We spent five minutes with Melissa Rohan, president of Waterfront Academy, learning about an important aspect of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Articles of the Mass.
This child is setting up an altar, which is part of a nomenclature lesson. We’re teaching the child the different items that are used during the Mass. What’s interesting about that is when the children learn the different names and the uses of each of those articles, the Mass is far more interesting to them. When it’s interesting to them, the child is less distracted. Learning the Articles of the Mass makes it easier for families to go Mass.
There are three different articles of the Mass lessons. We start out with just the altar, altar cloth, candlesticks and candles, chalice, patent and crucifix. They can participate in the Mass when they understand what they’re looking at and it becomes a bit more interesting.
What’s interesting too is a child who goes to Mass often, they want to pretend they are a priest, deacon or altar server or people they see in Mass. However, that is not the point of the lesson, so we have to sometimes correct that. There is a time and place. That is play and not work. When that happens, we know they are ready for the next set of lessons. We say, we see you have mastered this lesson and we introduce them to the next set.
We later introduce things like the tabernacle and the liturgical colors and keep on developing the nomenclature and understanding.
The children love it. It’s one of their favorite things to do in the classroom. It’s something that’s very real to them as they go to Mass with us on Fridays and then on Sundays with their parents.