The Family Zone
Lectionary-Based Playlist /Issue 61/May 30, 2021
"How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD."
Have you been away from church during the pandemic and are ready to reconnect? The obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be reinstituted in our diocese next weekend. Follow our Pinterest board below to equip you in teaching your kids about the Holy Mass and provide you with parenting tips about bringing your kids to Mass. We look forward to celebrating with you at the Table of the Lord!
Taking Your Family (BACK) To Mass
Participating in Mass is one of the best things we can do for our family. But, like so many things that are good for us, going to Mass as a family is not always easy and we do not always feel like doing it. Nevertheless, the Church tells us "the Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice." (CCC 2181)
Are you overwhelmed at the thought of taking busy kids to Mass?
Here are few things to remember:
WE are glad you are there. Anyone who has cared for children knows there are challenging days. Sometimes those challenges happen at Mass and we understand. We are glad you are making the effort and not all days will be that way. Keep coming...consistency leads to comfort
Be an active participant: sing, pray and listen attentively ..model Mass behavior to your kids so that they can get the most out of it
Sitting near the front or close to an aisle so your kids can see
Explain what is happening at Mass so kids can understand why they are there. Talk before or after Mass about what they will or did see and hear!
WE are glad you are there
A Note About Our Newsletter
Journeying with St. Joseph
The Mass comes from Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. Ironically it is a Passover story that marks Joseph’s last appearance in the Gospels. The Holy Family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover when Jesus was twelve. It was as they were returning from that pilgrimage that Jesus was lost and discovered teaching the elders in the Temple. Sometime between that account and when Jesus turned 30 and was baptized, Joseph died. According to Tradition, Joseph died peacefully of old age.
Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at this coming Sunday's Mass. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the grey button below.
Do you love to read to your kids? These stories will help you apply this week's theme to other areas of life and connect the lines between our beliefs and daily life!
- The Night Before My First Communion by Natasha Wing
- Sophie Wonders About the Eucharist by Debby Bradley
- The Heartbeat of Faith by Mary Kathleen Glavich
- Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass by Katie Warner
Parent Articles on the topic:
- "Five ways for parents to prepare children for First Holy Communion"
- Making Sense of the Real Presence: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/the-real-presence-faqs
Below you will find "at-home" assignments if your child learns best through writing and completing worksheets:
FOR SMALL CHILDREN:
You can create a language around the Mass for early readers. Use a key chain and index cards to create a "Mass book." Simply punch a hole in the corner of each card (you may want to reinforce the holes with adhesive reinforcements). And place the cards on the key ring. Write out simple Mass words such as PRIEST, HOST, PRAY, KNEEL, ALTAR, CROSS, ETC. and place a matching picture printed off from your computer or taken with your phone to match each word. Use one word per card and let your child begin to practice the words. Understanding the language of our faith helps our kids to grow closer to it!
FOR ELEMENTARY AGES and ADOLESCENTS:
Some of the words we find in the Mass are pretty complicated. Practice the spelling or vocabulary of words connected to the Liturgy of the Eucharist such as CONSUBSTANTIAL, EUCHARIST, DOXOLOGY, TRANSUBSTANTIATION, CIBORIUM, PATEN, CHALICE, TABERNACLE, PASCHAL. The Mass should not be a foreign language to our kids or any of the faithful; familiarity with the words increases both comfort and participation.
In honor of the Feast of Corpus Christi, spend some time before the tabernacle in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The video below will guide you, if you want to make a Holy Hour and we have a packet of prayers you can download and take with you.
Trinity Sunday is a great time to practice the Sign of the Cross with small children; download pdf below!
Children learn through play; here are some ways for you to keep learning about the faith theme of the week in a "hands-on" way!
FOR SMALL CHILDREN:
Many children love the imaginary play of "church" or "Mass." Put together household items that can be used to recreate what they see at Mass and make them more comfortable with the process of participating in the liturgy at a very young age!
Help your child learn about Mass with this jigsaw puzzle book: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-go-to-mass-jude-winkler/1006856384
FOR ELEMENTARY AGES:
Download these free printables from Happy Hearts or joyful Catholic Families to play games to better learn about the Eucharist while enjoying family time!
FOR ADOLESCENTS:Learn more about the Mass and all things Catholic with this puzzle book:
Wonder with St. Joseph
Everyone wants to be remembered. I cannot explain how happy I am that I am remembered all these centuries after I lived. But more than I ever wanted that, I wanted people to remember Jesus, and grow closer to him. That is what he wanted as well. Why else would he leave you the most precious gift? The Eucharist is not just a memorial, or a memory. When you celebrate the Eucharist, when you receive Communion, Jesus is truly present. The memory may spark Catholics to “do this in memory of [him]” but what you do is so much more!
Parents – What a gift! To share in the Eucharist and to bring your children to the Table of the Lord! During the pandemic, it was scary and difficult to be at Mass in person, but as we begin the journey out of a pandemic climate, we have the opportunity to rediscover the joy of going to Mass as a family. And if the anxiety of the virus remains, the opportunity to pray before the Tabernacle as a family is there! How can you help your children encounter God in the Eucharist?
Young People – Going to Mass connects us to others. When we go to Mass we are with other Catholics who believe what we believe, and want to share that with one another! But even more important than that – we are actually WITH Jesus. And after we make our First Holy Communion, we are able to receive Jesus in a very real way! What do you think Jesus wants us to do? We walk around with him inside us and can be his hands and feet in the world. How can you share HIM with your family and friends this week?
FAITH WORD OF THE WEEK!
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the monstrance on the altar for adoration by the faithful. The monstrance is that beautiful vessel that is pictured at the top of our newsletter.
Our NEXT edition of The Family Zone will come out for the weekend of June 13!
In the summer editions you will find:
Family Field Trip Ideas
Tips for Family Together-Time
Summer treats and Family Dinners