The previous section and this are most often quoted as among the highlights of the Directory for Masses With Children. Where DMC 8 dealt with the spiritual and liturgical principle of the Paschal Mystery (Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection) today’s post looks at the complementary human values of liturgy:
9. For this reason all who have a part in the formation of children should consult and work together toward one objective: that even if children already have some feeling for God and the things of God, they may also experience in proportion to their age and personal development the human values that are present in the eucharistic celebration. These values include the …
Permit me to highlight them:
exchange of greetings,
capacity to listen
and to seek and grant pardon,
expression of gratitude,
experience of symbolic actions,
a meal of friendship,
and festive celebration. [See Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory 25.]
Eucharistic catechesis, dealt with in no. 12, should develop such human values. Then, depending on their age and their psychological and social situation, children will gradually open their minds to the perception of Christian values and the celebration of the mystery of Christ. [See Gravissimum educationis 2.]
My sense is that these eight values are inculcated into the celebration of the Mass already. They form a good checklist for any catechist, liturgist, or presider who works with children, not as something for every liturgy, but as a broad guideline for ritual and a general outline of catechesis.
A second-grader, or any First Communicant should be able to articulate the Paschal Mystery on an age-appropriate level, and have a grasp of the values listed above.