DMC 47-49: Commentary, Homily, and Creed

Introductory comments on the Scriptures or on the saint of the day are commended:

47. All the elements that will help to explain the readings should be given great consideration so that the children may make the biblical readings their own and may come more and more to appreciate the value of God’s word.

Among such elements are the introductory comments that may precede the readings [See GIRM 11.] and that by explaining the context or by introducing the text itself help the children to listen better and more fruitfully. The interpretation and explanation of the readings from the Scriptures in the Mass on a saint’s day may include an account of the saint’s life, not only in the homily but even before the readings in the form of an introduction.

When the text of the readings lends itself to this, it may be helpful to have the children read it with parts distributed among them, as is provided for the reading of the Lord’s passion during Holy Week.

This last prescription is interesting, and I have used it, but more often in the past than in the current parish. Part-reading is not omitted from the Gospel reading. I don’t know that I would use part-reading on more than one reading. I don’t have a strong preference for it. Good readers can engage a young assembly. Here I would advocate for quality above quantity, so to speak.

48. The homily explaining the word of God should be given great prominence in all Masses with children. Sometimes the homily intended for children should become a dialogue with them, unless it is preferred that they should listen in silence.

Dialogue homilies contain subtle dangers. I’ve seen them done pretty effectively by a skilled preacher. When a lazy homilist tries to use kid commentary as filler, it’s not a pretty sight.

49. If the profession of faith occurs at the end of the liturgy of the word, the Apostles’ Creed may be used with children, especially because it is part of their catechetical formation.

Any thoughts?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Directory for Masses With Children, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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