Children are introduced to the Last Supper with a presentation that brings the scriptures of Luke and Mark to life. As the catechist reads the scripture, figures of Jesus and the twelve apostles celebrate the feast of Passover where Jesus proclaims, “this is my body” and “this is my blood.” As the figures leave the upper room, a crucifix and the Eucharist are left behind, as a sign to the children that we too are invited to the Last Supper at every Mass.
Children as young as 3 years old begin learning how to set our model altar and identify the items used at Mass. Children are then invited to stop and pray as long as they wish. An adult is always nearby to watch when candles are lit. From left to right the items here are: candles, a crucifix, a paten, a chalice and an altar cloth underneath. Once the children can identify these items by name, they are introduced to more.
Children learn to identify many items that we use at Mass. From left to right: our model tabernacle holds a model ciborium and has a sanctuary lamp on top. The model altar holds a white altar cloth, a book stand with a roman missal, candles, a crucifix, a corporal, a paten, a chalice with a pall on top, and a purificator. The model ambo holds a lectionary. Our model altar, tabernacle and ambo were all hand crafted by Tim McEnroe.
Children learn about the liturgical colors of our Church year by working with model chasubles in different colors. White for the feasts of the Church year, purple for before the feasts, green for growing after the feasts and red for feasts of great love.
Children are shown the vestments that a priest wears at Mass. For children who can read, flashcards help them remember the names of the vestments. The white alb reminds him of his baptism, the cincture reminds him that he is tied to God, the stole around his shoulders reminds him that he is doing God’s work, and the chasuble reminds him of the cloak of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Tour the Atrium
The 3-6 year old child enters the mystery of the Eucharist by first learning the names of the articles used on the altar and then through the most important gestures… Through the experience of seeing these gestures, presented one by one, the Mass emerges as the Sacrament of the Gift. The child becomes acquainted with the historical character of the liturgy through the events of the Last Supper, Christ’s death, and His resurrection.