The Family Mass
Of course, all of the Masses we celebrate are family Masses, however the 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning Mass will have a young family orientation.
Firstly, I hope you have noticed how our Faith Formation classes on Sunday morning either lead our families to Mass (after the 8 am session) or continue the Eucharistic formation after Mass (11:00 a.m. session). On Wednesdays families are invited to adoration of the Eucharist before dropping their children to class. It is our hope to once again center our families in the Eucharist. Our Church teaches that everything we have as Catholics flows to the Eucharist and flows from the Eucharist.
There are some beautiful elements to this Mass that hopefully will help our younger families realize that God understands that little ones cannot sit quietly and calmly for a full hour.
I want to first of all say to our families: you are welcome to our celebration, and even if sometimes it seems like you miss most of the Mass because you are forming your child, God sees the beauty of what you are trying to do by bringing them to Church. Family prayer is messy, but holy.
I hope one of the first things you do with your younger children is sign them with the cross; remember when you did that at their Baptism? The older ones, I’ve noticed, have already figured out the joys of our Baptismal Font (I shake lots of wet little hands). I know this may sound anti-intuitive, but if your child is struggling behaving during Mass, sit in the front pews - they can see things more clearly and you can quietly let them know what is happening by pointing things out to them.
Our beautiful children choir will be singing their praise to God and as the saints remind us, singing is praying twice! Please as adults respect that this is a prayer and not a performance, so sing your praise to God with them rather than applauding. If your child wishes to share in this ministry, practices are Tuesdays at 5:00 pm.
You will soon receive our stewardship envelopes for your child. Pray with them on Saturday to help them see how they have been a friend of Jesus that week. During the normal stewardship collection, the children are invited to come forward and place their envelopes in the basket of the priest. Hopefully this will help get rid of some of their wiggles from sitting.
When I celebrate the 9:30 am Mass, my homilies will be more orientated towards the children of our parish. I will invite them to come forward into the sanctuary for the homily. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
Praise Jesus and thank you for witnessing to the beauty of life by sharing your family faith with our community.