|St. Julie Billiart|
Margaret: The chalice and the other things for the altar.
Directress: If the person who is getting the things ready is not a Priest, what must he remember to do when touching the chalice?
Margaret: He must not touch it with his hands, but must use a piece of silk cloth.
Joan: Because during the Mass the chalice contains Our Lord's blood.
Directress: (as Margaret takes the next object):
What is that?
Margaret: It is the purificator.
Directress: What is that used for?
Margaret: To wipe the chalice.
Directress: Now the next thing. (Margaret takes up the paten in her fingers.) What has she done wrong?
Several: She should not have touched it with her hand but with a piece of silk.
Directress: What is the paten for?
Cicely: It is for the Host to rest on. (The pall, chalice veil, and burse are taken out and named at the same time.)
Directress: What is in the burse?
Cicely: The corporal.
Directress: Take it out, and look at it. The name comes from the Latin word corpus-a body. It is so called because it is the cloth on which the Body of Jesus is going to rest. The priest may not put down the Chalice or the Host on the altar unless the corporal is there. Now we must get the altar itself ready.....
The class then discusses the altar and the altar stone, connected to the relics from the Catacombs of Rome, which are needed in every altar and remind us of the Masses first said on the tombstones of the martyrs in Rome. The children set up the candles, which the teacher says reminds them of the small lights in the catacombs, which were dark, and that even in 1923, were used to light the way for people into the catacombs which were open. The Directress then asked the children what else went on the altar and they said three altar cloths, the Missal stand and Missal. They also discussed the credence table, the cruets with wine and water, the little towel and basin, the bells the biretta and then they all together were going to go through the actions of the Mass together when the bell rang. Now the items used were smaller versions of the real ones, or ones, which were not used for Mass, but purchased for the school for teaching. This is an important distinction.
I chose this section for two reasons. One, the absolute correct words for items must be used. And, two, children are capable of great reverence regarding altar ware and vestments.
In the earliest days of Montessori, many orders picked up her methods of teaching the Mass and the sacraments, as well as other subjects. These orders included houses, convents, schools and colleges of the Notre Dame de Namurs, the Fransican Missionaries of Mary, the Sisters of Mercy, the Ursulines, the Dominicans, the Benedictines, and others.
|Early Montessori School|