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Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Mass for Year 1

It is the turn of Year 1 at Our Lady of the Rosary for their Mass in the school Hall. The school is 10 minutes walk for me but it probably takes about half an hour to walk 60 children over so we only have the school Masses in the Church occasionally.

The altar was designed by the children and look very dignified. We have a proper Mass kit at the school and a plain but tasteful Marian chasuble. The parents are invited to come to the Mass and there is a good turnout - mainly mums but a couple of dads and a few grandparents are able to come as well.

Today, as it is the month of June, the theme for the Mass is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These children are aged 5-6 so I just talk to them about how our Lord loves us and always listens to our prayers. I ask them if Mummy is ever busy with something important and cannot listen to them. Lots of them nod in recognition. Then I ask them if they sometimes don't listen to Mummy. No nods this time from the children but quite a lot from the mothers. So I tell them that Jesus is always listening to us when we pray so we must try to think about our prayers and also sometimes talk to him in our own words. I explain how they can do this during the Mass which then continues.

The readings are kept fairly simple. This meets the norms of the Directory for Children's Masses but frankly that is not difficult. I translate the texts myself to keep them simple, rather than doing a "chinese whispers" type of adapted translation that can end up way off the inspired text. The children compose the Bidding Prayers in class and the offertory procession includes something extra related to the Mass. Today they brought up a lovely crucifix from their classroom as a reminder of the love of Jesus for us.

The teachers prepare the children really well for Mass and there is always a devout and prayerful atmosphere. Our Lord favoured the prayers of children so I take them very seriously when I ask for their intercession.
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