Some good insights into the mind of the church. I like to see liturgical principles outlined elsewhere get mentioned in these other documents. We see more than the modern revisionism claims to teach us about the real motives of the bishops. First a no-brainer:
12. Even in the case of children, the liturgy itself always exerts its own inherent power to instruct. [See Sacrosanctum Concilium 33.]
In other words, liturgy always teaches and forms without trying to do so. That said, liturgical catechesis outside of the Mass is vital:
Yet within religious-education programs in the schools and parishes the necessary importance should be given to catechesis on the Mass. [See Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instr. Eucharisticum Mysterium, 25 May 1967, no. 14.]
Participation gets a strong mention, with a new adjective, “authentic.”
This catechesis should be directed to the child’s active, conscious, and authentic participation. [See Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory no. 25.] “Suited to children’s age and capabilities, it should by means of the main rites and prayers of the Mass, aim at conveying its meaning, including what relates to taking part in the Church’s life.” [See Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instr. Eucharisticum Mysterium no. 14. Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Catechetical Directory no. 57.]
Note what is of central importance:
This is especially true of the text of the eucharistic prayer and of the acclamations by which the children take part in this prayer.
A strong affirmation of the people’s acclamations being a means of taking part in the eucharistic prayer.
And a note on First Communion, emphasizing the meal aspect as well as the horizontal dimension:
The catechesis preparing children for first communion calls for special mention. In it they should learn not only the truths of faith regarding the eucharist but also how from first communion on – after being prepared according to their capacity for penance – they can as full members of Christ’s Body take part actively with the people of God in the eucharist, sharing in the Lord’s table and the community of their brothers and sisters.