Recently, I received a review copy of a DVD titled Understanding Sunday Mass: A Kid’s Point of View by David Yrisarri (Anchor Productions, sundaymass4kids.com). David is a visual effects producer who worked with the Diocese of Orange, CA, to produce this instructional video after his own son’s First Communion. David felt that his son and his peers learned a lot about Christ and their Catholic faith but not enough about the Mass. You can read the story behind the DVD here.
I was happy to review the DVD (along with its Spanish version, Entendiendo la Misa Dominical – El Punto de Vista de Los Niños) and recommend both for viewing with children of primary and intermediate grades (best for grades 2-5). The 40-minute DVD is divided into 2 twenty-minute segments.
The DVD has some fun visual effects and some effective “stop-action” to freeze the Mass so as to focus on its various parts, which it does thoroughly, using graphics to display the names and definitions of mass parts as well as vestments and vessels. Throughout the video, a priest is explaining the parts of the Mass to 2 children who were previously bored because they did not understand what was happening. The Spanish version was filmed with separate Spanish-speaking characters which is very nice. The priest in the Spanish version comes across much better than the priest in the English version who, although very friendly, borders on condescending. Likewise, since the priest was not an actor, some of the dialogue and editing are choppy since he clearly had some trouble remembering his lines.
One other minor criticism is that the assembly for both versions is almost exclusively white. The Latino priest and children in the Spanish version make up for that however.
The bottom line is, this is a nice resource for helping children better understand the Mass and I applaud Mr. Yrisarri for his contribution to catechesis on the Mass. You can preview the video here. Here is the Spanish preview.
With that in mind, permit me to re-introduce you to a resource that Loyola Press offers in this same genre: the Come and See DVD which provides 3 segments (in English and Spanish) that invite children to tour a church, learn about their role at Mass, and learn about the importance of ritual. You can see a preview here.
Have a wonderful weekend!