1. Truth and Grace Memory Book Set (Get it here.)
All 3 volumes contain 3 main features:
1) Key verses from Scripture for memorization
2) A selection of Christian hymns to learn
3) The complete text of major historical catechisms
The combination of these tools for instruction and worship make this set a superb aid in learning the great truths of the faith. Highly useful for children’s ministries, Sunday School, and home.
Book 1 covers ages 2 through 4th grade
Book 2 covers grades 5-8
Book 3 covers grades 9-12
Scripture quotations are in New King James Version
2. The New City Catechism (Get it here, available in book form and as a mobile app.)
The New City Catechism comprises only 52 questions and answers (as opposed to Heidelberg’s 129 or Westminster Shorter’s 107). There is therefore only one question and answer for each week of the year, making it simple to fit into church calendars and achievable for people with demanding schedules.
The New City Catechism is based on and adapted from Calvin’s Geneva Catechism, the Westminster Shorter and Larger catechisms, and especially the Heidelberg Catechism. This gives good exposure to some of the riches and insights across the spectrum of the great Reformation-era catechisms, the hope being that it will encourage people to delve into the historic catechisms and continue the catechetical process throughout their lives.
It is divided into three parts to make it easier to learn in sections and to include some helpful divisions:
Part 1: God, creation and fall, law (twenty questions)
Part 2: Christ, redemption, grace (fifteen questions)
Part 3: Spirit, restoration, growing in grace (seventeen questions)
As with most traditional catechisms, a Bible verse accompanies each question and answer. In addition, each question and answer is followed by a short commentary taken from the writings or sayings of a past preacher as well as a commentary from a contemporary preacher to help students meditate on and think about the topic being explored. Each question ends with a short, original prayer.
3. The Family Worship Book (Get it here.)
Though my family is Reformed Baptist and this book is written by a Presbyterian, I think we have used this book more than any other with our own boys. It includes the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and a whole treasure trove of other resources all in one book:
“A “who, what, where, why and how” of family worship. This hands-on, comprehensive guide to the “ancient paths” of devotion in the home provides what is essentially a domestic liturgy. Includes the texts of more than 100 psalms and hymns as well as schedules for scripture reading and memorization, all with the goal of salvation and sanctification in the home.”