Thursday, October 13, 2016

Our Thrifted Kids' Mass Set

For years, I've been wanting to get a nice little Mass set for the kids.  I have long had dreams of my boys, in particular, playing priest, and asking me to sew them some sweet child-sized vestments like Pope Benedict did.  So far, neither of the boys have shown much interest or inclination, to be honest.  But maybe if Tom shows them how all the vessels are used and what everything means, they'll get a little excited about it?

For a long time, I had my eye on the gorgeous set at My Father's House  (it says it's not available for sale now, but you can still see the photos.)  I can't recall the exact price, but I know it was way out of the budget.  Maybe $160?  I had to give up on it, because it was just sooooo much money for something I wasn't even sure my kids were going to use.

I decided instead to activate my thrift-shopping superpowers, and start the long slow hunt for items that would work in a kids' Mass set.  I wanted the bare minimum needed for a Traditional Low Mass.  So I wasn't holding out for the incense implements, etc. which would be required for a High Mass.  I've been keeping an eye out for items for about two years now.

The one item - though not a strictly necessary one, I believe - that's been holding me up for the past year from finally completing the set (by my estimation) was a ciborium (a vessal which holds the Eucharist).  I needed something metal, roughly cup-shaped, with a lid.  Not many non-liturgical items look like that!  Finally, at Goodwill last night, I FOUND one.  It's some Paul Revere reproduction piece, according to the etching in the bottom.  I was thrilled, Tom and I high-fived in the aisle, and there was much rejoicing!

We have: a crucifix, two candlesticks, a chalice, a ciborium, a paten, two cruets, a bell, and also a shell-shaped dish in case the kids want to play "baptism" - haha.

The one part I still don't have are all the necessary altar linens.  Never having served at the altar myself (a fact I am now, in retrospect, very happy about), I have never actually seen any of those linens up close,.  All I've seen are my little line drawings in my missal.  So I'm going to have to get some clear descriptions from Tom, and then I can start trying to acquire what I'll need.  I'm sure a lot of them can be made from re-purposed thrift store finds as well, and any that can't be, I will sew.

Is there anything else I forgot??

I know having a Mass set is not a guaranteed way to encourage my boys to consider the priesthood, but at the least, I'm hoping all my kids will get a clearer knowledge of what the priest is actually doing up at the altar during Mass, and the meaning behind it all.


  1. A pall is a stiff linen square that goes over the chalice. That's the one altar linen I have seen up close since I had one made for my son's godfather. A simple one for play should be easy to make. And maybe a some of those white bandanas you find at craft stores would work for some of the other altar linens. The pieces you have for the kids' Mass set look great. I'm hoping one day my son will want to play Mass. He's two and already about a dozen people who see him at daily Mass are convinced he'll be a priest some day.

  2. LOL...Catholic nerds, high-fiving over finding a ciborium at Good Will (I totally relate!). We have a cloth set and I'm kind of amazed how much they use it, when I least expect. They did most of the Holy Thursday service last year (until the deacon walked out in protest). It's good to have the implements when the Holy Spirit whispers.