RE11, ATAR 2, Week 9: The participation of religion in society

Learning Experience 1

Prayer/Reflection: Marriage is forever 

This prayer experience is based on something Pope Francis said to the volunteers at WYD in Rio de Janeiro on July 28, 2013.


Give students just two minutes to complete the following poll about their hopes and expectations regarding marriage and family. The results of the poll can be found here


Name and describe three rituals that are used in the practice of the Eucharist. 

To assist students with this, give them copies of the Mass cards that were published when the liturgy was revised a few years ago. 

Allow 10 minutes for them to complete the task. Direct them to upload their work to Showbie. 

Class Discussion 

Work from the Sacrament of Marriage to the elements of the social institution of marriage. The "Sophia Sketchpad: Marriage"  video and task sheet will be used to achieve this. 

What is the legal definition of marriage in Australia? What conditions does the Australian government place on marriage? These questions can be answered by reading the Marriage Act (1961)

Some resources for students to use to gather information:

Writing Activity 

The students will write a paragraph about marriage as a social institution in Australian society. They will be given just 5 minutes to do this. 

Exit Poll 

To finish the lesson, give the students the following poll to complete. As with the previous poll, there are 3 statements to consider. The results can be found here

Learning Experience 2

Prayer/Reflection: What is best for me

This reflection/prayer has been chosen because we often forget that the God Christians are called to believe in is a God of love who would never give each of us something that is second-best. So the help that God offers each of us is premium service, it's gold star, the highest "michelin" rating that can be given. 

Six challenges

Learning Experience 3

Prayer/Reflection: A precious gift

This reflection/prayer has been chosen because there is always a need to take time out to reflect on what there is about us that is priceless. Hopefully, we will recognise the times when we have met others' needs. For instance, I met a student today who was quite "dispirited" (without spirit). He had just failed an assessment task. I tried to explain to him that our failures are just steps along the way to success ... if we never give in to negative thoughts. 

Marriage in Australia: Hugh Mackay's writing

I will hand out copies of material from Hugh Mackay's book Turning Point. He has identified a shift in the thinking about marriage from seeing it as an institution to seeing it as being essentially about relationships. I will direct students' attention to this and then speak about the changes in perceptions in the Church. This forms an introduction to a short consideration of marriage as a sacrament. 

Sacrament of Marriage

To learn about marriage as a sacrament in the Catholic Church, we will use the following website. While it is not the best site to use, it is brief and to the point. Our focus will be on the sign of the sacrament and its effects.


If there is time, students will be challenged with: "Design your own Catholic wedding" activity.

Learning Experience 4

Prayer/Reflection: The special ingredient.

What has religion contributed to the understanding and practice of marriage in Australia?

Learning Experience 5

In class assessment task. 

The following video has been recommended for use with ATAR 2 to help students understand the Sacrament of Marriage. 

Here are some questions for students to use to help them summarise the content of the video: 

  • To what is marriage compared? Describe the comparison briefly.
  • What sort of bond does the Trinity represent? 
  • How is the Trinity formed? 
  • Compare marriage to the Trinity.
  • What is the theology of family that is presented in the video?
  • Relate the story of creation in the Book of Genesis to marriage and family.
  • What sort of union is marriage?
  • What is love? Copy answers given in the video.