Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It is an outstandingly good idea to read and discuss the Gospel reading with your children during the week before the Mass at which it will be read. Actually it is an outstandingly good idea for anyone to read and discuss the Gospel reading during the week before Mass at which it will be read. It helps the Gospel come alive, gives it more meaning, helps you stay in tune. It is alive in you already, have been mulling it over, have come up with some concepts, and then get to compare it with what the homilist is saying. Try it for a week or two and see if you are not more tuned in.

But how does one discuss it with your children? How can you be sure that you have the correct readings (without stealing a missalette?) How do you simplify it for younger minds? Jonathan Stamph wondered the same thing. He wanted something that would help him make the Mass for accessible for his two daughters. So he wrote a book (and hopes to write three.) It is called, “Hear My Voice; A Children’s Adaptation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for Year C.” The book is useful in several respects. First it has the reading as it will be heard on Sunday, a good thing for an adult to read through themselves. Next to that is a simpler version of the reading more on a child’s level. Lastly there is a page sized picture with a caption from the Gospel fit to ask children what they see, perhaps having them explain what they just heard by referencing the picture. There is also a calendar in the front of the book that will help keep you on track.
Mr. Stamph sent this book to Adam’s Ale for a review. There is no imprimatur and I have not read every single children’s version of the Gospel reading, but those I have read seem to be well in keeping with the Gospel. They are not tiny tot versions however. Below you can see an image from the book to see if you like the graphics.

If interested you can order this book from


Pat said...

Lovely idea and a means to accomplish it. For us adults, we are often learning along with our children. When my son was 7 years old, we started reading a daily bible story from a children's bible story book that contained all the principal stories from Eden to Revelation (one year's worth), with questions after each one. The stories were so effectively written that we were able to read that book with him until he went away to college. We all learned so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. Will have to look into it.
At the parish we were at, I was involved in Children's Liturgy of the Word. I have some reservations about it, but this may be something to help those in that ministry too.
There was one website, Open Wednesday, that was designed to help children "break open" the word on their level.

We try to read the readings ahead of time. Or they will ask mom on the way to Mass what the readings are about. I am amazed by how much they know and remember. Also, how to apply the message for that day.