Teaching Our Children to Love Jesus
Resources for Teaching Kids About Mass
Written by Melissa Gorely, CCL & FSI Staff Writer
Teaching our children to love Jesus present at every Holy Mass in the consecrated bread that becomes his Body not only forms them in the Catholic faith, it also reminds them of the special gift and dignity of their own human bodies. Appreciation and even awe for their own bodies is an important step toward their embracing what faith and reason tell us follows- that our embodied gender is part of the gift of our creation and that our embodied sexuality is also a gift designed by a loving God who wants fullness of life for us.
Catholic Family Crate’s Mass Cards are a well-designed tool that are helping me teach my daughters about the Mass. The set is made up of about 30 cards that come with a ring and are color-coded into the four main parts of the Mass: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites. Organizing the four parts on the ring was a good lesson in those basic parts. (Also, the light weight of the cards and the fact that I can choose how many to put on the ring at a time is very helpful for our daughter with physical disabilities.) The Liturgy of the Eucharist cards contain a very helpful sub-section of five cards corresponding to five parts of the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the part of the Mass that includes the consecration and but for bells at your parish, children are often lost trying to understand when the special miracle of the Mass happens, especially if they cannot see the altar well. The cards are helping us to internalize the structure of the Mass, especially the Eucharistic Prayers, so to worship the Lord who chooses to give us his Body to nourish our own.
The Magnifikid! kid’s missalette has been a favorite for some of our kids over the years. It lays out many of the prayers, as well as the Scripture readings for each Sunday’s Mass. Difficult words are defined simply for them; common liturgical practices are explained as well. An option for a Morning and an Evening Prayer for throughout the week are always included, as well as a comic strip, puzzles, and a hands-on project- all related to the theme of that Sunday’s readings. My children especially love the attractive designs and vibrant colors of the Magnificat children’s materials, always referring to them with descriptions like “pretty” or “my favorite” beautiful book.
I am grateful for the abundance of faith formation resources available to reach our children and keep them growing in their faith, especially in their understanding of and holy wonder at the gift of Jesus present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. It seems to me there is no better or more true way to form their minds to know and their hearts to embrace the sacredness of their own bodies and sexuality as designed by God for their great joy.