Votive Masses

boy at eucharistI have a vague recollection of the associate pastor meeting with us in middle school forty-plus years ago to plan school Masses. One-word themes seemed to be common: love, peace, hope, and such. Maybe we and he got into a pattern on this.

I was reading of a misconception on another web site about such liturgies. The Roman Missal, in fact, provides for dozens of such themes to be celebrated on weekdays, and even the occasional Sunday. And the Lectionary for Masses with Children also provides for “themes.”

In my younger, more rigorist days, I would have snickered at “theme” Masses. But these days, I recognize the importance of an occasional need. We do them for funerals and weddings and ordinations. Why not with kids? In a K-8 school, are younger adolescents a problem?

One of the reasons I feel this particular type of Mass must be reformed is the evident boredom of the 6th grade and older students at almost every school Mass I’ve attended. I can’t say I blame them.

Reformation, eh? I’ve found that giving older students greater responsibility and ownership tends to cut down on boredom. Doesn’t eliminate it, but it can allow for a subset of older parish students the freedom to express themselves at Mass.

Meanwhile, I’m not a fussbudget on “themes,” or whatever they might be called. In context, the Mass is the Mass, and Christ is the focus, not the thread between the readings, or even the genre of music.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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