From a readerette:
A few years ago, my brother-in-law related a story that his family had invited their (then) pastor to dinner one night. When the pastor arrived at the home, he saw my brother-in-law, then a child, playing priest, and pretending to celebrate the Mass. The pastor admonished him not to do this anymore because it is a sin.
Nowadays, some Catholic stores sell kits for children to play priest. They are complete with pretend chalice, paten, etc. I have never purchased one of these. However, my son speaks of wanting to be a priest someday. He uses a piece of furniture as his altar and scavenges household items to use at his altar. He pretends to celebrate the Mass all decked out in his Franciscan dress-up costume, draped with blankets and a scarf for his vestments. Yes, lately, he sometimes pretend to be Pope Francis!
He is 12. Is it a sin for him to do this? Should I discourage him from doing this?
Thank you for your blog and for all you do for us through your internet ministry.
Short answer: NO! It is not a sin. Don’t discourage this.
It is not a sin for children to “play Mass”. As a matter of fact, I think it’s great… for boys.
The only problem I can think of is if, as they got older, they would be less than respectful of what they were imitating.
I’ll bet some parents can jump in.
As a matter of fact, I received and posted a marvelous video of a tike playing Mass.
From another readerette:
I want to remain anonymous on your blog but I have a response to your above thread:
When my sons were small, one of them played priest using a piano bench as an altar, a nut dish as a chalice and a small silver tray as a paten, potato chips as hosts and coca cola as wine. Their brothers and sister “received” on the tongue. After experiencing certain liberal priests he changed his orientation towards the priesthood but regained it when meeting holy priests as an adult. He is now an [traditional group] priest and so are 2 of his brothers.