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Posts Tagged ‘missalette’

Last night, we tackled he second of our two lessons on the Eucharist.  Actually, we didn’t finish up, so we’ll close it out next week. The basic idea of last night’s lesson was to walk the class through the Mass, explaining the structure, prayers, etc.

Last week, we explained that the first Eucharist was at the Last Supper, which was a traditional Jewish Seder meal. We continued the analogy of the Mass as a meal by comparing it to visiting another family for dinner — except, we are visiting God in his house. Typically, we would:

Greet the host and exchange pleasantries – Introductory Rites

Chat and visit – Liturgy of the Word

Bring a dish, bottle of wine, etc  — Offertory and Presentation of the Gifts

Help prepare the meal – Preparation of the Eucharist

Eat dinner – The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Say Good bye – Concluding Rites

We passed out a single-page outline of the Mass the students could take with them to Mass on Sunday to help them follow along.

We read our way through Chapter 11 in the text, covering the Introductory Rites and the Liturgy of the Word. That opened the discussion to about a million questions.  We made a point of trying to extract most of the answers from the class, rather than simply answering them ourselves.

We broke off the Q&A, promising to get back to it next week, because I really wanted to introduce the students to the missalette. We borrowed some from the church for this purpose. We gave the student some basic instructions about how to use the missalette to follow along with the Mass. I’m not sure we made a real strong impression with this part of the lesson. The groundwork is there, but it’s not real deep. I encourage parents to work with your child the next few times you attend Mass to show him/her how to use the missalette.  They will get a lot more out of Mass if they have some idea of what is happening.

Next week, we will finish up on the Mass and, if we have time, probably do something with the liturgical year or advent. It all depends on the volume of questions. I don’t say that in a negative sense. Given the choice between introducing a new lesson and directing a discussion that interests the students, we’ll go with the discussion every time. If the class is engaged and interested in a discussion, they will get more out of it. And it’s more fun.

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Our mission last night was to finish up our lesson on the Eucharist. Our focus was on the Mass, or more specifically, the elements and order of the Mass. I suspected that many in the class really had little idea of what was happening in the Mass, the flow, the purpose of various parts, and so on. So I put together and distributed a two-page “Order of the Mass” and issued each student a missalette.

We started by talking about the recent changes in the priest’s prayers and our responses, and the reasons behind the changes. We talked about the old Latin mass and the changes of the Second Vatican Council.

We compared the Order of the Mass to the students going with their family to visit another family or relatives for dinner. In the Mass, we are visiting God’s house, but the general concept can be similar. For example:

When we go to someone’s house, we are welcomed, just as we are at Mass.

When we go to someone’s house, we start out by talking and visiting. In the Mass (Liturgy of the Word), we also exchange communication with God. Our prayers (Kyrie, Gloria, etc.) we address God, and in the readings, God addresses us.

When we visit someone’s house for dinner, we always bring something like dessert or wine. In the offertory, we present gifts to God.

The comparison becomes even closer in the Preparation of the Gifts and the Eucharist itself.

I don’t know how well that idea sunk into the class, but we tried.

We walked through the order of the Mass, referring to both the simple outline I had drawn up and also the missalette. We pointed out several spots in the missalette where it can be difficult to follow.  For example, there are four Eucharistic prayers, and you never know which one the priest will use (although it seems as if #2 seems to be the most common.)

We are continuing our effort to try to get all the students engaged in each class. On some evenings, we are more successful than others. As in most groups, there are a number of students who have their hands up constantly, and, frankly, are fairly demanding of attention. On the other hand, there are also some students who are semi-comatose. They occupy a seat and breathe the air, but that is about it. I wish I could pull some of these kids into the flow of the class.  However, with the class size (25 at full strength) and the relatively short time we have together, there really isn’t much time for the individual attention that would require. I am not suggesting these kids are behavior problems.  I just know that these students are learning nothing in the hour they are spending at CCD each week. That’s a shame.

I am certainly not going to “name names” in this forum. However, as a parent you are always free to call me to see how your child is doing. My contact information is under the “About” tab at the top of this page. Also, you are always more than welcome to sit in on any of our classes.  I promise; I won’t ask you any hard questions.  🙂

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