Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the topic of introducing children to the traditional Latin Mass and making it fruitful for them. The second part is available here. NB: This article, along with its companion piece, has been published in rewritten form as chapter 20 in my book Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass.
Parents today are sometimes worried that if they attend the traditional Latin Mass exclusively, their children will not know what to do with themselves during Mass and get so bored that they’ll hate going, or at least not come away from it with the spiritual goods they need. And yet, every child-saint we know of grew up in the ambiance of the traditional Latin Mass — there was no other for nearly the whole history of the Western Church. We wonder: How did the little Thérèses or Padre Pios of the world feel so drawn to the Mass? Was something different back then? Were children better catechized? Were parents more on the ball?
Lest we be too hard on ourselves, it’s only fair to recall a few advantages that people enjoyed in the past.