Sunday mornings can be chaotic even for the most cheerful and organized households. As a parent of four, there are some Sundays that it is difficult for me to get the entire family ready to exit the house, let alone prepare for Mass.
There are a few things that can be done, if even the night before, to help the Holy Spirit prepare the hearts of our family. Doing even one of these will pass on the importance of the Mass in our lives and maybe create some family bonding.
1. Read the Mass Readings
Reading the Mass readings is an excellent way to prepare for Mass. It’s sort of a no-brainer, too. Children love stories, and the Mass readings provide that along with spiritual nourishment. Not only will they learn the readings, but when they hear them in Mass you can see the excitement on their face when something they know is heard.
It will create a bond and will most likely assist in them paying a little better attention. It also assists in catechesis as the faith will be taught at home, if it isn’t already. All involved will benefit by having a better understanding of the scriptures and the Mass as a result. By the way, it is okay if this is done the night before.
2. Pray at home, together
If you are a large family, this may be something that may be done the night before, but if possible do it the morning of Mass. Praying as a family doesn’t have to be a long endeavor but ask everyone if they have a prayer request or someone that they want to pray for.
Not only will you be praying as a family at home, but you can remind the children to remember these prayers during Mass. That way they are prayed for as a community. This will help reinforce the Mass as the gathering of God’s family. It will also show the importance of the Mass by preparing our hearts and minds to pray and worship. Some get intimidated and think this type of family prayer has to be an hour long. It doesn’t so don’t stress it. Five to ten minutes is a great start and will reinforce the importance of prayer and taking intentions to Mass.
3. Pray on the way
If your family is anything like mine on Sunday morning, then it resembles the family from Home Alone scrambling to make their flight. The time spent driving to Mass is the perfect opportunity to focus on what is about to happen. Take some time to pray the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. There are free smartphone apps that lead and you just repeat. It is a great way to contemplate and to get your heart ready for Mass.
The Divine Mercy App is a great one for the Divine Mercy Chaplet. If you want an app that has an audio Rosary and Divine Chaplet in one place, then I recommend the Virgin Most Powerful App. Click on prayers and the audio versions are there along with explanations.
There are many ways to get your family ready for Mass, and this article is just the tip of the iceberg. Depending on your situation you may need to get creative, and that is okay. Putting in the work to ensure your family is ready for Mass is part of our vocation as parents. Stay the course, share the faith, and be the example that your children need.
This is a post I originally wrote for EpicPew.