Today I had K through 3rd grades for their second classes, and we started right in with the Mass responses. Right off the bat, we are focusing on singing the "first order" dialogues and responses of the Mass - in all school Masses and weekend Masses, in both English and Spanish. All the priests are learning to sing the solemn tone, for the sake of consistency. In the past, I've had to say things like "if the priest sings...," or "if he sings like this..., but if he sings these different notes..." It really ought to be simpler than that, and it can be. We are blessed to have three priests who are willing and able to do this, and stretch their comfort zones for the sake of the students. It's a true act of love and service. I think the young ones will end up being enthusiastic leaders, and what's great about doing these things is that even the Kindergarteners can handle these simple responses, whereas they would really struggle with a strophic hymn, or even a little longer text like the Sanctus. It also requires them to be constantly alert, which is a good skill in both Mass and school. I'm insisting on 100% participation in both languages, regardless of what Mass they attend on the weekend. The consistency with the solemn tone and the identical "Amen" gives them a sense of the unity of the Church; in fact, they ought to be able to attend Mass in multiple languages throughout the world, and know when to respond "Amen" just by listening to what the priest intones, without knowing what exactly he is saying. We even have a few kids who barely speak English, and I can still get them involved. It's a beautiful thing, and a good way to start the year. I've never felt so strongly that I'm in the right place. As Fr. Nick says, lives will be changed. I'm not the one doing the changing either. All I'm doing is doing what the Church asks us to do, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.