Ever zone out during the readings, homily or prayers at Mass? These 5 practical tips might help you focus at Mass!
1. Advance Reading
It always helps me to focus at Mass if I have read the readings beforehand. It also helps to receive the daily readings in the Blessed Is She devotion each morning! I usually click on the link in the email and read the readings, psalm and Gospel along with the thoughtful reflection based on them. Subscribe to Blessed Is She or CatholicMom.com’s own Daily Gospel Reflections.
The truth is … my hearing isn’t so great. I have a little trouble hearing the readings if the reader isn’t perfectly clear and if there is someone rustling a cough candy wrapper in the next pew. I find it much easier to focus if I’m following along with the readings as they are read.
I’ve also discovered how to really appreciate the beauty of all the prayers we hear and recite at Mass by following along with the special prayers for that particular Mass (Entrance Antiphon, Collect, Prayer over the Offerings, Communion Antiphon, Prayer After Communion). I’ve really begun to appreciate the beautiful text of the Preface Prayer selected by the priest for the specific Feast Day or Season and the priest’s choice among the four Eucharistic Prayers. It’s quite easy to zone out and miss these poetic and articulate words, but if you take the time to navigate through the prayers in the missal, it’s easy to foster the reverence and awe for the Mass, reminding ourselves of what we truly believe!
Actually, I wrote about all this in a previous article a while back and you can read it here: A Case for Subtitles at Mass with 9 Resolutions to Delve in Deeper at Mass.
3. Homily Notes
I actually have a little prayer journal in my purse most of the time, and although I still feel a little sheepish taking it out and making notes during homilies, I really appreciate having the notes later! I always think I can make myself remember certain parts of the homily, but I’ve always been better when I write things down … and having the notes to skim through later keeps awesome teaching fresh in my mind and handy for prayer and reflection.
4. Homily Notes and Mass Menu Missal Stamps
Journal Stamps have been added at the Prayer Impressions Journal Stamps Shop at Arma Dei, specifically designed for your Missal at Mass! You can actually transform any little notebook into a special Mass Journal.
- The Homily Notes Stamp fits within the margin of most missals. We’re talking about the yearly Missal of Sunday Masses or the subscription-based (Magnificat) Daily Mass Missal (received monthly). They even have a kid version (MagnifiKid), and here’s the Living with Christ version.
- The Mass Menu stamp is inspired by our parish Confirmation program. In addition to classes, the kids intending to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation are expected to fill out the Scriptural references of the Mass readings along with a key note from the homily. It may not be their favorite thing to do, but it sure helps them pay closer attention at Mass! This stamp is a bit big for most missals, so we suggest keeping a Mass Journal, using these stamps.
5. Church Chat
We have found that when we prep the kids that we will be asking what they remember about the readings or homily after Mass, they are more likely to join in conversation. It works for adults too! We have a couple priests in our area who are particularly gifted giving homilies and we often talk about what we picked up and what spoke to us … on our drive home.
You might also like 5 Tips to Help Kids Focus at Mass.
Check out the Prayer Impressions Journal Stamps Shop with 38 Prayer Journal, Saints and Mass Missal Stamps!
If you are a mom of young kids and struggling to take them to Mass, you might like this: A Letter to Frankie about Mom’s Mass Survival Tips or the whole correspondence between Adam at Equipping Catholic Families and Frankie at Catholic All Year: The Catholic Toddler Letters of Frankie and Adam.
Copyright 2017 Monica McConkey
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