Ex ore infantium

From a reader:

I thought you might find some humor in what happened after Mass this morning.

Our family attended Mass this morning and a visiting priest presided.

After the Mass my five year-old leaned over to me and whispered, “Daddy I want to ask you something. Why did the priest change the words of the consecration?” He was right the priest had ad-libbed and changed a few of the words.

I figure he may have a future, if not as a priest, then at least with the “temple police”.  [OOH-RAH!]

“Say the black, do the red” any five year-old knows that.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ben Yanke says:

    That is wonderful! And people say the kids won’t notice, or don’t know what’s going on…

  2. Biedrik says:

    And people say kids aren’t really able to understand the Mass.

  3. digdigby says:

    “The young are as ready to change their mode of life to virtue as easily as to change their clothes, whereas those grown old in corruption are like fugitive slaves always sent back to their mastering passions.”

  4. Athelstan says:

    This is the sort of anecdote that must fill our liberal colleagues with sadness, if not despair: this youngun has the makings of a future pharisee, obsessed with rules and rubrics but lacking the spirit, no doubt because he is hard-wired that way, etc…you can complete the script yourself.

  5. smad0142 says:

    Great for him! I once heard a story about a woman, possibly a Nun, complaining about using the Kyrie at Mass. To prove her point that its bad because the kids don’t understand it, she asked a five year old boy what Kyrie elesion means. He responded, “Domine, miserere nobis.” Needless to say she was blown away.

    My time teaching Sunday school taught me how much kids can really know and absorb about the Faith. It is incredible.

  6. Scott W. says:

    My five-year old used to say, “Police be with you.”

    Also, when my oldest was about that age, he heard some plainchant on the radio and said, “That sounds like church.” The thing is: up to that point he had never heard chant in a church setting.

    From the mouth of babes…

  7. ghp95134 says:


    For every “cheesy” occurance of add-libbing during the Mass, I suggest people send this product to the offending priest:
    (Has nothing to do with “Cheeseheads”)

    –Guy Power

  8. Mom2301 says:

    When our priest announced that we would all be reading the part of Christ during the reading of the passion, my nine year old daughter poked me and pointed to the missal which read “the part of Christ shall be reserved for the priest.” She didn’t need me to tell her that what Father had asked us to do wasn’t the way it is supposed to be dumb. Unfortunately, many of the adults around us thought this was a great invention and read both the part of the crowd and Christ with gusto.

  9. Mom2301 says:

    oops that was supposed to read “wasn’t the way it is supposed to be done” Freudian slip maybe?

  10. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    True story: My son (soon to be 10) before he made his First Holy Communion, had begun attending the Extraordinary Form. He knew, or rather, had vague memories of, the Ordinary Form. One day, after Mass (daily Mass, if memory serves) he asked me, “Daddy, in the English Mass, why does the priest always have his back to Jesus?

    Thanks, Father.


  11. ejcmartin says:

    I am sure that the priest meant well and was attempting to be “with-it”. Perhaps if he knew that he was distressing pre-schoolers with his ad-libs he might cease and desist.

  12. dcs says:

    The anecdote fills me with sadness, too (though I hope I am far from “liberal”). Not because the young man is wrong to point out these abuses but because the abuses are happening in the first place. No one should be subjected to a Mass in which the celebrant changes the words of consecration (I pray that the young man was referring to the Eucharistic Prayer in general and not the Words of Institution in particular!).

  13. jesusthroughmary says:

    My four-year-old refers to the Traditional Mass as “regular Mass” and the Novus Ordo as “short Mass”. :-D

  14. GoZagsGo says:

    Different but cute nonetheless… Last Friday Father was giving the 1st graders a tour of the sacristy since their first communion would be on Sunday. Pulling out the key for the tabernacle he said to the girls “Does anyone know what this is for?” After a pause one of the 1st graders beamed: “Is it the key to heaven?!”

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