Individual families can use this resource for free. Just visit http://worship.pastoral.center.
These are extraordinary times. Many of us are unable to attend public Mass for an extended period. This is... not ideal.
It is a HUGE opportunity to help families own their faith.
Worship@Home is a free online resource to help families with children pray together at home while we are unable to gather for Sunday Mass, right from their iPad or phone. It is based on and inspired by Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest: Leader's Guide (promulgated by the U.S. Bishops) and the Directory for Masses with Children (from the Congregation for Divine Worship).
It gently coaches parents and their families through the age-appropriate prayer experience, and even makes it a little fun.
Wait... Back Up, Did You Just Say This Is a Huge Opportunity?
It sure is! Think about it for a minute.
We're always talking about how parents are the first teachers of their children in faith, and then we lament that they don't act like it. Many have essentially delegated their job to catechists (and we let them do this). The result, is that the faith is not "sticking," and younger generations are leaving the church. Study after study tells us that what makes the difference is the role parents play.
So here's the opportunity:
- Many families are cooped up in their homes, without much to do. They are bored. In some, kids are bouncing off the walls.
- Most cannot attend public Mass or any other church services or events.
- Families are anxious, confused, and worried. Most of us have an even greater need for prayer at this time.
- It's Lent, for heaven's sake!
- Many parents are not comfortable leading their families in prayer. They have not been equipped or coached well to do so.
- The best way to learn how to do something is to DO it (with a little coaching support).
What if the Holy Spirit could somehow use this mess we're in to teach families how to pray together and build up the domestic church?
But Shouldn't Families Watch Mass Online or On Television?
Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting canon law, states:
If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2183
We are certainly within "grave cause" territory, and the social distancing demands to keep our communities safe keep us from gathering in a church, other sacred space (with the exception a home), or as groups of families. "Participation in the celebration of the Eucharist" clearly refers to in-person presence (when that is possible). In-person worship is the priority, whether it is Mass or not.
There is nothing wrong with people watching Mass remotely, and it is wonderful that the gift of technology makes this available. Some who are homebound watch Mass in this way regularly. At this time (if your parish has the technical capabilities to live stream), this is a way for a parish to remain connected and in solidarity and to hear a common message. It's a particularly good option for an individual living alone.
(Note: If your parish is choosing to livestream or tape-delay Mass, you should take a close look at the detailed guidelines set forth by the U.S. Bishops .)
And yet, it is not an ideal option for everyone, especially families. Here's why: ...
This reproducible eResource is sold with a one-year license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to distribute by email, website, or social media sites or websites. You are also allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.
The Pastoral Center
Paul Canavese serves as director of The Pastoral Center (PastoralCenter.com), author, frequent conference speaker, and pastoral consultant. He has his MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He directs GrowingUpCatholic.com (focused on coaching parents) and GospelLiving.org ("intentional daily life Catholicism"). He has served in a wide range of parish ministries, most recently as a pastoral consultant at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont, CA. Paul also has 20 years of experience in software development and management with technology startups and social media. Along with his wife Ann, two daughters, and seven chickens, he lives in Alameda, CA, where they operate a mini-urban farm and looks for creative ways to build community in their neighborhood.
Ann Naffziger has her MDiv from the Jesuit School of Theology and MA in Biblical Languages from the Graduate Theological Union, both in Berkeley. Ann has worked in a variety of parish roles, as well as serving as a hospital chaplain, spiritual director, scripture instructor, and lecturer at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. She has written articles in the field of spirituality and scripture for America, BustedHalo.com, Commonweal, The National Catholic Reporter, Spiritual Life: A Journal of Contemplative Spirituality, and other publications. She is also a Master Gardener and girls' softball coach.
10 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
The Liturgy is well done and easy to follow. My only comment is that the order process could be less complicated.
This is a great resource which I have sent to all my families to help them celebrate the liturgy at home. Love the addition of videos and songs to make it more engaging and interesting for the children.
Very well done and easy for families to do! I love the music videos, as well as the videos that breakdown the Gospel readings. There informative but fun and keep your attention. It's a fabulous resource for families to use At-Home that's user-friendly and non-intimidating to adults. Love it!
I would prefer you keep the Sunday Readings and not change them
Families love this as they worship from home. I send things every week!
You products are excellent! I can't believe I never knew about these before now. I am just so impressed.
Super easy to use instructions and encouragement for parents; this hits learners in every area- audio, visual, and movement. Great tool for diving deeper into the Word.
Our family has enjoyed using the Worship @ Home resources so much! Having our parish suspend masses has been hard, and our family finds it difficult to fully engage with watching mass on the TV. This liturgy offers so many ways for each of us to be active participants in the liturgy. It starts with preparing a family altar: each of our kids picks something special to include and its sets the stage for them to be fully engaged. They love the music and movements as well as the videos breaking down the readings. As parents, the discussion reflecting on the readings has been particularly meaningful as we guide our children through these challenging times. We are so appreciative of this resource and the thoughtfulness that has gone into preparing it. It has been our Sunday anchor since our parish has closed, and the best resource we have found to use so far in lieu of in-person mass. Thank you!
The family prayer experience based on the Liturgy of the Word is family friendly and easily adaptable to suit the needs of a variety of family situations.