Response Time – Setting up the Altar

While reading a Catholic homeschooler’s blog, I was fascinated by her miniature mass kit. I saved up my pennies to buy it, wrote a script to introduce it, and I was met with complete indifference on Sunday morning in our Godly Play class. In retrospect, I suspect I was a bit too excited about it.

I did photograph the kit at every stage of setting up a miniature altar. I had great plans to have a parishioner make a small wooden credence table, but in my excitement I first used a brown piece of construction paper cut to the right size.  The children have never noticed its lack of oomph and treat that little paper oh-so-carefully. I created control cards to show the children step by step how to set up the altar (and how it all fits back in the box!).

The next year, when one child had no plans or goals for our response time, I carelessly mentioned that the box over there might be worth looking into. I just said, “The photograph cards will show you what to do.”

The kit has become very popular with both boys and girls. There is a lavabo bowl and towel, and occasionally someone will carefully help all of us wash our hands just like our acolytes do. Some enterprising child filled the water cruet and wine cruets with tiny shreds of blue paper and purple paper.

I found the brass and glass materials here (originally I was able to buy pieces separately, omitting the incense pieces, etc.). I can no longer find the wooden box/altar and the frontal pieces in liturgical colors. If you find a better set online, or access to the unavailable pieces, please let me know! (Pinterest and Evernote may help me keep a better web trail in the future…)

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One Response to Response Time – Setting up the Altar

  1. Storyteller says:

    “The children have never noticed its lack of oomph and treat that little paper oh-so-carefully.” That’s beautiful, and so true! There’s a tension, I think, between the ideal of having beautiful materials and the reality that, as long as they are created and treated lovingly, even the simplest of home-made materials will do just fine.

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