“Why is Mass always the same?” “It’s sooo boring!” “I don’t get anything out of it.” “What is it even about?” “Can’t I just pray on my own?”

Do these comments sound familiar? If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard your kids express similar thoughts – or maybe you’ve thought them yourself from time to time.

Liturgist, teacher, musician and writer Glenn Byer has been fielding these kinds of comments for over 30 years, and now he has put his ideas in writing in a three-volume series called Mass Appeal:

  • 26 Ordinary Ways to Live the Liturgy (2017): examines the many skills we need to explore the liturgy fully: things like walking, talking, cheering and asking for help
  • Unlocking the Feasts and Seasons of the Liturgical Year (2018): delves into dozens of aspects of prayer and times we can pray; it also includes a template for your own personal liturgical calendar, to help you get the most out of the church year
  • Living the Liturgy of the Word (coming soon in 2019): helps us hone the skills we need to experience God’s voice in the Liturgy of the Word, focusing on communication, the various aspects of this key part of the Mass, and improving our biblical and lectionary literacy

Does this sound overwhelming or uninteresting? Don’t worry – thanks to Glenn’s storytelling skills, his expert knowledge about liturgy and his slightly off-the-wall sense of humour, these books are page turners. Whether you’re a newly minted Catholic, a teen who’s questioning the role faith plays in your life, or a cradle Catholic, this series has something to make you think, wonder, wrestle with and just plain enjoy.

Each chapter of each book concludes with a practical and eclectic list of suggested activities – for couples/families, religious community/neighbourhood, university or college students/singles, teens, kids, and those with challenges remembering or communicating. You’ll find these hard to resist.

It comes down to this: engaging in the liturgy is energizing and life-giving. Whatever we put into it, we get back many times over.

See you in church!

Anne Louise Mahoney, Managing Editor, Novalis

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