Every Sunday, the front cover of our Mass program features the Introit for the day. If we are doing a choral version we just print the words. If we are doing the Gregorian Introit, we print the whole thing. On the first Sunday of Advent, of course, it featured the Ad te levavi:
One of our schola members has a seven-year-old who sits in the second pew, not far from where the schola stands. After Mass a couple of weeks ago, I took a look at what she had busied herself with the whole time. Now children do sometimes need some help in keeping themselves contained and focused during the Mass. Some children bring little Mass booklets. Others are urged repeatedly not to fidget. I have even been to a parish where I saw the mom feeding the kids slices of American cheese to keep them quiet! Apparently this little girl keeps herself busy with the program and a pencil.
After Mass she showed me what had taken her a good bit of time to do. Notice she has written across the top her own spelling of "church music." This is what she hears every week, and this is what she is learning is proper to the Roman Rite. I was stunned. Such beauty and focus. Let's never short-change our children.