Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Children's Mass Book

A bleg for all the Catholics parents out there:

Our parish is looking at using a recent donation earmarked for "something related to the mass" to get a shelf full of children's missals or mass picture books which will be available in the back for families to pick up as they go in.

Our main masses are very heavy on children under 10, and the parish has put a lot of work into encouraging families to keep their kids in the church rather than the cry room (unlike many local parishes, we don't even offer babysitting.) However, far too often people attempt this with barbie dolls and toy trucks and strawberry shortcake coloring books. The hope here is to make sure that mass-appropriate materials are available for all young children, and then start to apply a little gentle pressure that these be used instead of some of the more distracting alternatives. It's also intended to fit in with our priests' and RE teachers' work to make sure that kids know what's going on in mass and why it's important.

Being the person on parish council with kids in the age range, I'm on search duty to identify some good choices for what book to buy 100-150 copies of.

Does anyone have any suggestions in this regard? I spent some time the other night looking through Aquinas And More and Amazon, and I'm seeing some familiar stuff there, but before ordering everything in sight so I can look through the pictures and such, I figured I'd ask all of you if you had favorites and suggestions. I'd like something that hits the important images and words of the mass, and that has good illustrations. (So much children's stuff is saccharine or silly.)

Suggestions?

17 comments:

Audrey said...

Interesting...I have never once in two years felt the effects of this "lot of work into encouraging families to keep their kids in the church rather than the cry room." What did it consist of?

Love2Learn Mom said...

I think the Mass for Children by Rosemarie Gortler (Our Sunday Visitor) is a solid choice and rather reasonably priced. It's *slightly* cheezy in having some a little mouse theme going in a corner, but overall the pictures are nice and there's some good depth to it. Little Acts of Grace by the same author is also quite nice, but I don't really like their Ten Commandments book.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Here's a little more info

Ambrose said...

St. Joseph Picture books has My Mass Book and My Missal, both which are decent & inexpensive. Also, other titles in the series can be used for different Sundays, like the Miracles of Jesus.

Melanie B said...

I'm in the market for a good children's missal myself. I haven't actually seen a copy yet; but I've got my eye on this one: this one. I don't recall where I saw the original recommendation; but it's got good reviews and looks a cut above the usual fare.

In the meantime were using Magnifikids, it's not what you're looking for, exactly; but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. It's a weekly publication for kids by the publishers of Magnificat. Our parish subscribes and hands them out at the doors and the kids can take them home after mass.


It contains the order of mass as well as the mass readings for the week. It also has a short comic strip, a puzzle and suggestions for morning and evening prayers for the rest of the week.

AnotherCoward said...

I applaud your effort in this. My wife and I have a similar family rule for Mass. It can be difficult when other families don't - especially when other kids want to share their food or play games.

My children really like My Picture Missal and The Mass for Children.

We also have a variety Bibles, Rosaries (biiiig and tiny), and other churchy books - The Twelve Dudes Who Did being perhaps the biggest hit after the Missals.

Best of luck!

Darwin said...

Audrey,

Maybe we should talk offline or via email... But in general terms: The previous pastor put a big emphasis on that. (It helped that he was a late vocation who had been married and had children.) It gets talked about much less now, but I'd say that at the mass we're normally at people the priests and congregation are very supportive of us stepping out briefly with the youngest when she's being loud and then coming right back in -- whereas at the other local parishes I've at times been told quite explicitly: "How about if you go sit in the cry room so that you stop distracting everyone."

However, if anyone has been giving you a hard time about your small ones, let me know privately and I'll see if something can be done about it.

Darwin said...

MelanieB,

Is the Patmos book for the current missal or the '62 missal? Looking through the sample pages on Amazon I was seeing some terminology that made me wonder if it was for the old mass.

Or is it just using more traditional terminology for the new missal?

Rick Lugari said...

Comparing the old Mass to new, I'd say your standard missalette should suffice as a children's guide. ;)

Anonymous said...

Patmos is old mass, unfortunately--I was hoping to use it. We use the Rosemarie one listed above, but would love to find one more appropriate for the non-reading crowd.

We have been *escorted from* a holy day mass (at a parish we were visiting) by an usher for having slightly rowdy children near the back in a mostly empty church--I was so speechless that I just went, but !!!!! My children will learn to behave so much better while I try to corral them in the entryway?

--mandamum

TS said...

I bought my niece this one and she seems to like it.

bearing said...

I second Rosemarie Gortler's books, especially Little Acts of Grace.

Also the MagnifiKid publication.

The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Check out the coloring books from Ignatius Press, particularly the Eucharist one. Even without crayons, they're wonderful for the little ones to look through: beautiful and devotional.

TS said...

I forgot to mention that there's a boy's version too...

Domenico Bettinelli said...

I'll second (or third) the recommendation for Magnifikids, even it's not a bound missal like you're looking for, as there is an unintended benefit.

As one grandfather in my parish who hands them out before Mass says, there are plenty of adults who take them because they like them better than the missalettes, mainly I think because of the definitions and explanations of unfamiliar words and terms from readings and prayers sprinkled throughout.

LogEyed Roman said...

The only contribution I have is that the main publisher of missals publishes a children’s missal. I have not been able to get a copy of it. My local Pauling Books & Media store is trying to track down a copy for me to look at. I visited them last weekend to see what they had on hand. Nothing. I was rather disappointed. Didn’t stop me from spending too much on some other stuff. But then, books constitute my main substance abuse problem these days.

Log_Eyed Roman

Rob F. said...

The Patmos missal is a picture missal. It's for the 62 mass, but that is only very apparent on the last page which is about the final Gospel. I recommend it highly; our two toddlers love it, and they have never been to a 62 mass in their life.

If you want the mass texts, you'll need a more grown up missal, and one with the 1970 texts in them.