Directory for Masses With Children

The Directory for Masses With Children was written by the CDWDS and promulgated on All Saints’ Day, 1973. It may be safe to say this document has all at once been ignored, vilified, misapplied, over-emphasized, and misunderstood by post-conciliar Catholics of all stripes.

Over the next month or so, we’ll take a look at the fifty-five sections, and by the time we get to March, we’ll add an examination of the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children.

Meanwhile, here’s the outline of the document:

Chapter I. The Introduction of Children to the Eucharistic Celebration
Chapter II. Masses With Adults in Which Children Also Participate
Chapter III: Masses With Children in Which Only a Few Adults Participate
1. Offices and Ministries in the Celebration
2. Place and Time of Celebration
3. Preparation for the Celebration
4. Singing and Music
5. Gestures
6. Visual Elements
7. Silence
8. Parts of the Mass

We’ll begin with the introduction later tonight.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory for Masses With Children, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Directory for Masses With Children

  1. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I’d very much like to hear what you have to say on n. 24 and n. 48 (regarding the homily for the children and whether a non-ordained adult speaking to the children supplements or replaces the homily).

    There’s also n. 27, of which my friend AlexV says the following (in case the formatting doesn’t hold, the rest of this comment is from AlexV):

    Interestingly, Bugnini’s “Directory for Masses with Children” actually contains a discouragement from bringing children to Mass every day. Bugnini deserves credit for being the first congregational secretary to get a decree published that actually discourages Mass attendance.

    “27. Weekday Mass in which children participate can certainly be celebrated with greater effect and less danger of boredom if it does not take place every day (for example, in boarding schools). Moreover, preparation can be more careful if there is a longer interval between diverse celebrations. [Notitia 1]”

    There you have it, folks. Vintage Bugnini. The underlying Bugnini thesis is always the same: we were ignorant fools for millenia until Bugnini. Then we suddenly learned all about liturgy. And yes, this paragraph remains in the 2002 Missal.

  2. Todd says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Eventually we’ll get to those sections you mentioned. Rather than presume seminaries would train clergy to preach to kids, we seem to presume preaching to children is not a priority, either by not teaching clergy how to do it, or by substituting a lay person who can.

    Not only is Mass attendance discouraged in official church documents, but RCIA suggests the psalms might be troublesome to catechumens.

    Your friend Alex has his axe to grind, but my question would be: Can he make a positive case for daily Mass in the school situation? Personally, I’d prefer children attending Mass with parents if they go daily. I think once a week for a parish school is sufficient, though I’d prefer LH to start the day in either a parish setting or a boarding school.

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    “RCIA suggests the psalms might be troublesome to catechumens”

    Hrm? Where is that?

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