Like Change?

Change is not easy for people.  Even in a world that is in a constant state of change it is difficult to experience, especially when we have become so accustom to the way things are.  Are you looking forward, indifferent or are hesitant to the new changes of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal?

Seeing the Mass with New Eyes

Almost all diocese across the country have had numerous workshops to discuss the changes which are bringing a sense of renewal in general to the Liturgy.  Hopefully the faithful everywhere have come to a greater awareness of the beauty and the depth of the Mass.  I just recently gave a talk to parents about the Mass in general and hope that it brought a greater sense of all that is going on at Mass and how we are truly engaging in something heavenly and supernatural at Mass.  My talk was not so much about the upcoming changes as it was to focus on the wonder of the Mass and how it makes present the events of Calvary. Participating in the Mass is the closest we come to heaven this side of it.

Helping Your Students

What are you doing in your Religious Education, Youth Ministry and Adult Faith Formation to help individuals prepare for the changes?  Many resources have been printed and made available to help various age groups understand the changes and be ready for them in Advent.  Here are a few ideas for the various age groups to consider:

Adults:

~ A series of presentations on the changes for the parish.

~ Resources published in the Bulletin and made available on your parish website.

Elementary and Youth:

~ 30 minute lessons on the specific changes that will happen (I’m especially doing this with 4th – 6th graders).

~ Taking lesson plans and connecting them with the changes.  For example when the lesson plan mentions the Creed take that opportunity to discuss the changes in wording. Or when you do a lesson on Reconciliation take that opportunity to discuss why the changes in the penitential rite.

~ Learning Stations:  We recently had an enrichment session at our parish for 1st – 6th graders about the changes.  We set up 6 learning stations where students and parents spent 10 minutes at each station focusing on some aspect of the Mass (4 stations related to the changes and the other two were intended to give a greater appreciation of the Mass)  They walked away with something from each station.

~ Aim to mention the Mass and how it is central to our life and worship as Catholic Christians.  What a great opportunity to dive more deeply into the Mass and why it is so important to us as Catholics.  St. Bernard said “you will gain more from one single Mass than you would from distributing all your goods to the poor or making pilgrimages to all the most holy shrines in Christendom.”

Opportunity Knocks

Don’t miss this opportunity to talk about something ever ancient yet ever new.  I’ll repeat what has been said by many for the last 2 years about these changes: It gives us a great opportunity, a unique moment to really emphasize and help those we catechize not only become aware of why the changes but how the Mass continues to be our strength, life and source of life giving grace for the faithful.

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