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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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