Tips for Taking Young Children to Catholic Mass

Tips for Taking Children to Catholic Mass

Tips for Taking Children to Catholic Mass

Have you ever gotten all the children up, presentable, and out the door for mass and as you were walking into mass realized that someone  had on something dirty?  Or one child is wearing something that belongs to, and best fits, another child?

How does toothpaste get on the back of someone’s sweater anyway?!

Over the years we have come up with some sanity savers to make getting to mass on time on a regular basis.  As well as a somewhat peaceful time while we are there.  I can’t guarantee perfection, the toothpaste incident?, that happened last month!

I wish I would have started doing some of these things when my children were very young, then by the time we had six kids, going to church would have been a piece of cake.

Catholic Mass Tips For Mom & Dad

Going to mass starts the night before.  Lay out clothes – everything, socks, underwear – get it all out. The morning can be cruising along great until someone has a missing sock or a missing shoe.  It’s much easier to take care of ironing pants or finding a matching shirt the night before then 30 minutes before mass starts. It’s such a simple task and a huge time saver.

Catholic Mass Tips For Young Children

Make sure the diaper bag is stocked.  Nothing worse than being at mass, having a diaper issue, and then realizing there are no wipes or extra diapers.

Minimize snacking – better yet cut it out completely.  When our older boys were young we were still in the snack mindset.  We were positive that snacking helped to keep the boys occupied.  However, the downside was that it also contributed to a bit of chaos and noise. Dropped sippy cups, snacks on the floor, fighting over snacks – it all happened. Once we finally made the bold {in our eyes} move to say no to snacks it made life easier and no one dehydrated or starved.  Plus, it was one less thing to get ready the night before.  {Of course I’m not talking about nursing/bottle fed babies here!}

Use the cry room – for a while we made regular use of the cry room at our parish.  I know the downside is that the cry room often becomes the playroom for some children, but we were always firm that the cry room was not used for that purpose in our family.  There are just some days when our children are loud, crying or otherwise need to be removed from the seating area.  While children are going to make noise at church, we also need to be respectful of others and take our children out when they are melting down.

Church toys – it can be helpful to have a small bag of soft books, soft photo album {my kids always loved these}, or soft saint doll,  that young children can look at during mass.  It’s especially helpful when these particular toys only come out during mass.

Catholic Mass Tips For Older Children

Read the Gospel during the week – the words and the story will already be familiar on Sunday

Make sure children know familiar prayers, Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Nicene Creed and others

Teach them about the mass – I have a had adults tell me they find mass boring, but it’s only because they don’t know or understand what is occurring. If you don’t know yourself take some time to learn! Two good resources for children: The Mass Book for Children and Child’s Guide to the Mass. A great book that talks about the importance of the mass is The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith.  Here is a short study guide too.

Take a tour of the church – as I mentioned in my post about taking young children to Catholic mass, taking a tour of the church after a weekday mass is a great idea.

Follow Along with a missal or Magnifikids – I know that helps me to stay focused some weeks.

Encourage Altar Serving – Our older two boys served at mass quite frequently before we moved.  We have joined a much larger parish here in Florida so the serving opportunities aren’t as abundant, but they have taken the training and are on the schedule for the spring. It’s funny that my boys who don’t move a muscle on the altar, suddenly become squirmy when sitting by siblings!

Discuss the Homily after mass – make a point to talk about the readings and the homily after mass.  Let you older children know before mass that after mass they are expected to participate in a discussion.

What are some ways you have made mass more peaceful with your family?

Taking Young Children to Catholic Mass

Taking Young Children to Catholic Mass

Many years ago when Jacob was just a baby, we would occasionally go to daily mass.  I remember one particular morning Jacob was a little fussy.  After mass an older lady came up to us to say good morning.  We chatted for a bit and I apologized for Jacob being noisy at mass.  She remarked […]