Hello, everyone. My name is Julianne Stanz, and today I want to talk with you a little bit more about going to Mass with your children.
Let’s be honest, at one time or another in our lives we may have struggled with getting ourselves or our family to Mass. Whatever the reason, we can always go to Mass with a better attitude. And so what can we do to allow the experience of the Mass to truly be an encounter with Jesus?
My first tip is to set expectations that going to Mass is the center of our Catholic faith and our family life. One couple said that just as we expect our children to go to school, brush their teeth, or pick up their toys, it should be clear that Sunday Mass is simply something that’s done every week.
My second tip is to prepare well. Talk about the Sunday Scriptures ahead of time or on the way to Mass. Create a sense of anticipation for what your family might hear, and then follow up with questions on the way home, such as: “What’s the most important thing that you heard today?” “Do you have any questions about the homily?” “What was the Gospel about?” or, “What can our family keep doing, do differently or better as a result of what we’ve heard today?”
So this third tip might be a bit contentious, because it might not work for every family. But if you can, try and sit up front at Mass. Many parents said that sitting up front helped their children to feel more comfortable at Mass, because they can see what’s happening.
The last tip is to connect Sunday with your everyday. Living the Mass doesn’t end when we walk out of church, but it’s then that our real work begins in the world. So consider how you might live out the Mass in one activity over the week with your family.
You might have other tips, maybe much better ones than this. If so, I’d absolutely love to hear more from you. Thanks and God bless.
Julianne Stanz is a nationally known speaker, retreat leader, storyteller, and the Director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay and a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Catechesis and Evangelization.