Guided Discussion: St. Patrick’s Day

Guided Discussion: St. Patrick’s Day

Opener

“I saw ____ [give example of St. Patrick’s Day advertising or imagery you saw] this week. Has anyone else seen any commercials or run into any advertising for St. Patrick’s Day at school or on TV?”

(Prompts if no response: “When I was young, they had ____” or discuss getting pinched for not wearing green.) 


Discussion question 1: 

What are some negative aspects of how people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

(Prompts if no response: Getting pinched for not wearing green, not paying attention in class, etc.)

 

Discussion question 2:

Why do we not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Church?

(Prompts if no response: Pagan worship or idolatry, associated with unhealthy behaviors, etc.)

 

Discussion question 3:

Idolatry breaks two of the 10 Commandments, and it is mentioned several times in the Bible as an abomination to God. Let’s try to list all the pagan origins and idolatry associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

(Prompts if no response: Worship of nature, emphasis on shamrocks and “luck” rather than God’s will, worship of a Catholic saint, celebration of mythical mischievous creatures such as leprechauns.)

 

Hypothetical 1:

What would you think, or say back if you heard this: “I just like St. Patrick’s Day because it’s fun to eat green cookies and drink green punch”?

(Prompts if no response: Why do they have to do it on that specific day? Other parties—not associated with paganism—are fun too. Cookies and punch taste the same without food coloring. And so forth.)

 

Hypothetical 2:

 What would you say back if someone asked: “Want to come to the St. Paddy’s Day party? We are just drinking green punch and talking, nothing big or fancy”?

(Prompts if no response: “What I’ve always said is ___.” Discuss pros and cons of different responses.)

 

Closer 

In what ways could we accidentally make others think we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, when we don’t?

(Prompts if no response: Accidentally wearing green on that day—or that week, if school is having a “green week” for St. Patrick’s Day. Saying something like “that sounds cool” when friends describe what they did for St. Patrick’s Day. Showing up to gatherings that are specifically labeled as St. Patrick’s Day parties. And so forth.)

 

Scriptures for more study or reference

Deuteronomy 12:29-32; Romans 13:13; 1 John 2:6; Galatians 5:19-21

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