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The Mass Explained for Kids Commentary by Maria Grace Dateno, FSP and Jaymie Stuart Wolfe


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Nihil Obstat: Very Reverend Mark O’Connell, J.C.D. Imprimatur: x Seán P. Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M., Cap. Archbishop of Boston July 8, 2011 Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Published with the approval of the Committee on Divine Worship United States Conference of Catholic Bishops The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Commentary written by Maria Grace Dateno, FSP, and Jaymie Stuart Wolfe Design by Mary Joseph Peterson, FSP Cover photo © Philippe Lissac/Godong/Corbis

ISBN 0-8198-4885-9 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. “P” and PAULINE are registered trademarks of the Daughters of St. Paul. Copyright © 2011, Daughters of St. Paul Published by Pauline Books & Media, 50 Saint Pauls Avenue, Boston, MA 021303491 Printed in the U.S.A. MEFK VSAUSAPEOILL7-1J11-04520 4885-9 Pauline Books & Media is the publishing house of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of women religious serving the Church with the communications media.

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At the beginning of Mass, altar servers, other ministers, and a priest walk behind the cross in procession. As the priest reaches the sanctuary, he invites us to make the Sign of the Cross.

Priest: The Lord be with you. People: And with your spirit.


I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, We strike our chest over our hearts three times.

through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, 2

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Our prayer has started before Mass even begins. As we enter the doors of the church, we dip our fingers into a holy water font, and make the Sign of the Cross. This action reminds us that we come into the Church and become part of God’s family through the waters of Baptism. As we find a place to sit, we also genuflect, that is, bend our right knee to the floor. We do this to show God that we recognize and respect the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. The procession can remind us of how we are called to follow Jesus with every step we take. God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is alive in our hearts through Baptism. Catholics around the world use this response. It comes from the earliest prayers of the Church. The priest prays for us, reminding us that we belong to the Lord through the grace of our Baptism. We pray for the priest, and remember that he has received the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Jesus himself is offering the Mass through the priest. Some sins are more serious than others, but all sin separates us from God and each other. Striking the chest over our hearts is a very ancient gesture of sorrow and humility. We take responsibility for the wrong we have chosen to do, and tell God that we know our sins are our fault, not someone else’s. When we have hurt someone we love, we usually say “I’m sorry” more than once.

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all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. OR:

Priest: Have mercy on us, O Lord. People: For we have sinned against you. Priest: Show us, O Lord, your mercy. People: And grant us your salvation. Then:

Priest: Lord, have mercy. People: Lord, have mercy. Priest: Christ, have mercy. People: Christ, have mercy. Priest: Lord, have mercy. People: Lord, have mercy. OR:

Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

People: Kyrie, eleison.

Priest: Christe, eleison.

People: Christe, eleison.

Priest: Kyrie, eleison.

People: Kyrie, eleison.


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, 4

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We ask all who love God to pray for us, and we also pray for others.

When we ask God for mercy, we are asking him to be graciously kind to us and to give us more than we deserve.

The Kyrie is the only part of the Mass that has remained in its original Greek!

Unless it is Advent or Lent, we always sing or say the Gloria at Sunday Mass. We make the words of the Christmas angels our own, saying “Glory to God in the highest!” Like the angels, the saints, and all who share our faith in Jesus, we praise the Most Holy Trinity. We tell God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—just how wonderful he is, and how much he means to us. This is what happens in heaven! Everyone worships God, not only because of all the wonderful things he has done, but just because of who he is. 5

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we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Reader: The word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. 6

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We “bless” God when we express gratitude and admiration for him. We worship God. While we honor the saints and venerate them, adoration is something we give to God alone. Jesus is the Son of God in a unique way. He is from God without being created by God.

At Mass, we listen to a reader proclaim the word of God from the Bible. We pay close attention because the Bible isn’t just another book. The Scriptures were written by people long ago, but God inspired them. He still uses the Bible to speak his truth to us today. We hear God’s Word with our ears, but we can also learn to listen to his voice speaking in our hearts. The First Reading is usually from the Old Testament. These are the Scriptures Jesus heard when he worshiped God during his earthly life. They are the stories of God’s chosen people, the Jews. 7

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Reader: The word of the Lord. People: Thanks be to God. GOSPEL ACCLAMATION Stand

Deacon (or Priest): A reading from the holy Gospel according to N. People: Glory to you, O Lord. We trace a cross on our foreheads, lips, and chests.


Deacon (or Priest): The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. HOMILY Sit


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The Bible contains many songs. Most of them are found in the Book of Psalms. We respond to God’s word at Mass by praying or singing a psalm. The Second Reading is usually taken from one of the letters written by the apostles to the earliest Christians. These epistles are part of the New Testament.

Now we stand and sing a Gospel Acclamation. Alleluia means “praise God” in Hebrew, the ancient language of the Jewish people. During Lent, there are no alleluias at Mass and the words of the Gospel Acclamation are Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. In the Easter season, there are even more alleluias than usual.

This action expresses our hope that the Gospel will form our minds, our words, and our hearts.

The Gospel is read by a deacon or priest. The Gospels tell us who Jesus is, and what he said and did during his life on earth. The Gospel is also called the “good news” or the “message” of Jesus Christ. We hope to bring the news of God’s saving love to everyone we meet. That happens when we don’t just hear God’s word, but act on it! Now, a priest or deacon talks to us about the word of God we have heard today. In his homily, he helps us understand what God might be saying to us, and how we can live what we have heard more faithfully. 9

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The Mass Explained For Kids  

The new Mass translation is a Church-wide teachable moment! This booklet not only explains the changes in the Mass that are happening in 201...

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