Part 3 of Chapter III treats “Preparation for the Celebration.” At our parish school, each Mass is assigned to a class for preparation. The liturgist and pastor each meet with the class to review the readings, produce intentions, and explore any possibility for “ornamentation.”
29. Each eucharistic celebration with the children should be carefully prepared beforehand, especially with regard to the prayers, songs, readings, and intentions of the general intercessions. This should be done in discussion with the adults and with the children who will have a special ministry in these Masses. If possible, some of the children should take part in preparing and ornamenting the place of celebration and preparing the chalice with the paten and the cruets. Presupposing the appropriate internal participation, such activity will help to develop the spirit of community celebration.
Most of the documentation and rubrics for liturgy treat the externals of the celebration, siimply because the internal aspects are “presupposed.” I don’t know that there’s much to legislate in terms of the internal. It is vital that it not be lost.
When preparing children for liturgy, we are careful to involve the internal participation then. I urge children to pray for themselves and their classmates who are preparing liturgy, that they keep in mind the intentions of the other students as well as the parish. If groups of children who serve in roles can also pray in advance, preferably with the priest or another adult leader, this also reinforces the internal aspect and should minimize the performance portion–including anxiety.
Among the readers, how have you done this?