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Understanding the Catholic Mass

St. Jean Vianney said, “If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy!”

In this class, 7th-12th graders will journey through the liturgical year while learning about each part of the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) of the Mass from the entrance to the dismissal. Students will grow in their ability to fully participate in the Mass with the goal of growing closer to Christ each and every Sunday. 

Using Dr. Edward Sri's A Biblical Walk Through the Mass as our primary guide, we will also explore readings from the Early Church Fathers, the Bible, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to enrich our appreciation for the liturgy.

Additionally, students will learn basic ecclesiastical Latin vocabulary and prayers through in-class study and from exploring the Latin inscribed within the engravings of their home parishes. No prior Latin knowledge is required for this course.

May we all come to consider every Sunday not only a holy day of obligation, but as a holy day of opportunity

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • A Biblical Walk Through the Mass by Dr. Edward Sri
    • Paperback (July 30, 2021), Ascension Press, 2nd Edition
    • Must have physical copy, digital versions not permitted
  • Oremus: Latin Prayers for Young Catholics by Katie Warner

    • TAN Books (2022)
  • Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin by Leo F. Stelton

    • Tyndale House Publishers (1995)
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
    • Any physical copy, digital versions not permitted.
  • Bible (New American Bible) (must have personal physical copy – cannot use someone else’s Bible)

Monika Minehart, Chair of Aquinas House of Studies, a military spouse and mother of four, has been working in Catholic Religious Education for over 15 years. She has instructed children and adults as a Director of Religious Education, Youth Minister, and Faith Formation Facilitator. She earned her B.A. in English and Early Christian Studies from The University of Michigan and her M.A. in Divinity from The University of Chicago with a focus in Biblical Studies and Koine Greek. In addition to being a homemaker and homeschooling mother, Monika enjoys reading, weightlifting, and listening to a variety of uplifting music especially Danielle Rose, The Vigil Project, and the Hillbilly Thomists.

Quarter 1

  1. Understanding the Liturgical Calendar: Ordinary Time
  2. The Introductory Rites:
    1. The Entrance
    2. The Sign of the Cross
    3. Greeting: The Lord Be With You
    4. Confiteor
    5. Kyrie Eleison
    6. The Gloria
    7. The Collect

Quarter 2

  1. Understanding the Liturgical Calendar: Advent/Christmas
  2. The Liturgy of the Word:
    1. The First Reading
    2. The Responsorial Psalm
    3. The Second Reading
    4. The Gospel
    5. The Homily
    6. The Creed
    7. The Prayer of the Faithful 

Quarter 3

  1. Understanding the Liturgical Calendar: Lent/Easter
  2. The Liturgy of the Eucharist: 
    1. The Presentation of the Gifts
      1. The Water and Wine, Washing of Hands, and Prayer over the Offerings
    2. The Preface
    3. The Sanctus 
    4. The Epiclesis
    5. The Words of Institution and Consecration
    6. Mysterium Fidei
    7. The Anamnesis
    8. Offering

Quarter 4

  1. Understanding the Liturgical Calendar: Personal and Family Sacraments
  2. The Liturgy of the Eucharist:
    1. Intercessions
    2. Final Doxology
    3. The Lord’s Prayer
    4. The Rite of Peace
    5. Agnus Dei: The Fraction, Commingling
    6. Holy Communion
  3. The Concluding Rites:
    1. Greeting
    2. Blessing
    3. Dismissal 

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.


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