Rosary Cupcakes (lesson plan)

I've been working with junior high and high school youth on and off for ten years now. By and large, the teens are not huge fans of the Rosary. Don't get me wrong, they love Mary and like memorized prayers (many are not comfortable making up their own prayers in front of groups, esp their peers) but 50 Hail Mary's? Not unless it's in football!

Thanks to a great post on Catholic Cuisine and a tip from a forum friend, I decided to make a cupcake Rosary to encourage (and take the grumbling out of!) my 8th grade Confirmation class to pray the Rosary.

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was October 7th but due to schedualing conflicts, we were unable to have a "normal" class until today. No matter. I have a feeling Mary wouldn't mind us praying the Rosary (or a part of it) not exactly on her Feast Day. Plus, October is Pro-Life Month and the students had just been to a forum about Pro-Life issues, so this would be a perfect (sweet) follow up.

Due to our class size (15 people total), I chose to make a finger Rosary. I love the look of the bigger Rosaries made with cupcakes or mini muffins but that would be too much sugar for just 15 people. With a large group (families, the entire junior high program and so on) I wouldn't hesitate to  make a full Rosary. But for our time, class size and the issue with transportation, a finger Rosary would have to do.

Here's what you do:
1. Make enough cupcakes for everyone in your group to have one. Use any recipe you like or use store bought. I used the Hershey's Chocolate Cake recipe under the deep theological knowledge that Mary is a woman and women like chocolate. :)
(Hint: If you have food allergies in your class, there is a brand called "enjoy life" that makes mini cupcakes that are free of the top 8 allergens. They can be pricey but are worth it if it means everyone can have a treat.)
2. You will want to make the different "beads" different colors. I used white buttercream for the cross and blue for the Hail Mary's, since blue is Mary's color. You could also use sprinkles for the different colors.
3. You don't have to make a cross from cake but I thought it worked better, and gave us more treats, for the finger Rosary.
4. Type out the prayers, in order, and give them to the students. Some kids get very nervous being put on the stop and allowing them to read the prayers makes it easier for them. Comfort and memorization will come with time.

I used this:

Sign of the Cross

Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Sprit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

Then say 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys (for the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity) and then 1 Glory Be:

(student lead) Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(Teacher, student, teacher) (3x) Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

(teacher) GLORY BE to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Hail Mary’s (10x- one per student)

State intention and read the Hail Mary with the group

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

At the end (one student)

GLORY BE to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Fatima Prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy

Hail Holy Queen (teacher)


Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.(Verse) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. (Response) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Intentions:

1. For the unborn children, that all may grow up to live healthy, happy lives. Hail Mary…

2. For people who do not have enough to eat or a place to sleep, that they may be blessed with material and spiritual goods. Hail Mary…

3. For people who are tempted by the media to have immoral thoughts or actions, we pray that the Holy Spirit will help guide them and resist temptation. Hail Mary…

4. For the clergy and lay people who work within the Church, that they will help guide their flock to the fullest of their potential. Hail Mary…

5. That life from the very beginning to natural death may be respected. Hail Mary…

6. For everyone traveling this holiday season, that they may be kept safe and well. Hail Mary…

7. For people discerning the priesthood or religious life, that they may be directed to the life God has for them. Hail Mary…

8. For the intentions of our parish. Hail Mary…

9. For the intentions of our group, both spoken and unspoken. Hail Mary…

10. For the intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict. Hail Mary…

5.Each student had a copy of the prayers and I cut the intentions into strips. While I told the students what we were going to do, my co teacher set up the Rosary and placed each intention upside down under a Hail Mary cupcake.

6. In a small bag, I placed the name of the prayers that were to be student led and a number. The children pulled a card out of the hat. If they got a name, that was the name of the prayer they were to lead. A number was the number of the Hail Mary they were to lead. The kids liked this.

7. We prayed the Rosary. The kids saved their cupcakes for the end.

They did a great job. They really liked that I had everything typed out, step by step, for them. It took away some of the anxiety about praying in front of their peers. The cupcakes were a nice reward for a job well done and made something they had done before more novel.