The Structure of the Mass

The study of the Eucharist begins in the Atrium at the age of three with the presentation on the Model Altar which focuses on the names of the articles used at Mass. The preparation for the reception of Eucharist in 2nd grade forms, in some ways, the highlight of and focus of all work with the Eucharist in the Atrium. However, our understanding of the great Gift of Jesus hidden in the signs of bread and wine is never complete! The Upper Elementary children continue to “unpack” this beautiful mystery of our faith, expanding their focus from the most essential gestures and verbal prayers of the Mass to include each and every prayer through a multi-part presentation entitled “The Structure of the Mass.” In this work the Mass is looked at as one great prayer made up of many beautiful prayers, like a pearl necklace made up of individual pearls. After looking at the Mass as a whole, the children begin to look more closely at one of the four sections of the Mass: The Liturgy of the Word, The Preparation of the Gifts, The Eucharistic Prayer, and The Rite of Communion. As they “master” the ordering of the prayers in each section they will begin to write their own Complete Missal, copying each prayer on its own page.

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