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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
Altar III
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by Carol  Boucher, June 2007

Subject:  Nomenclature:  The Mass


Title:       Altar III – The remaining articles of the Mass


Age:         5+ (3rd year)


Sources:   RPC, p. 90-92; GS&C, p. 68-69; LGC, p. 59-61; MCM, p. 50-62; The Child in the Church by Maria Montessori, p. 157-177.


Liturgical Time:  any, early 3rd  year


Doctrinal Points:

  • All as for Altar I and II


Direct Aims:

  • All as for Altar I and II
  • To name, identify and make accessible the remaining articles of the Mass: the corporal, the purificator, the hand towel, the cruets, the sacramentary and the sacramentary stand, (the pall, the veil - if used in your church)


Indirect Aims:

  • All as for Altar I and II
  • To foster a sense of the beauty and order of worship
  • To aid prayer through control of movement


Description of Materials:   materials are models, smaller than child-sized – all should be beautiful and proportionate to each other and articles from previous presentations.

  • All as for Altar I and II
  • The corporal (pressed and folded into three lengthwise and into three crosswise with small embroidered cross in center bottom of cloth)  (cross is usually white or red) 
  • Purificator (folded into three lengthwise and in half crosswise with small cross embroidered in center bottom section)
  • Hand towel – white terry towel
  • Cruets – 2 glass cruets proportionate in size to other items  (optional – a lovely

       tray on which the cruets fit)

  • Sacramentary and sacramentary stand
  • Altar control chart – remaining articles                              
  • Candles, matches, snuffer and tray for spent matches
  • Altar tracing packet – cards and tracing paper cut to size (8”x8”) in a white folder with pockets
  • Labels for tag stock cards containing name of each of these items:  corporal, purificator, hand towel, cruets, sacramentary and sacramentary stand
  • Colored pencils for tracing packet
  • Colored paper
  • Hole punch (or paper already punched)
  • Ribbon/yarn to construct booklet
  • Polishing tray containing polish, small dish for polish, Q-tip swab, polishing pad or cloth, timer, plastic mat to polish on for use on table or in tray





        Invite the children to gather at the altar

        Indicate that together you will look at some models of some additional things we see in church:  the real articles are even more beautiful

        Invite the children to prepare the altar as they have learned to do in Altar I (2nd period lesson if necessary).   Recall that it is Jesus who invites us to this holy meal.   He wants to be with us.   Jesus is present in the tabernacle (in church) in the bread (body) and he is present in the Word, put the Bible on the lectern.   Tell them there is more to see so we will move some of the things (from Altar I) to make more space.   Light the candles after everything is on the altar.

    Naming and Identifying – with time stop, look and admire

        Place the corporal in the center of the altar. Explain that it is used to catch crumbs and drips that fall because they are so precious.

        Place the purificator next to the chalice.  Explain that it is used to wipe the chalice each time after someone drinks from the chalice (the priest and other people can drink from the chalice at Communion). 

        Place the cruets to the left of the chalice in the upper part of the altar.  Explain that they are used at every Mass.

        Place the sacramentary and its stand on the altar.   Explain that the priest prays many, many prayers during Mass.   We can find them in the sacramentary.   The sacramentary has its own stand.

        Explain that at a certain time during the Mass, the priest washes his hands using a hand towel to dry them.

        Light the candles saying: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Alleluia!

        Children’s Responses: possibly silence, Sing Alleluia, other songs


Restoration of the Material:

  • Snuff the altar candles
  • Invite children to return the articles to their proper places in the sacristy one by one, naming each one in turn for them


Children’s Work with the Materials:

  • Setting up the altar
  • Altar tracing packet
  • Using the labels to identify articles
  • Polishing/dusting altar and altar materials
  • Original art work
  • Tour of the church


Children’s Responses (notable things the children say or do):




CGS Level 1 Catechist Training