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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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 Mass – St. 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.
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.)
CS wholeheartedly recommends Veils by Lily!
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.
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 Mass – My 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 Mass – Latin 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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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?
Colleen is wife to her wonderful husband and mama to three boys and three girls. She spends her days reading stories, practicing skip counting, and sweeping Cheerios with a baby in her arms. She enjoys sharing her Catholic Faith with others, and trying her best to live out her vocation generously, graciously, fully. She loves the Traditional Mass. She also appreciates anything crafty or chocolatey, and is blessed to reside in the great state of Kansas, which actually is not all black-and-white – she has the red shoes to prove it.