While the 2nd year children are beginning their Missals, the Children's House (Level 1) children are also spending time focusing on the Gestures of the Mass. We have all spoken of "gestures" as "movements of our bodies that mean something." One gesture the children have pondered together is the Sign of the Cross, when we make Jesus' sign on our bodies to remember how close He is to us. Many of the children in their second or third year in the Atrium have also already spent time at the Gestures Altar this year, recalling some of the Gestures of the Mass that have been brought to their attention in previous years. The first gesture we ponder is The Preparation of the Chalice, when Father pours much wine and a few drops of water into the chalice at Mass. We wonder together about what Father could be praying with this gesture. When speaking about all of that wine and that tiny drop of water one three year old, last year, said the drop of water was like his little brother. A five year old, this year, said it was like God who is so strong and we who are so weak. A first grader, having pondered this gesture for several years now, said it is that God is so filled with love and we have so little but when we are together we just use His love.
A four year old prepares the cruets and the Gestures Altar.
An older child looks on as all of the wine is poured into the chalice.
Just a drop of water is added to the wine in the chalice.
A five year old copies the booklet for The Preparation of the Chalice.
A five year old girl's illustration of The Preparation of the Chalice booklet. When asked, she pointed to the cruets at the top left and the "Light" of the Holy Spirit, waiting to come, to the top right. She drew herself and Jesus in the heart because in the chalice they are together and will never be apart.
The Preparation of the Chalice booklet reads, "The water added to the wine is a sign of our union with Jesus." This booklet is not shown to the children until they have repeated and pondered the gesture for a year or more. In elementary, the actual words of Father's prayer at this moment will replace this summary.
Lead Catechist for The Way of the Shepherd and CGS Formation Leader