Thursday, June 2, 2011

Children's Masses

"Children’s masses are commonplace in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan," reports Teresa Wang; "In mainland China, however, they are too few and rarely heard" — A children’s Mass guides them in faith. They are commonplace here in Korea as well. Do they exist outside of Asia?

I was aghast at the idea when I first heard about it, thinking that families should be together for the Sacrifice of the Mass. But we now attend our parish's children's mass, with the kids up front with their Sunday schoolmates and the parents in the back, and never has the Sunday obligation felt less obligatory! That is, it's now something to look forward to, not to dread.

Teresa Wang is right not only about Chinese kids when she says, "Mainland children usually attend liturgy with their parents and usually become bored after a while... because they cannot find 'their place' or hear 'their language.'" Ours used to squirm and whine; now they sit attentive. Also, the Korean spoken in the homily is more at my level. Need I mention that it's at 4:00 PM on Saturday?

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Blogger Faith said...

For years my parish's children Mass just consisted of the priest sitting on the altar steps and calling up the children to sit around him (No one above the age of five did.) This homily was suppose to be geared to the children.
Then some active parents got together and asked to do something different. When the time comes for Liturgy of the Word, all the children leave (Again, no one above the age of five does.)The kids go to the sacristry for a child orientated story related to what we adults are hearing. The children come back for the Eucharist.
Everyone seems to like this.

6:13 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Sounds like my old Lutheran parish. I never liked the children's sermons, perhaps because I had no kids of mine own at the time.

Here in Korea, the whole mass is for the kids. They go to Sunday School at 3:00 on Saturday. Then, Children's Mass is at 4:00.

They sit in the front pews, read the readings and the prayers, offer the gifts, take communion or receive a blessing first. Parents and others sit in the back pews. They have their own missals and hymnals.

It works. But Korea has an abundance of vocations, so it is made possible by the fact that almost every urban parish has at least two priests and two habited nuns serving.

11:02 AM  

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