QUAERITUR: obligation to go to Christmas Mass twice so as to bring the squeakers

From a reader:

My wife and I this year were going to attend Midnight Mass this year. My father was going to stay at our house to watch our 2 and 1 year olds since they will be sleeping. Are we obliged to then go to Mass Christmas morning with the children so that they attend? My thought was that when the kids get to be 4 or 5 years old (and will a> understand the Mass and b> not throw a fit every time the organ wakes them up) that at that point we would bring the older children with but leave the wee ones at home to sleep. We bring the children on all Sundays and feasts unless they are sick. Someone on my blog commented “Did not Christ specifically request ‘the little children’?” which I agree, but… did he really want those sleep deprived children screaming during Silent Night?

Kids that young do not have an obligation to fulfill.  You are not obliged to take them so they can fulfill an obligation they don’t have.

For the rest… this is a parenting question, and parents with children can chime in with their views.

You have to decide how to expose your children to the celebration of the sacred mysteries.

That said, I do not mind it at all when people leave their infants and very small children at home (in the care of an excellent sitter) rather than bring them to Midnight Mass.

“Squeakers”, by the way is a term used for the ship-board children in the Aubrey/Maturin books.  Which it’s a term of endearment, ain’t it?

Meanwhile,

[CUE MUSIC]

coffeeWhen you’ve had a hard day getting ready for the Christmas festivities – knowing that you are going to go to Midnight Mass – and you are just plain beat why not have a piping hot WDTPRS mug filled to the brim with Mystic Monk Coffee?

It is, after all, sooooo embarrassing to wake up suddenly with a loud snort, everyone in the surrounding pews glaring at you as you wipe the drool from your chin.

Think about it… without drinking some Mystic Monk Coffee… those glares might mean that you’ve even been snoring for the last,… well… who can tell how long?   And, come to think of it, Father seems to be staring at you from the pulpit as his Christmas sermon careens from the manger and Bethlehem into an exegesis of Mark 14:37.

First time buyer?  Worried your only hope won’t arrive in time for Christmas Eve?  Don’t worry!

Just buying some Mystic Monk Coffee – right now – will give you so much satisfaction that you’ll you just beam with attentive and perky pleasure all through Midnight Mass.

Act now and you won’t embarrass yourself, your family, your whole parish.

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell!

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32 Responses to QUAERITUR: obligation to go to Christmas Mass twice so as to bring the squeakers

  1. Ben Yanke says:

    We (my parents, that is) always bring our little kids to midnight Mass and Easter Vigil, but one catch is that before midnight Mass, we have a huge party, so they usually sleep throgh Mass. Us crazy Yanke kids also get used to it.

  2. cdruiz says:

    We have always gone to Midnight Mass as a family and plan to do so again this year. Here is what we do, we make it a hard fast rule that they must sleep beforehand. They also sleep in the car. I go in and save seats while my wife stays in the car with the sleepers.

    At Mass the younger ones continue sleeping. The older ones wake up to the carols and the candles and they love it.

    Every family is different, but I say you won’t know if your kids can handle it unless you try. The worst that can happen is that you have to leave and come back in the morning.

    Ages last year ranged from 1 to 8. No problems at all.

  3. lacrossecath says:

    cdruiz that is okay as long as you don’t live up North were overnight temps will likely be in the zeros to -10s. :)

  4. flyfree432 says:

    We have 3 children, new born, 2, and 4 so we do not bring them to the midnight Mass. They will not sleep because of what is going on around them, and they will be so tired they will be noisy and fidgety and cause problems. We have tried before. Even in makes normal morning Masses difficult. We want to both instill in them the love of the Mass and at the same time, make sure we can pay attention and participate in the Mass. It is a fine balance. I agree that it is different for every family.

  5. So the kids aren’t going to Christmas Mass in the morning with Grandma and Grandpa? :)

    I’m pretty sure my parents took us to Mass most Sundays from as early as I could remember, and certainly Christmas and Easter. But I can only remember back to my third birthday.

  6. Rachel Pineda says:

    Parents don’t have an obligation to go to Mass together either. [Right!] It’s ideal, hehheh sometimes, but not an obligation. It’s a real blessing to have different Mass times. I know in some parts it’s a blessing to have Mass said even once a week on Sunday but if you live in a place where you are blessed to have a few different Mass times perhaps it would be a good idea to go to different Masses while mom stays with the kiddos at home through one Mass & dad stays at home with them through the next.
    I know it would be ideal to be able to go to Mass with all of the children in tow at anytime but being a mother of seven children I know this rarely happens until they get older. All children 4+ years and older though really should be able to sit through a pretty good part of the Mass without much squiggling & skueaking. There always seems to be something though, one of the kids is sick, a fussy baby or babies and the list goes on which makes it a luxury to be able to hear Mass as a whole family at the same time.

    I would say to try to stay home with the children while husband or wife goes to Mass then switch. It could be a very much needed time ALONE with God that all moms & dads need.

  7. Henry Belton says:

    Midnight’s fine but get the kids there, too. I understand the logistics of the issue – tired, cranky kids; but wouldn’t seem completely weird to not be a complete and whole family at Christmas mass?

    There are plenty of parents who leave young kids at home each week. The kids don’t have the obligation. But parents do – to get the kids accustomed to going to mass, weekly and on Holy days. They should go; the noise of little kids and babies during mass is good news (the future).

  8. youngcatholicstl says:

    Let me begin by stating that I am the proud parent of a 2.5 month old child. That said, I don’t agree with the questioner’s decision at all, and while I think Fr. Z’s answer is generally correct, I think he missed the mark on this one.
    The questioner here clearly has no trouble taking his children to church (he says he does it every Sunday), and clearly has the ability to go to a different Mass (he suggests going to a second Mass to bring his children with). My question is, why doesn’t the questioner skip the Midnight Mass and go to Church as a family on Christmas day? I know Midnight Mass is beautiful, and I would sure like to go again this year, but with a little one, I know I have to find a different Mass time. The Christmas-holy day obligation does not require Midnight Mass. While the questioner’s concern for his children’s spiritual well-being is honorable, the questioner could easily solve his own dilemna and skip the Midnight Mass in favor of a morning Mass.
    This would be a different story if the children were generally fussy/misbehaved at church, or because of Christmas day travelling, etc., the questioner thought it would be difficult to make it to mass at a different time. But the questioner here is using the same excuse as those people who want a vigil mass, a Sunday evening mass, and 10 other mass times so they can fit God around their lives, rather than their life around God.
    I’m sorry Fr. Z, but children should be at Mass as often as possible, [Not when they are very small and it is after midnight.] and parents should do all in their power to ensure that happens.

  9. Obviously it’s good for parents to bring their pre-age-of-reason kids to Mass as often as possible; but just as obviously, cases differ from family to family and from week to week. Having the option to have parents go to Mass separately and the kids stay home, or to have the kids in a parish nursery or religion class, or to have other relatives watch the kids while the parents go — these are all good things, and parents have a right to use them as their own prudence directs them.

    When my brothers and I were very young, it was abundantly clear to us that going to Mass and staying in the pew the whole time was one of the rewards of acting like a big boy or a big girl. Having to stand in the vestibule for any reason but a lack of vacancies in the pews was a grave disgrace. Having both our parents there and our relatives too was a happy occasion of high formality, especially since my dad was a United Methodist and sometimes chose to sit out in the car (and sleep, poor tired Dad having gone to his church at the crack of dawn) instead of coming in with us. I seem to remember that Masses on Christmas and Easter were unusually full of very young kids, because the parish nursery was never open on those days.

    Once your kids start to learn to read, of course they can start to follow along and sing along in the book with you. But a kid starting to read is a good chunk of the way towards the age of reason, even if he’s pre-kindergarten. It’s a different situation.

  10. Katherine says:

    Our family has made it a policy to always go to mass as a family unless someone is sick. So we did not go to vigil masses until we thought we all could go as a family. Babies and toddlers usually fall asleep. It’s the 4 – 7 age group that gets kind of tricky. Better off going to mass in the morning.
    It also depended what we were doing the next day. If we were going to be with extended family (celebrating Easter or Christmas) or having guests over, we did not want any meltdowns due to tiredness (ours or the children’s). I figure “the raising young kids time of life” is not “the vigil attending time of life.” There’ll be plenty of time in the future, God willing, for us to attend vigils post squeakers.

  11. introibo says:

    We’ve gone to Midnight Mass since our oldest was 15 months.(I have 9 kids, ages 20 to 3). We pack up the real little ones in their footie pajamas with boots and nobody knows the difference – they mostly sleep through it. Our parish no longer has midnight Mass (we now go to another parish) but when it did, it was kind of sparsely populated, so the kids could sprawl out and sleep in the pews.
    All we ask is that the kids who have received their First Holy Communions stay awake for the bulk of the Mass (maybe a snooze during the homily is OK).

    Christina

  12. kat says:

    My husband and I sing midnight Mass. A few years ago we also began singing the 9:30 a.m. Mass as well. My oldest is 13 and youngest is 3. We always had my sister, who won’t go to Mass, stay with my little children when we lived farther from church, while we went. Now that we go to both and live closer, we will take all of them if there is no one to stay home. I could leave one of the two older ones home as all are asleep for the hours we are gone, but they enjoy midnight Mass. 4 have received 1st Communion and must go. The 5 year old should go, and will go to one or the other. In the morning my mom stays overnight with us and stays with the children while we sing the morning Mass. If the little ones did not go at midnight, we would take them in the morning so they could see the creche and baby Jesus.

    But definitely when they were small, we did not take them to midnight Mass, except for nursing babies. They do, however, go to all Sunday and Holy Day Masses, and many others as well when I go to daily Mass.

    Incidentally, in the a.m. when the children get up we all gather around the creche and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and thank Him for whatever gifts He has sent us.

  13. priests wife says:

    There’s never an easy time to start having children participate in Mass- so one might as well begin at the beginning- and yes, many times, that means that a mom might be pacing in the narthex. My big girls are 11 and 10 and can be left alone while I am wrangling the 3 and 1 year olds. This is only because they have always gone to Mass and are comfortable with it- and that they help the cantor.

    I agree with those commenters that stated that families should go to Mass together (because babies are hard, toddlers are harder and three and four year olds are worst of all- and for those that are blessed with many children- there may never be a time when the entire family is together if mom and dad are tag-teaming)- and for those that can have both mom and dad in the pews- be grateful!

  14. mike cliffson says:

    11 kids.
    Our experience:
    Very nearly the sooner they get used to behaving in church , the better.
    This includes taking them out, not necessarily angrily nor as a punishment,- other worshippers neednt look if they wriggle, but shouldn’t hear them, at least not much,, patience, allowing for all sorts of things, sitting as near the front as possible, some priests got ideal combinations of friendliness and basilisk looks, some don’t….
    Crying rooms are a mixed blessing.
    I feel if it aint full of kids, it aint Catholic, ( Idon’t mean which some places have, that the twenty kids there in the congregation are as in evidence as the 200+ that the congregation has avoided having, and that such is justified by the above axiom)
    Midnight mass: we usedn’t to take the eldest 3 or 4, but after that we did, because elder bros and sisters did….. forced long naps and early bedtime, midnight masa ASA PRIVELIDGE then muchies & presis etc after mass. this has the added addvantage that Mummy and Daddy are not woken at abt 4 having gone to bed at two by exited stocking and presi openers. Whole family hits sack 4ish. Out of synch with the rest of the world? yes. So what.We are anyway.Grandparents /relatives scandalized.? tough.Grandparents in health? work around somehow.

  15. benedetta says:

    I know that for my parents growing up they began attending midnight Mass in high school and it was something very special and important to become mature enough to go with the adults. Each of my parents went in turns on Sunday mornings when my siblings and I were little and sometimes one or more would attend with one parent as we got older. I do remember that. But as we were each old enough to attend, it was not as if we had been ill-prepared for not having been attending during our toddlerhood. There is quite a bit which can go on, explicit teaching, and, implicit — having to do with general decorum and etiquette — during that brief period when toddlers or little ones stay at home that can go a long way towards properly preparing and laying an excellent framework so that when they do attend it is a bit of a reward and an aspect of maturing into something hoped after. And I agree that since parenting infants and toddlers can be so demanding physically and mentally that a respite of one parent attending at a time can be an excellent support for a family. I wouldn’t recommend it as a hard and fast rule however since I love seeing families complete with littlest attending Mass together especially at Christmas but parents shouldn’t feel compelled either way, to take them together every time or to have them stay home every time, but should work out something with some continuity and thought towards what they would like to see develop in the faith of their children as they grow and by all means take into account what each child is able to understand and grasp at each stage along the way. A toddler who stays at home can still be taught to say prayers, to understand that a parent is going to church, and why in simple terms. At family meals and other contexts, little children can work on listening to increasingly complex words and sentences, music, taking turns when talking and giving others the floor, simple prayers so that when they are ready they will rise to the occasion.

  16. Lucas says:

    Our son is a little over 2 and we are trying to go to Midnight Mass again this year. Last year it was a horrible debacle and we ended up listening to Mass on Sirius radio. Not ideal, but it worked for us.

    I’m just not sure if we should let him sleep before Mass or try and “push” him and let him fall asleep when we get there.

  17. Hooksdoc says:

    I think that in our country (Scotland) there is no problem; Christmas Day being a Saturday (traditionally dedicated to shopping) it is not a Holiday of Obligation.

  18. Nathan says:

    Our children have usually been to tired to make it through Midnight Mass. We’ve made going to the Mass During the Day our family tradition, which I love because the Gospel is the prologue to St John’s Gospel–what a great time to meditate on the Incarnation. It also has worked for us because the children have been taught to wait until after Holy Mass and breakfast to think about opening presents, other than their stockings. IMO, it focuses the day well for the children and makes the process of presents and the rest of the day a lot more calm and enjoyable.

    In Christ,

  19. TMA says:

    In many ways, the Nativity of our Lord is a story of inconveniences. Our Lady traveling by donkey in her 9th month, St. Joseph trying to secure lodging and having to settle for the stable; the shepherds having to shake off their sleep and the long journey of the wise men – all were required to set aside their comfort to serve the Holy Infant. Why then, should I not be willing to be inconvenienced to celebrate this blessed event?

    I grew up in a Polish Catholic farming community. We felt a special kinship with the shepherds. My mother always put us to bed after supper on Christmas Eve because she said that the shepherds were asleep by their fires when the angels woke them up, and they left their comfort to visit the Holy Infant. It was very hard to have to wake up and go out in the cold and travel to town for Midnight mass, but once we got there, it was wonderful! We have passed on this tradition to our children, even when we lived in -50 degree Alaska.

    I respect those parents who don’t feel this would work for them. I feel very blessed that it is a part of my heritage.

  20. liebemama says:

    When my littles were still little, I would stand at the back with them, my husband up front with the older ones and take part in the very festive beginnings of the Midnight Mass. The glorious organ music, the gold vestments, the many many altar servers, the incense… We would stay until after the Gloria!!!! Beautiful! Heavenly!
    Then, slowly we would leave the Church and I would pray the children would soak in a bit of this Heaven come to us.
    It might be different here in Germany, but we attend Mass 3 days in a row at Christmas time. Christmas Eve, Day and St. Stephen’s.

  21. jaykay says:

    Back in the day (early 60s) here in Ireland I wasn’t brought to ordinary Sunday Mass until I was about 3, and even then it was to an early Mass at 9am, certainly not to the High Mass at 12. You had to behave… and there were many adults around – apart from the parents – who had no hesitation is seeing that you did :) Midnight Mass was out of the question until I was about 9 or 10. It was the same with all the kids then, certainly around our town. The only small kids of 9/10 who went there were serving on the altar or, as I was, in the choir. Then again, bedtime in those days was rigidly observed around 9-9.30 ish anyway. You never saw kids around later than that. Just wasn’t done.

    Fast forward, my family adopted the same principle and did not take small kids on Sundays but went separately. Fair enough in a town where there are plenty of Masses. However on holidays in areas with only one Mass whoever stayed at home listened to the broadcast Mass on the radio. I do understand that may not be an option in many countries, but it still is in Ireland – at least for the present! Yes, we’re lucky! On Christmas Eve “midnight Mass” (usually around 10pm) is broadcast on radio and television. Even if it weren’t we didn’t bring very small children, out of consideration for them and for others.

  22. We are debating this issue this week. We have always gone to Christmas Day Mass, but my husband suggested we take everyone to Midnight Mass this year. We have 6 kids: 12, 10,8,6,4,20mo and I don’t think I can stay up that late, much less handle small fussy children all the way through 90 minutes of a very crowded Mass. He doesn’t like the chaos the next day with them clamoring to open gifts while trying to get ready for Mass and a family party directly afterwards (which he would skip if possible). Oh, I can’t seem to make a decision. If they are awful it would spoil the whole day.

  23. dcs says:

    We have 3 kids, 11, 9, and 2, and tried Midnight Mass two years ago. It was very crowded and we wound up spending most of Mass in the cry room where there were a number of children in their pajamas and one or two with sleeping bags! We got through Mass just fine, even though the youngest did not sleep, but when we got home the middle one had a meltdown because he thought that Christmas presents would magically appear at midnight, so they should have been under the tree when we got home at 2:00 am. It took us about 1/2 hour to get him calmed down (he wasn’t angry, just upset) and in bed, and didn’t get to bed ourselves until about 4:00 am. Then the older two kids got up at 6:30! So we won’t be doing Midnight Mass again for a while. We go to High Mass on Christmas Day as a family just as we do on Sunday (our babysitting situation is rather dire and we drive 40 minutes to get to Mass).

  24. Philangelus says:

    I consider it part of the sacrifices of parenting that I don’t always get to go to the Mass I want to go to. So for now, while the kids are small, no Midnight Mass for us. That’s something good we were able to have in the past, and (God-willing) we will be able to have it again in the future. But not right now. Right now, we go to Mass at 8:30AM on Christmas day.

    I don’t see why it’s necessary for the parents to attend the Midnight Mass if there are other options that would allow the whole family to participate at Mass together. Yes, it’s nice and wonderful. But the same Jesus is present at the Christmas morning Mass and sometimes parents give up enjoyable things for the benefit of their kids.

  25. We have 8 kids; the oldest is 20 (and in the college seminary); the youngest is 6. We are extremely active in our parish with my wife and several of the kids involved in music, and my three oldest sons as altar servers. What this translates into is this: several children participating in the 4:30 “family Mass” (with children’s choir); my wife (music) and two sons (servers) at the 10:00 “midnight” Mass. Our family tradition is to attend at 7:30 Christmas morning as a family. This works well for us.

    I seem to recall when our oldest was a baby, a not particularly successful attempt to attend the midnight liturgy; I suspect that Midnight Mass is something we’ll enjoy again — a few years in the future.

    Regarding children fussing in church: Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen was preaching, and a young child started crying. As his mother was hustling him from the church, Abp. Sheen remarked “That’s okay ma’am, the child is not disturbing me” to which the mother replied “No, but you’re disturbing the child!”

  26. Supertradmum says:

    We always went to Mass as a family unless it was very cold for the infants. Living in the MidWest, one can see minus temperatures at Midnight Mass time. If that were the case, the little babies stayed at home. Otherwise, the entire family went to Mass.

    It is important to take them all as early as possible. We learn about 75% of what we shall learn before the age of five! Experiencing the holiest moment, the Consecration of the Eucharist, cannot compare with the need for a nap later on.

    Because family members were in choirs, we frequently went to two Masses. Then, naps were taken between Masses.

  27. TMKent says:

    Our youngest was born on Wednesday of Holy Week. His father stayed home with him while I went to Easter mass – then I stayed while he went. That was the only mass he didn’t attend with us as a family (except for a handful of sick days). He’s now a freshman in college. The “house rules “are that ANYONE staying at our house attends mass – friends non-catholic relatives – it doesn’t matter.
    Even very young children will get the message very early. Children thrive on routine and learn to make mass a habit. They also grow up with the manners and behavior necessary for mass and don’t have to be scolded often or forced to be quiet when they are older. We also never allowed our children to attend Storytime or “children’s liturgy of the word” By the time they were old enough to attend they had already established good habits and leaving and re-entering the mass only caused further disruption and a return to bad behavior. We’d pick up the children’s activity pages and try to talk to them about the reading later. Its like anything else in life you give yourself an “out” and you’ll take it as often as you can. Mass every Sunday –no options!

  28. benedetta says:

    But I don’t think we want to pressure young parents to feel that they must take infants and toddlers to Mass in order for the children to be able to properly attend when they are able to (say at age 4 or 5). An infant or toddler doesn’t really comprehend what is going on and won’t remember it at any rate. It is certainly nice to go to Adoration with a nursing infant but on the whole I don’t know that they receive anything more than a blessing just for being at Mass or Adoration as an infant or toddler…Fr. Z could correct me on that. The manners and behavior aspect starts in the home, the domestic church, which according to encyclicals and the catechism works in tandem with the Church to bring up faithful children. The social habits begun in the home carry over to all aspects of life not the least of which is participating at Mass. Nursing, observing a few little gestures at meal time even with a toddler who makes a mess at mealtimes introduces the social arts of eye contact, listening, taking one’s turn to speak, a little song. Games and playtime also do this as do story time or a little music. Special clothes for church, learning to speak in a whisper or a quiet voice, or silence, it is possible in small doses to introduce the concept. As well as prayer. Some infants are colicky and scream. Some toddlers are rambunctious and must climb and run. So a parent spending time in a vestibule is not always actively participating in the Mass either and there is a lot of distraction for the parent which keeps them from being disposed. But the colicky and the rambunctious can and do mature in short order and might always have something of an interesting and lively temperament but nonetheless come to experience awe in the presence of our Lord, and reverence for the sacred, listen to the readings, Gospel and homily, and understand. To those parents considering attending Mass separately, I would say don’t worry that they will not learn how to behave at Mass, they will because you will teach them and they will understand. And attending separately for a period of time might strengthen your family life in ways you might not anticipate.

  29. tobiasmurphy says:

    When I take my kids (1 and 2 yrs.) to any Mass (we take them every week), we sit in the nave near the front. It works for a while and it gives the kids something to observe and gives us the opportunity to teach them (my son now gets holy water, genuflects, and makes the Sign of the Cross when we enter the church or pew, points to the crucifix and says, “Jesus!” [sometimes, "night night, Jesus," since he appears to be sleeping with his head hung and eyes closed]. He also points to the statue of Mary and says, “Mama,” or “Jesus’ Mama” and points to the statue of Joseph saying, “Josos,” which is his best current pronunciation. He points to the priest and says, “preess”). Sitting near the front and teaching them, while paying attention, is an excellent opportunity. Teaching them to stay still is also helpful. Teaching them to be quiet is more difficult. On the one hand, you don’t want them to think that anytime they get bored, they should just be disruptive and get taken to the narthex. On the other hand, you don’t want them to disrupt everyone else. We give our kids a couple warnings and tolerate whispers or quiet voices, depending on the relative volume of the Mass at that point, but if they shout, we remove them. Some people don’t take their kids to Mass at all, and while that might make for a better Mass experience, my job as a father is to prepare my kids spiritually. If I drop them in the nursery, when will they learn about Mass? When will they learn how to behave?

    What’s really annoying is when other parishioners incite my children by waving to them, smiling at them, making funny faces at them…and then when the kids misbehave as badly as those adults in return, I get unfriendly stares from others and have to trudge out to the narthex. Adults: stop trying to entertain my kids at Mass. Tell your children to stop trying to entertain my kids. I’m a teacher and I’ve given the teacher look to a lot of young parishioners who try to distract my kids. Next time, I mght have less self-control.

  30. biberin says:

    I guess I’m fortunate as a convert that my kids were used to one protestant service option, and it had a 45 minute sermon! So Mass is nuthin’. At that time I had a 5yo and a 1yo. 5yo was squirmy but quiet, and 1yo was happy to nurse through the homily and Eucharistic prayer until she was 2.5yo. We were able to go every week as a family, with the occasional hasty exit.

    Now at 6yo and 10yo, the older sings in the choir and the younger sits with me. Midnight Mass and Easter Vigil are options for them only if they request it. My younger has been to two Vigils, at ages 5 and 6yo, and has done well. Sleeps off and on and otherwise participates well.

    Every family has to figure it out for themselves. Personally, I think if grandpa is watching sleeping kids, yeah–go to Midnight Mass! It’s such a treat! and then decide whether you want to go as a family in the morning.

  31. lacrossecath says:

    To pro-squeakers: So even though the young children would (theoretically) sleep through Mass and not remember any of it, this would still be an important part of forming them through their childhood years? This is more beneficial than sleeping at home with grandpa watching the guard? Weekly we struggle at Mass with our 1 and 2 year olds. Rarely do we get anything at all out of Mass. I do try to pre-read the readings and prayers, and thanks to Fr. Z can get a good understanding of the Mass prior to going. But when we are there we come out exhausted. Most of the time I question whether or not I should even go up to communion. We were looking forward to the peace and joy of Midnight Mass and getting some much needed spiritual enrichment but if I am understanding correctly, it is better to forgo spiritual enrichment and bring the somewhat sleeping children or attend morning Mass where they behave as they normally do.

  32. cdruiz says:

    I am in the northeast. The key is to keep the car running. I just share what works for us. The young ones sleep through most of it but see the beginning. Again, I don’t say you have to do as I do, only that if you want to it may just work for your family as well. If you font want to, don’t. It doesn’t bother me one bit. Peace, C