Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Book Review: We Go to Mass by George Brundage
I tend to be a tough critic when it comes to catechetical materials for kids; but I'm rather pleased with this simple board book. Each page shows a picture of the Mass with a simple accompanying text.
I'm not in love with the illustrations; but they aren't ugly as so much art in children's religious books is and they do highlight clearly the important parts of the Mass. I like the large crucifix behind the altar. I think its good that the images are drawn so as to appeal to the widest possible Catholic audience. For example, there are no female altar servers, and it isn't clear whether the girl is receiving communion by mouth or in her hand. The Mass is celebrated ad populum, so it is clearly a 'Novus Ordo' celebration, not the extraordinary form; but otherwise the book doesn't seem to take sides in what are frequently controversial matters.
I really like the text. It is simple and clear and echoes the language of the Mass: "We praise God in union with the Angels and the Saints." It doesn't water down Eucharistic theology: "We worship Jesus as the bread is changed into His Body," and "We receive Jesus in Communion, God's greatest Gift to us."
I think this will be a useful book for my girls to bring to Mass to help them follow along. It's not quite a missal; but the stage before a first missal for small children who aren't reading yet but who enjoy being read to.