Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DIY Children's Mass Booklet: Part 2

Are we ready to start this thing?? I hope I have allowed enough time for you to buy your binders and sheet protectors and to finish your cover page. And if you haven't done it yet, giddyup!

So once you have your binders, gather up your markers, crayons, pencils and even scrapbooking supplies or religious stickers you might have. The more stuff the kids can use to decorate and bedazzle, the better! As we did last time, save the images and then drag-drop them into word or pages. You can print them from there.

Prayers at the Foot of the Altar

Catechesis: You may want to read the full exchange between the priest and servers at the foot of the Altar so they can get the full text of what is being said - if, that is, you think they can follow. This will be largely dependent on their ages and attention span. You could also do what I did - a general explanation about the prayers, with descriptions of what it will look like. I did the talking while they worked on their Page 1 activity.

Page 1 Activity: The first page is very basic - just have the kids color the bubble words of the title and the choir image at the bottom. Then they can color around it, add stickers, or do whatever their little hearts desire, so long as they do not totally obscure the words or images. The point of this page is to open up the conversation about the prayers at the foot of the Altar. Again, save the image and drag-drop into Word or Pages to print. If you only want one, crop the image. As I mentioned in my last post, I am making them double because I suspect most of  us have several children and thus need several copies.

Page 2 Activity: The second page is slightly more involved. For the purposes of making it understandable to young children I have simplified the prayers for some of these pages. Those of reading and writing age can fill in the word bubbles with the following words, in this order and going clockwise (I think the phrases will fit better this way):

I will praise you upon the harp, O God

Judge me, O God

God, you are my strength

I will go into the Altar of God

Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit

Encourage them to unite their hearts to those prayers during Mass.

For the little ones, I have pre-filled them with bubble words that they can color. And of course they can feel free to bedazzle the page any way they'd like.

 Here is what Violet's (age 6) looked like when she was done:

Page 3 Activity: In this activity, your kids will envision and draw what they should look like while Father is praying at the foot of the Altar.  A guided conversation with you will help them understand what "behaving" means.  I'm thinking it'll be good for them to do a little mental rehearsal.

You can print out these angels and have the kids color, cut and paste it at the bottom of the page, for a little extra fun. You could also google "angel free clip art" to find something more suited to your taste. To size it correctly, drag-drop into Word or Pages and adjust the size there.

Page 4 Activity: Older kids can do this page for the Confiteor. The littles can skip the Confiteor, but I don't recommend skipping the above self-portrait, regardless of age!  You can print the Confiteor in Latin and/or English side by side and have them paste it in, or you can have them do some copy work - its up to you! You can find the prayer here with a basic explanation.

We did two of the four pages on two separate occasions. You could do one a day, or all of them at ago - its up to you! The point is to engage them and to catechize them on the Mass part so they know what is happening at each of the different parts.

Coming Up: The Kyrie and the Gloria

Monday, July 27, 2015

DIY Children's Mass Booklet: Part 1

Some time ago when my family started attending the Novus Ordo in Latin, I had my girls work on making their own Mass book (aka missals) to help them follow along with the Latin prayers. I figured if they had made it, colored it and drew things about the Mass then they would be more engaged. I was right!  They loved working on their Mass books and it gave me a chance to give them a little mini lesson on each part of the Mass.

Since then, however, our Novus Ordo turned into an Extraordinary Form. Still Latin, but there are many silent prayers and it is a lot harder for them to pay attention. We bought them little children's missals but they seem totally disinterested in them. Since I am busy leading the Schola and my husband is busy baby wrangling, their disinterest may be a cause of their inability to find their place in the book without assistance.

Our 6 year old, Violet, is especially disinterested. She is all over the place. She doesn't even stand or kneel at the appropriate times. Mostly because, well, she just doesn't seem to care enough - and I am not there to correct her. This is the price of leading the Schola.

Ivy, our 8 year old, tries her best but I often notice her staring into space. Our 3 and 1 year olds, of course, are totally out of control and my husband just tries to survive as best as he can. I am sure my fellow church musicians at CC Watershed know exactly what this is like. Still, I know that my service is needed so I continue to chug along and hope for the best.

Recently, in trying to come up with a solution to their disinterest, I remembered our old Mass books from the Novus Ordo and decided that what the kids need is a little catechesis on the Mass parts with the accompanying activity. And, because I am sure someone out there in the world will benefit from it, I am going to try and share the activities with you. I will try to post a couple new Mass parts once a week, and more frequently if I can manage!

Parents, I promise - this project is going to be very easy on you!

STEP 1: Buy a small 3 ring binder with a clear pocket on the front cover, as well as a pack of small sheet protectors for each of your children (even if they are too young to write!) The size of the binder and sheet protectors should be what an 8x11 sheet of paper would be if you folded it in half.

STEP 2: Print the cover page and a recent photo of your child. Print out the image and place your child's photo in the center. They can decorate around their picture any way they'd like, or just write their name and leave it at that. I made it double because I am assuming you have more than one child. But if you don't, just crop out the second image. Save the image to your desktop and then drag and drop it into word or pages and print it out from there. If you print the double image, print in landscape orientation and then slice the page in half to separate the twins.

If you can't find a picture of your child, no problem! Have them draw a self portrait! Once your child has finished decorating it, this cover page will go on the front of the binder in the clear cover pocket. Easy peasy, right??

Ok, so you guys have to let me know if this works, with giving you an image rather than a doc! I am sure there is a way to do it but I am lazy and like shortcuts.

UPDATE: Here is what ours look like. We used colored card stock to "frame" their picture. Then I gave them scrapbooking supplies and stickers and let them go to town!

Stay tuned for more instructions....!

Coming up: Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and Introit

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I am breaking up with you, Hallmark

There is something about old fashioned pen and paper that I just plain love. I love the feeling of laying out a fresh sheet of quality stationary and a good pen, ready to drink some hot tea as I splash some sentimental feelings across the page to a faraway friend. I imagine classical music playing in the background, and I most definitely include raindrops splattering against the window in this mental picture.

And then I remember that I live in Las Vegas, and raindrops only splash against the window pane during monsoon season, and actually its less of a delicate splash and more of a torrential, frightening flash flood-type rain that pounds against the windows.

My point is that I was looking through this website called Minted, and I was dreaming of beautiful stationary. And boy, did I find it. Like this adorable personalized note card.

And something I had not seen before  - this incredibly sweet children's stationary!

Personalized children's stationary

 Once I started going down the rabbit hole of awesomeness, I could not stop!!!

And the funny thing is that as I continued to explore, I discovered something really interesting. Minted has a lot more than just lovely rainy day stationary with whimsical designs. They are an entire marketplace of artistic expression. Apparently, they run design competitions for independent artists and the winner gets their design or art piece sold on their website. I can totally get on board with supporting independent artists. I found this art piece called Arise, by an artist named Kelly Johnson. I don't know what it is about this painting, but I can't stop staring at it. You can see the rest of their art collection here.

And then I found all these customizable art pieces in the shape of the different states. I am already thinking about getting one of these for a friend who is moving out of town.

Nevada Love

And thennnnn, as if it weren't enough that they support independent artists, check this out.... they also donate money from their sales to a charity called Every Mother Counts, which helps proved maternal care to pregnant mothers who do not have access to medical care. As a mother of 4, I know first hand how important it is to have good prenatal and obstetrics care. This particular detail just made me go all soft on Minted.

Hallmark, I am so sorry, but.... I have to break up with you... I met someone else.