Have children's Masses been around for a while and are they distracting?

Hello,

I am curious were children's Masses ever given before the current missal was issued. Can a children's Mass distract those from the Mass?

Thanks,
fish90

There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.

Now, when they have children's Masses they don't believe that they can understand the Mass, but have to put childish homilies and such in it. I think they believe that the children will relate to the Mass, more but they are wrong. It is silly to underestimate children's intelligence in this day and age, and give them pablum instead of the truth.

My opinion, but every time I hear parishes pandering to children with children's Masses I say good luck! You would be better having a little conference and teach them the correct Catholic dogma and what the Mass is really about!

[quote="utah_rose, post:2, topic:184114"]
There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.

Now, when they have children's Masses they don't believe that they can understand the Mass, but have to put childish homilies and such in it. I think they believe that the children will relate to the Mass, more but they are wrong. It is silly to underestimate children's intelligence in this day and age, and give them pablum instead of the truth.

My opinion, but every time I hear parishes pandering to children with children's Masses I say good luck! You would be better having a little conference and teach them the correct Catholic dogma and what the Mass is really about!

[/quote]

As a kid...I think you are right.:thumbsup:

[quote="utah_rose, post:2, topic:184114"]
There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.

[/quote]

I've heard children in the choir singing the Kyrie, Gloria, etc. in the EF. Should put some of those adults who whine about not knowing Latin to shame.

If you read the "Directory for Masses with Children" you will see that not everything that happens at what's called a "Children's Mass" is what the Church envisions. Item 1 & 2 also tells us why the Church felt that some adaptations should be made.

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, Arial]1. The Church must show special concern for baptized children who have yet to be fully initiated through the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist as well as for children who have only recently been admitted to Holy Communion. Today the circumstances in which children grow up are not favorable to their spiritual progress. [size=1][1][/size] In addition parents sometimes scarcely fulfill the obligations they accepted at the Baptism of their children to bring them up as Christians.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, Arial]2. In the upbringing of children in the Church a special difficulty arises from the fact that liturgical celebrations, especially the Eucharist, cannot fully exercise their inherent pedagogical force upon children. [size=1][2][/size] Although the vernacular may now be used at Mass, still the words and signs have not been sufficiently adapted to the capacity of children.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, Arial]In fact, even in daily life children do not always understand all their experiences with adults but rather may find them boring. It cannot therefore be expected of the liturgy that everything must always be intelligible to them. Nonetheless, we may fear spiritual harm if over the years children repeatedly experience in the Church things that are barely comprehensible: recent psychological study has established how profoundly children are formed by the religious experience of infancy and early childhood, because of the special religious receptivity proper to those years. [size=1][3][/size][/FONT]
Footnotes:
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, Arial]1. See Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory no. 5: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 64 (1972) 101-102.
2. See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 33.
3. See Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory no. 78.[/FONT]

The Church envisions that at a Mass at which there are mostly children (not your average Sunday parish Mass) they will participate as readers and servers. It has also given us Eucharistic Prayers that are written in a language that makes it easier for children to understand what is happening.

The only adaptation that the Church calls for at a regular Mass where children are present is that they are made to feel welcome by being included in the greeting and by addressing them as a group in the homily.

[quote="fish90, post:1, topic:184114"]
Hello,

I am curious were children's Masses ever given before the current missal was issued. Can a children's Mass distract those from the Mass?

Thanks,
fish90

[/quote]

most Catholics of my generation (really, really old) who grew up in parochial schools attended Mass daily or weekly, and that generally was the "school" Mass. No there was nothing different in the liturgy itself, and in those days music at daily Masses was not an issue, and there were not homilies at daily Mass, but often the priest would address the children specifically at that time anyway. Many parishes also had a Sunday Mass designated as the children's Mass, often with a children's choir (yes I still remember all that chant we learned) either for school age children, or for families with small children, but the liturgy itself was not changed nor were the readings.

What is new is a lectionary for Masses with children in which the readings are taken from what is seen as a more child-friendly translation, and in which most of the congregation are children of preschool or early school years. The priest should gear his homily to their level and needs, and in this case, if necessary, another person can deliver a reflection more geared to their level.

Notice we are NOT discussing children's liturgy of the Word on this thread, which is another topic.

a children's Mass should not be distracting, as any adult attending will probably be accompanying his small children and should know what to expect.

If you mean to address the issue of whether their should be any Masses for specific groups, such as children, teens, seniors or whoever, that is a legitimate concern and many pastor's including mine, consider such events to be exclusive and to harm the inclusive nature of the Mass. But we do have a school Mass every Friday, which each class takes turns to plan the liturgy, songs, proclaim the readings and so forth, and in this context it is an excellent teaching opportunity as well, and all of this is permitted in this setting.

[quote="ProVobis, post:4, topic:184114"]
I've heard children in the choir singing the Kyrie, Gloria, etc. in the EF. Should put some of those adults who whine about not knowing Latin to shame.

[/quote]

I am glad you have Children's Masses like that, but here we don't. Adults are lucky to even have this in their own Masses.

I love the Tridentine Mass but out pastor refuses to learn Latin, so once in awhile we do go to another church that does have this Mass on Sunday.

I do think we have a special Cathedral Choir composed of children who do sing better, but this is an exception to the rule.

\There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.\

**A reliable source, who grew up in before Vatican II, has told me about the school buses picking up the parochial school students and taking them to the 9:30 Sunday mass.

Attendance was taken in the parking lot, and the students marched in, sat with their classmates.

And they SANG the entire Mass, including the Propers, in Latin.

Few adults, other than the nuns, were present.

Why? This was the CHILREN'S mass.**

The worst was when I was at my niece's first communion Mass, where the entire sermon was literally a puppet show. The organist held up a puppet from behind the organ, spoke in a high-pitched kid's voice & conversed with the 70-year old priest.

puppet: Father, tell what is this Eucharist thing really all about?

priest: Well, Sally, I'm glad you asked, because Jesus loves us so much that He gave us His Body and Blood in what we call the Eucharist.

puppet: Wow! That's really great, Father! Tell me more!

And so on. It reminded me of the old Kukla, Fran and Ollie TV shows.

[quote="bpbasilphx, post:8, topic:184114"]
\There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.\

**A reliable source, who grew up in before Vatican II, has told me about the school buses picking up the parochial school students and taking them to the 9:30 Sunday mass.

Attendance was taken in the parking lot, and the students marched in, sat with their classmates.

And they SANG the entire Mass, including the Propers, in Latin.

Few adults, other than the nuns, were present.

Why? This was the CHILREN'S mass.**

[/quote]

This sounds like what I experienced from '60-68 when I was in grade school. Only we didn't sing the propers only the standard four hymns. NO adults were allowed, only the sisters and other lay teachers.

Today, what we call our Family Mass, is not any different than any other parish Mass only we have a children's choir and the homily is usually directed at the children. The only other big difference is that it is a bit noisier since there are lots of little ones in the church. But it is an Mass where parents feel comfortable coming because they don't have to be afraid that their children's presence will upset others (which shouldn't have to be an issue at all). If someone is distracted by the kids at our family mass, they can attend another mass.

[quote="Joannm, post:10, topic:184114"]
This sounds like what I experienced from '60-68 when I was in grade school. Only we didn't sing the propers only the standard four hymns. NO adults were allowed, only the sisters and other lay teachers.

Today, what we call our Family Mass, is not any different than any other parish Mass only we have a children's choir and the homily is usually directed at the children. The only other big difference is that it is a bit noisier since there are lots of little ones in the church. But it is an Mass where parents feel comfortable coming because they don't have to be afraid that their children's presence will upset others (which shouldn't have to be an issue at all). If someone is distracted by the kids at our family mass, they can attend another mass.

[/quote]

We used to have a "Family Mass" once a month. Those were always problematic because:

[LIST]
*]It was the only Mass celebrated on Sunday.
*]Many families never came to Mass unless their child(ren) were 'performing' at this celebration.
*]They allowed any child who volunteered to do whatever he/she had volunteered to do whether or not they were qualified to do so. For example, readers ranged from the 9 year old who proclaimed beautifully to the 11 year old who couldn't read and had to have an adult whisper the words in his ear.
*]The children were in the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer.
*]A lay person gave the 'homily', once even telling the gathered assembly that Communion was a symbol of Jesus.
*]We didn't sing the Mass but the kids sang 'catechetical songs' that were good for religious ed class but lousy choices for Mass.
*]Any attempt to complain was met by "I'm sure God doesn't mind."
[/LIST]

We have what we consider 'Family Mass' at our parish, but only because it's the one where the families with young children come, and we do a special children's collection prior to the regular one. The readings and the homily are still the same, it's just a bit louder until the unhappy child can be removed.

Like regular/adult homilies a children's homily may be good and may be terrible. Some adults actually claim to get more out of a children's mass than a regular/adult mass.

[quote="NewEnglandPries, post:13, topic:184114"]
Like regular/adult homilies a children's homily may be good and may be terrible. Some adults actually claim to get more out of a children's mass than a regular/adult mass.

[/quote]

We have had some really good priests give children's homilies that made a big impression on the adults present.

On a lighter side on of the kids at our Family Mass this morning asked the priest if he was wearing green for the Jets.

[quote="bpbasilphx, post:8, topic:184114"]

A reliable source, who grew up in before Vatican II, has told me about the school buses picking up the parochial school students and taking them to the 9:30 Sunday mass.

[/quote]

I lived in the city. We all walked to Church. Parents went to later Masses.

That's interesting! I went to parochial school and we had a regular Mass we were required to attend every day, However, there was no children's Mass on Sundays. During Lent we were required to attend the Stations of the Cross every Friday afternoon, and these were directed ti the children.

At the parish I attend, they do have a children's Mass once a month and I believe a children's choir which is good for the kids if they want it,

However, the other Masses are for everybody. I live in a "mixed parish", that is we have English and Spanish.

The thing that bothers me is that there are two English Masses and two Spanish Masses. I feel that to be assimilated there should either be only the English Mass or possible the Tridentine where everyone would be in the same playing field. It feels like two parishes, as both have their own activities and there's no unity there,

Sometimes I feel my pastor is afraid to do this, because of losing parishioners or better yet money for the parish, but I understand that this is done in some of the eastern states.

Spanish Masses could be held once a month, just as children's.

Locally, the vernacular mass has become the de facto children's mass.

[quote="mick321, post:17, topic:184114"]
locally, the vernacular mass has become the de facto children's mass.

[/quote]

:D

[quote="utah_rose, post:2, topic:184114"]
There weren't children's Masses before Vatican 11. The Churches rightly realized that these children were intelligent enough to learn the Mass, even though it was in Latin.

Now, when they have children's Masses they don't believe that they can understand the Mass, but have to put childish homilies and such in it. I think they believe that the children will relate to the Mass, more but they are wrong. It is silly to underestimate children's intelligence in this day and age, and give them pablum instead of the truth.

My opinion, but every time I hear parishes pandering to children with children's Masses I say good luck! You would be better having a little conference and teach them the correct Catholic dogma and what the Mass is really about!

[/quote]

AMEN!
Its an insult to the childrens intelligence, all right.
And that wretched "Eucharistic Prayer II For Children"!
"......He came to take away sin, which keeps us from being friends, and hate, which makes us all unhappy......." And the constant interuptions.
What 11 or 12 year olds should have to stomach that!
Add to that the "liturgical dancing" and the tinpot "songs" which so often accompany the whole thing, and it`s worse than woeful. No reverence.

"I am a giftgiver
You are a giftgiver
We are all givers and receivers of gifts"
Lord: spare us!

Some might say that its OK for kindergarton children...... but they learn by watching the older ones. When the 11 qnd 12 yos are subjected to the same mush ......
At the age when they should be taught about the beauty, the depth, the richness of the Faith: they get this!

As an adult attending the 9:30am Friday school Mass, i could block the ears for only so long, and eventually gave it up. It was better not to turn up at all, than to leave the church at the end of it, feeling cranky and frustrated.

As children in primary (Catholic) school: at school Masses, the older girls sang in the choir, in the choir gallery, accompanied by the organist, and they sounded GREAT. No ditties. The old Irish priest gave us a special sermon after Mass, while we were still in the church. We all knew what reverence meant, even if some gave it only lip service.

[quote="ProVobis, post:4, topic:184114"]
I've heard children in the choir singing the Kyrie, Gloria, etc. in the EF. Should put some of those adults who whine about not knowing Latin to shame.

[/quote]

I totally agree. Kids know a lot. They're not as dumb as the adults seem to believe. It's like adults are ashamed at the fact that they can't get it as quickly as their kids. Some kids have more reverence than their parents. I notice this at daily Mass on a daily basis.

A friend of mind told me recently, that he was put to shame by a 1st grader at a latin Mass. The child knew where the priest was in the prayers during Mass with his missal the whole time, while this older gentleman was totally lost half the time. He told me he had to look over the kid's shoulder to "cheat" off of him to figure out where he was in the missal. ;)

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