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Reforming Halloween in My Home, pt.4

Tetzel's Chest of Indulgences Game

For this game, I cobble together a chest using whatever I have on hand. One year it was a cooler, another year it was an Amazon box, a spray painted tool box, and recently I went all out and got a Styrofoam cooler and painted it gold. With the cooler you can make it much harder to get the coins into the chest, so it is challenging for any age. For little kids, the cooler lid comes off, and for bigger kids (adults) the lid has a large hole to get the coins into. You can buy a chest and coins online, that's easy, but not very affordable once you start adding up the cost of the party supplies.

I have used plastic coins, quarters, chocolate coins, whatever I have available for the tossing coins. I make sure to give each kid 5 coins, and they have to toss 3 of them into the chest to get a treat.

If the party is large enough that I have help manning a station, I ask my helpers to occasionally sing out the quote attributed to Tetzel: "Every time a coin into the coffer rings, a soul from pergatory springs!" Then they are to ask the kids if they would like to attempt to get an indulgence for their loved ones.

I award them with one of the Papal Indulgences. I try to have a table on hand where the indulgences can be set out on a fancy plate. Because the treats are so labor intense, and hard to mass produce I like to make sure that they only get one if they get the coins in the chest.

But if they don't get 3 out of the 5 coins into the chest, they have to come back to try again later. This gives me an opportunity to share with the kids that, if people didn't have enough money to purchase one of Tetzel's Indulgences from Rome, they would go away very sad because they told that was the only way to buy their loved ones out of Hell/Purgatory.

I always try to make sure that I explain that the Gospel is so much more wonderful because you can neither pay for salvation, nor earn it. Toward the end of the night, if a kid hasn't made 3 coins into the chest, then I use the opportunity to teach them about Grace and give them the treat for free. Sola Gratia! The important thing is to use each game or activity to teach the kids!

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