A lot gets put on the priest. Do seminaries prepare him for this role? Do bishops emphasize this in continuing education with their clergy? Consider that the exodus of many Catholic children begins at the end of their grade school years, even after they enroll in Catholic high schools and universities, clergy should probably consider the message they send before this exodus, don’t you think?
23. It is the responsibility of the priest who celebrates with children to make the celebration festive, familial, and meditative. [See DMC 37.] Even more than in Masses with adults, the priest is the one to create this kind of attitude, which depends on his personal preparation and his manner of acting and speaking with others.
All too often, the childish intrudes on a priest’s style–too many adults, really–when speaking to children.
The priest should be concerned above all about the dignity, clarity, and simplicity of his actions and gestures. In speaking to the children he should express himself so that he will be easily understood, while avoiding any childish style of speech.
The free use of introductory comments [See GIRM 11.] will lead children to a genuine liturgical participation, but these should be more than mere explanatory remarks.
Say more that what’s just in the black:
It will help him to reach the hearts of the children if the priest sometimes expresses the invitation in his own words, for example, at the penitential rite, the prayer over the gifts, the Lord’s Prayer, the sign of peace, and communion.
Thoughts on this?