4th grade Mass and children's missal

Once again my 4th grade class surprised me. We went to Mass as a class tonight for the simple reason that it was offered. I was greatly surprised to see that all but one of my students were not participating in Mass. They weren’t saying the responses and I’m not convinced they understand Eucharist.

These are 9 year old children, past the age of reason, obligated to attend Mass and Confession. I can expect some unsureness about what to do when and why but most didn’t even make the Sign of the Cross during the blessing :confused:. I don’t want little parrots but I feel these children are missing the beauty of their Faith.

So, my question is - am I asking too much that a 9 year old have a basic understanding of what is going on at Mass beyond sit still or get smacked?

Also, does anyone know of any children’s missals for older than 1st Communion? (I think I might just have to write my own).

I teach for a parochial school…high school, but I see a lot of ignorance also.

Is there a possibility you could take trips into the church and practice? Maybe you can practice the parts of the Mass in your classroom and/or have your priest come in and speak with the children. I never needed a missal at the age of 9. I don’t really think anyone does, unless they’re speaking another language. It just takes time and practice…and prayer. :wink:

God bless you.

I think a few weeks training on the Liturgy is in order.

I agree and I also recommend the Baltimore Catechism.

Hi Mel Stones. My kids use MagnifiKid. You have to subscribe and they send you a months worth of Sunday Missalettes (4 to 5 depending on the month). I have 2 fourth graders, a sixth grader and a third grader, and I think that the MagifiKid missals are appropriate for all of my kids.

www.magnifikid.com

www.magnifikid@magnificat.com

I disagree. When we were growing up my mother always made us follow along in the missal during mass. She said it would help us keep our minds from wondering and help us focus. She was right. I now do the same with my kids.

I agree. When we got back to the classroom I asked “Do you not do the responses because you don’t want to or because you don’t know them?” and they responded because we don’t know them. To which I said “You’ve all just planned the next several weeks of class”;).

marci thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out.

tmancath I’ve never heard of the Baltimore Catechism, can you tell me something about it and where can I find it?

they probably all got missals as a first communion gift, and they are sitting in drawers as keepsakes. you could go out and buy one for everyone in your class, and teach them how to use it, but it won’t matter one bit if their parents are not taking them to Mass.

That is probably the key. Ask what Mass they attend on Sunday with their parents. ???

Well I have been wondering about this with my own 9 year old son. We attend Mass as a family faithfully every week. We are usually in one of the first two rows. We have our missals open right in front of us. But am I still prodding my oldest son to make the sign of the cross, pray the Our Father, audibly read the Nicene Creed, pray Lord hear our prayer… unfortunately yes. I have really been wondering what is going on with him. Something about the outward expression is making him uncomfortable and self conscious. I don’t know how much I should expect out of him and how much to demand out of him. I don’t want his childhood memories of Mass all being of mom getting on his case.

[edit to add: He’s in 3rd grade and in RCIC receiving his Sacraments this year. I worry that he isn’t going to be truly ready…]

I see 2 and 3 year olds kneeling when everyone else kneels, trying to make the Sign of the Cross, Holding hands at the Our Father in parishes that this is done, sharing the Sign of Peace with those who are not too afraid of germs. The younger they start the better and eaiser it is for them.

I think it also depends on the individual kid. My 8 year old daughter, in CCD & preparing to receive First Communion, follows the Mass well, knows the Creed, Our Father, etc. by heart & sings many of the hymns (including the Latin Gloria & Lamb of God during Advent & Lent). My 10 year old son is a different story. Even when he serves Mass he daydreams! Fr. had to tell him to keep his mind on Mass & quit cracking his knuckles!!! :smiley:

We also sit in the the front (2nd pew) which really does help–they love Fr. & dont want him to see them misbehaving.

Oh my. You must be very young?

Maybe if he could see other people doing the responses he wouldn’t feel so self-conscious. :shrug: Or if you practice the moves and responses with him outside of Mass and give tons of encouragement. (Just suggestions obviously I don’t know what I’m doing but that doesn’t stop me :p.)

:smiley: It warms my heart when I see this :smiley:

Yes, I’m 21 and a convert (six years now :)).

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