TLM at a primary school for children aged 8-11

With a tip of the biretta   o{]:¬)   to His Hermeueticalness, I present this:

The LMS Birmingham and Black Country reports on a Mass celebrated according to the usus antiquior for St John Fisher Primary School at West Heath, Birmingham last Thursday. The parish priest, Fr George Grynowski said a Votive Low Mass for the Blessed Sacrament for the school children aged 8-11. Fr Grynowski described how the Mass came about:

The Mass started out as a casual comment from myself to Melanie Bullivant. I said something like “wouldn’t it be great if the school had the opportunity of experiencing the Extraordinary Form so that they can appreciate something about the richness of the Church’s traditional liturgy, which is after all part of their heritage”. This would have been as recently as about December last year. I didn’t expect much to come from it, certainly not in the immediate future. Melanie mentioned it to the headteacher, and to my great joy I was told that she was quite happy for one of the regular scheduled school Masses to be in the Extraordinary Form. We decided on today, 3 March, to give time to prepare for it.In his parish newsletter the previous Sunday, Father wrote:

School Mass: will be in Church on Thursday, and will be different from usual. As part of their education in their Catholic heritage the children will be experiencing the traditional form Latin Mass. They will be taking an active part with hymns and a scripture reading and presenting an explanatory commentary on what is happening. It is important that all Catholics (and especially children) are aware of their heritage and the diversity which exists in the Church. All are welcome. Later in the year they will be visiting places associated with other Christian groups and other religions. These experiences help to promote understanding and prevent prejudice and bigotry, which can exist even among people who think of themselves as liberal or progressive in their thought. (St John Fisher Parish Newsletter 27 February 2011)That is a good point to make. Children are accustomed nowadays to visiting all sorts of places of worship and experiencing many different things. It is not really a “progressive” attitude to deny them access to their own heritage simply because they may not be used to it.

Did you get that last bit?  I’ll repeat it:

It is not really a “progressive” attitude to deny them access to their own heritage simply because they may not be used to it

The older form of Mass is yours.  It is part of your heritage and inheritance as a Catholic.  Don’t let anyone deny you your heritage.

WDTPRS KUDOS to priests who make sure people know this extraordinary Extraordinary Form.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Oh, Father, that is wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL news!!!
    Little by little, the Latin Mass will come back. Getting the children to love it is a beautiful thing!

    God bless you

  2. MattW says:


    My daughter came home from school yesterday and mentioned that they are learning some of the parts of the Mass in Latin because one of the school Masses toward the end of the year will be EF.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    This is fantastic. Maria Montessori has an excellent book titled Teh Mass Explained to Children. This is such good news. And, children learn Latin much faster than adults.

  4. William says:

    There was a time when Catholic school children would get up extra early and walk to Holy Mass, sometimes with a flash light to see and be seen along the way. Breakfast following at a school desk: milk and Frosted Flakes (remember how those little, individual boxes were wax paper lined and perforated so as to form an impromptu cereal bowl?). Mass was in what is now a forbidden language with no clowning around, no waltzing matilda sermons–just Holy Mass in the grown-up lane. Been there, done that!

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Me, too, and I had to fast from midnight at first, before the three hour change. As I was in the choir, we had to sing at the 6:30 Masses for the memorials for the dead. I loved it. We sometimes went back over for Mass again, later. We understood everything and were conscious of the great Mystery-the Mysterium Fidei. Our breakfasts included the little bottles of milk with silver tops we ordered weekly, and in those days, one walked home for lunch. Sometimes, the nuns would have dough-nuts after Mass, but not in Lent! We did this in the winter as well, in the Midwest.

    Children are capable of much more than most parents and teachers think they are.

  6. We had one EF, or maybe OF in Latin, Mass at my home parish, back in the very late Seventies probably. (Probably not long after the election of Pope John Paul II.) I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade, and I was in the children’s choir at my school and on Sunday. So we didn’t learn much about it before it happened, but we did learn the Agnus Dei in Latin. I liked it, but I think the archbishop not so much. We never had it again.

  7. marthawrites says:

    After offering the TLM before dawn six days a week for one year, our dear friar is finally being allowed to say a school-time Mass for the elementary school children and faculty on March 18th. I can hardly wait for the boys to see two (home-schooled) altar BOYS in action– reciting the Latin, moving the book, ringing the bells. I’m praying that requests to learn to do likewise will be many. My husband would be thrilled to train them.

  8. JaneC says:

    When I was in 7th or 8th grade (this would be 1997 or 1998), my school obtained permission (thankfully this would not be necessary now!) and invited a priest to come and say the Extraordinary Form for us. It was a 1-12th grade school. Many students’ parents came as well. We were taught the responses in advance, and fairly well prepared for it. We already knew some of the responses in Latin, of course, because we had Mass every day and sometimes the priest said parts of it in Latin. I remember it as a very positive experience, although I did not attend another EF Mass until I was in college.

    Every child who attends a school like my alma mater and the school in this article is very blest.

  9. Sixupman says:

    Children were taught and developed in understanding of the Old Mass by those childrens’ missals.

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