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Children's Mass Kit
Question from Lynne on 7/31/2002:

Dear Fr. Levis:

I would like your opinion on Miniature Mass kits for children. I have a Catholic goods catalog that advertises the Mass kit, baptism set and a pattern for child-size vestments. Is this a good teaching tool and introduction to the priesthood for children, especially our sons? Or does playing Mass or baptism (especially Mass) trivialize the real Mass?

They are beautiful sets and they come with a lesson plan and workbook. If they are used only with the lesson plan and not as a general plaything would that make the sets a must for a Catholic home (as the descriptions of the sets say)?

In terms of the vestments, is it a good idea to allow our sons to dress as a priest while using the Mass or baptism kit? What if our daughters want to play priest also? Trying to explain to a 3 yr old why Jimmy can dress up and she can't would be a challenge.

I want to make sure my sons are given every opportunity to be exposed to the priesthood and the gifts associated with that vocation, but is buying a Mass kit with vestments the way to go about it?

Thank you for your opinion on this matter.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 7/31/2002:

Dear Lynne, A wonderful idea! Many of my peers played Mass as kids with our little sisters as the congregation. The altar was an orange crate, the altar linen we stole off our bed, the chalice was one of Mother's goblets, the wine was cherry soda pop, the hosts were Necco wafers (we tried to get all white ones). We improvised with the deepest faith our simple imaginations permitted. So, you want to get a play Mass kit. BY ALL MEANS. YES.YES.YES. Who knows where your little boys will finish. Tell the girls, no Sweetheart, this is for boys only. Let them take up the collection, and organize the choir and play the piano. God bless you all. I wish I could see this! Fr. Bob Levis

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