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Amplify Your Mass Experience Amplify Your Mass Experience Colleen Ink Slingers

What’s In Your Mass Bag?

What's in Your Mass Bag?

Here at Catholic Sistas, we’re all about things that will amplify our Mass experience! These Mass bag additions will make it easier for us to pray and enter into the Sacred Mysteries, as well as aid our children along their path towards holiness and participation. Some parishes have wonderful missals in the pew, but some do not, so for the sake of this list let’s pretend that there is nothing there and you’re on your own.

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Adults:

A missal

Magnificat: This is a classic. Filled with daily prayers, Mass readings, and inspiring meditations, the Magnificat is subscription that is delivered to your door monthly. It can be used at home or at church, and is truly a “one-stop shop” for Catholic spirituality.

Daily Roman Missal: If you are looking for a hardbound perennial rather than periodical-style, this missal contains everything you need for praying the Mass, including the 3 year cycle of readings, the calendar of saints’ feast days, devotional prayers, and commentaries.

Latin MassSt. Andrew Daily Missal: For those who attend the Extraordinary Form, this is a highly-recommended comprehensive missal that includes the English translation alongside the Latin.

A Rosary

Maybe you still have a rosary you received from your First Holy Communion or from your wedding. Praying the Rosary can be a wonderful way to focus your mind on the Sacrament you are about to receive, or to pray in thanksgiving after Holy Communion, especially if you are struggling with composing your own post-Communion prayer. (Looking for a rosary? Etsy is full to the brim of beautiful ones! We love BC Inspirations.)

A Veil

CS wholeheartedly recommends Veils by Lily!

(To read more about why so many women are returning to the ancient practice of veiling in church, check out other posts here, here, and here.)

Children:

Ah, now we get to what I consider to be the real meat of the post. WHAT CAN I BRING TO CHURCH TO HELP MY KIDS PAY ATTENTION!? Well, there’s no magic pill, and some people prefer to have their kids sit in Mass without any distractions at all, even religious ones. That is certainly a valid choice. However, we have found that bringing a few well-curated items helps our children sit still, pay attention, and appreciate religious beauty all the more. 

A Missal

Magnifikids: Our kids were gifted a trial subscription of this and thoroughly enjoyed it! Like the original Magnificat, it is a monthly subscription, but the children actually get a separate 16 page booklet for each weeks. The Sunday readings are included (not the weekday readings), as well activities for kids to do outside of Mass time. 

My First Missal: If you are looking for a more permanent Mass companion, this Missal is a perfect addition to your Mass bag. It contains colorful illustrations and the Order of the Mass, plus additional prayers for Communion & Confession.

Latin MassMy See and Pray Missal: Great for pre- and new readers, this picture missal has the Order of the Mass so that even the youngest can follow along. The text is short and easy to read while still staying true to the solemnity of the Mass. (My family owns 4 of these!)

Latin MassLatin Mass Children’s Missal: This has been a First Communion gift for our kids who are of that age. It’s a step up from the My See and Pray Missal with a summary of each Sunday Gospel, and it’s easy to follow.

Books

My little LOVE these Maite Roche books! The illustrations are simple and sweet. We also like the Hail Mary and Our Father books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saving Name of God the Son

is a beautiful book with traditional iconography and and a lovely prayer throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Act of Grace is a modern classic! With sections titled “Using Holy Water,” “Genuflecting,” “Distractions in Mass,” It is a gentle way to introduce our children to the truths of our Faith as well as behaviors that are appropriate for Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Aids:

 

Chewable Rosary – My 1 year old received this for Christmas and I LOVE it! It is a great distraction for her. Ours is from Little Saints Chewelry.

 

 

 

 

Prayer Card Keychain – We had an extensive collection of random holy cards lying around. My sister punched a hole in the corner of each and placed them on a key ring. My toddlers love to look through the holy cards, and it’s a great way to keep them all together rather than having a random pile strewn throughout our pew.

Snacks:

Snacks can be super controversial in church! In general, we avoid them (making exceptions for juice boxes for my kiddo with diabetes, of course.) While it can be a great distraction, there are issues with mess, crumbs, and people with allergies who might be affected. Many parishes forbid food inside the nave.

Other Things:

Diapers & wipes & an extra outfit if you have a baby or a toddler (you will regret not having these), tissues. I pack pretty light in general, and just try to keep my car stocked so I can run out if there’s anything I have forgotten!

Bag:

Right now I just keep everything in my purse, but it’s gotten to be a little too bulging. I’m thinking about transitioning to a Skip Hop backpack because it’s pretty much the perfect size.

And that’s it! That’s what we keep in our Mass bag to facilitate a peaceful, prayerful Mass experience (at least, as much as possible with several children under the age of 5, ha!) What’s in YOUR Mass bag? Anything essential that I forgot or should add to mine?

Categories
Adrienne Apologetics Faith Formation Sacred Scripture

Why Catholics Don’t Read the Bible

As Catholics, we’ve all heard it before, “Catholics don’t read the Bible.”, “Catholicism is unbiblical!”, “They don’t even have Bibles in their pews!”, followed by examples of Bible “abuse” in the past of the Catholic Church where she chained Bibles to the pulpits (true) so the faithful couldn’t study them (false), or burned copies of the Bible (true) because, again, the Church didn’t want the faithful to study them (false).  Allow me to explore this characterization, as it contains a bit of truth, along with some natural misunderstanding.

“According to the apostle Paul, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God and who does not know scripture does not know the power or the wisdom of God, then ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.

A.D. 408, St. Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church

Children of God whom are nurtured by Sola Scriptura as their rule of faith have a very different relationship with Sacred Scripture than both modern and historical Catholics.  These devoted Christians have at least one copy of God’s Written Word, and many will lovingly delve into those pages daily for their source of God given nourishment.  They can’t imagine a spiritual life that isn’t drenched in the pages of Scripture.  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5)  Thus, they are simply appalled that a Catholic may not own a Bible at all!  And again wonder, why are there no Bibles in the pews at a Catholic church?!

Modern Catholics do not share this same relationship with Sacred Scripture because historical Catholics did not.  Catholicism has a 2,000 year history, and due to this, the average Catholic has been brought up in the vestiges of an ancient faith that predates wide spread literacy and the printing press.  For the first 1500 years of the Church, all Bibles were hand written by scribes, to painfully exact standards.  If a scribe made a single mistake on a piece of parchment, the entire piece of parchment would be destroyed and rewritten, to ensure pristine copies of Sacred Scripture were released to the public.  These Bibles took years to complete and cost three years’ wages (like a modern day house, which we purchase with 30 year mortgages).  These copies of God’s Word were so expensive and rare, that the local churches would chain them to the pulpits to prevent theft, protecting the availability for all of the congregants.  The average layperson did not own one of these Bibles because of the expense and rarity, not to mention that person’s inability to read would have been troublesome even if they did have a copy.  Their daily spiritual lives did not revolve around individual study of Sacred Scripture, instead they found spiritual nourishment in other ways –  namely prayer and the Mass.  The historic Catholic would travel to mass (available daily) to hear God’s word read from the ambo, and explained in a homily.  His soul would be nourished not only by hearing the written word, but also by his prayerful presence with the Blessed Sacrifice of the Mass.  Outside of the Mass, his daily life would be sustained through a devotion to prayer.

God’s having allowed for the invention of modern technology has been fantastic for education and the spread of His Word, but it has also brought about changes in our relationships with Him.  When the printing press came on the scene in the 1400s copies of Bibles were being printed left and right!  And not at all with the same careful consideration the scribes had used.  The Church, in her effort to preserve the distribution of pristine copies of God’s Word, did indeed burn many poor prints or translations.  Around this time literacy grew and continued to grow, and soon the famous Reformation was born.  While our Sola Scriptura brethren grew in a faith formation focused on the pages of God’s word written in Scripture, our Catholic ancestors continued with their sturdy 1500 year old faith formation based on the mass and prayer.

Today, first world Catholics still may not own Bibles, though many do.  We’re still raised with an emphasis on mass attendance, frequency of sacraments, and a rich prayer life for our faith formation.  No, we still don’t have Bibles in our pews, but instead, we have missals which contain the passages to be read each day for mass.  These missals ensure that our priests are reading the same three to four selections of God’s written Word as all of the other priests in the other parishes that day.  The missal ensures that all faithful Catholics are read the entire Bible in three years of daily mass attendance, which makes for a pretty hefty emphasis on Sacred Scripture.

As God, in His providence, would have it, the latest advancements in technology have allowed for widespread conversions to Catholicism amongst many of God’s devoted children from the Sola Scriptura traditions.  These converts, having had their faith muscles strengthened on the written Word coupled with a vibrant passion for Christ, are uniting with the ancient Church and Her fullness of Christ’s teaching for an explosive combination!  God is showing us that we are weakened by our separation, and are strongest when we unite!  Our newest Catholics are inspiring us cradle Catholics to discover the Biblical Truth of Catholicism, providing us the knowledge armor of Sacred Scripture in conjunction with Sacred Tradition.  Study of the Scriptures in light of Tradition is eye opening and amazing.  But let us never forget that Holy Mother Church protected and provided these Scriptures for us.  We can never divorce the Scriptures from their Mother, for when we separate the two, we will be mislead by our own weaknesses.

Many thanks to the Holy Spirit for our Sacred Scriptures, and also, many thanks to all of our convert Catholics for bringing into the Church their passion for God’s Written Word!