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of the Church, or the commandments, or sacraments, consequently the singing of hymns does not meet "the huge difficulty of getting into the mass of poor children, the elements of Christian Doctrine," it does not advance the children one iota nearer to the great point-admission to the sacraments. Besides, in the singing of hymns it is chiefly the melody which the children, at least the poor children attend to, there is a frequent recurrence in them, of words, and forms of expression which are above the capacity of many, perhaps most children. We suggest therefore, that the singing of children should include hymns, but that still more, it should include what the Church commands them to know and what is necessary for their salvation. Just as it would be rational in the case of a starving man to concern yourself more about the meat than the sauce.

3. Parts of the Christian Doctrine which are sung. I. The Sign of the Cross.

II. The Good Intention.
III. The Morning Offering.

IV. The Preparation against Temptation.
V. Our Father.

VI. Hail Mary.

VII. Apostles' Creed.

VIII. The Four Great Truths or Principal
Mysteries.

IX. The Seven Sacraments.

X. The Commandments.

XI. The Examination of Conscience.

XII. Acts of Contrition.

XIII. Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

XIV. A Decade of the Rosary.

XV. Singing of the Rule of Life.

N.B. The method of singing and music will be found in Book V.

4. Remarks about the singing of the Christian Doctrine.

I. The amount of Christian Doctrine taught by singing comprises, first, all that the Church commands a Christian to know, either necessitate medii or necessitate precepti. (See St. Alphonsus.) Secondly, it comprises a number of other things most important for children to know, such as the Good Intention, Morning Offering, Preparation against Temptation, Examination of Conscience, Rosary, &c.

II. The words which are sung are those of the Catechism. In any case in which the full answer of the Catechism cannot be sung, at least the principal and essential words of the answer are sung, and this enables the children to learn by heart the full answer of the Catechism with much greater facility, because they already know the chief part of it by singing. The Act of Contrition which is sung is the celebrated Act of Contrition made by Blessed Leonard of Port Maurice, and constantly employed by him during the forty years of his missionary labour in Italy. Independently of its authority, having been made by one whom the Church has beatified, its shortness and simplicity make it most useful, especially for the poor, as it can be said by them frequently under any circumstances, especially in sickness, when very short prayers only can be said. The act of Contrition of the Diocese also can be sung in the same tone as the sign of the cross.

III. It is found from experience that children love most vehemently to sing short and simple prayers, the words of which they can perfectly understand. The present method of singing is based on the principle of simplicity and adaptation to the child's understanding, and children

have shown an extraordinary affection for it. A child at Leeds two years of age, could sing, although with an imperfect utterance, the four principal mysteries. A child at Blackburne was in a dying state. At the moment when the priest entered the room, the child was singing

"Infant Jesus meek and mild,
Look on me, a little child;
Pity mine and pity me,

And suffer me to come to thee."

The moment the child had finished the last words, its head fell back on the pillow, it was dead! Many infants and little children die early, and it is surely most satisfactory to see them not in a vague, half-senseless state, regarding prayers and the things of religion, but interested in them and feeling them. We know of a teacher who lately died in a large town delirious with fever, but singing the Christian Doctrine which she had been instrumental in teaching to the children during a mission. In the county of Donegal in Ireland, we have seen the children form themselves into two choirs in the fields, and for an hour together sing alternately the "Good Intention." We have often noticed that infants who would not open their mouths to say prayers by heart, would gladly join in singing them. We may remark that this frequent singing not only promotes the main object of the Sunday school, which is the acquirement of Christian knowledge, but makes this exercise, in itself painful and laborious, become pleasing and agreeable, and it has also a powerful influence in obtaining what is essentially necessary to a good Sunday Schoolsilence.

CHAPTER II.

PIOUS AND ASCETICAL PRACTICES FOR CHILDREN.

1. Two views of Children.-2. Knowledge and Pious Practices.-3. Are Children capable of Pious and Ascetical Practices ?-4. Pions and Ascetical exercises must be in accordance with the capacity of children.-5. Necessity of teaching pious exercises in Sunday School.-6. Teaching is not Training.-7. Constant Training.— 8. Pious Practices suggested for Sunday School.

1. Two views of Children.-People are usually slow to believe that the children of the poor are not only fit, but specially fit for piety and religious exercises; we speak of course of religious exercises which are fitted for them. We shall refer them on this subject to a passage in the gospel of St. Mark. (x. 14-16.) Children may be looked at in two different points of view. In one case they are presented to us as models for our imitation. (Matt. xviii.) "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (1 Cor. xiv.) "In malice be as children." (Psalm viii.) "Out of the mouths of infants thou hast perfected praise," &c. "In all ages," says Digby, "men of observing and contemplative mind have been struck with the mysteries of children; hence Cicero says, 6 omnes voteres philosophi ad incunabula accedunt.'" (Compitum p. 25.) Again he says: "The Catholic religion invests childhood with the sweetness and sanctity of a religious mystery, placing it in the number of those which men contemplate as joyful on the beads."

In another point of view there is sometimes an impression, that the children, especially the poor and uneducated, are hard of understanding, a noisy, unruly set of creatures, an inconvenience to

everybody, fit only to create disturbance and disorder. (Mark x.) Some of the disciples of our Lord seem on a certain occasion to have taken this latter view of the matter. Some children had been brought to receive the blessing of Jesus. One would have thought that the very simplicity and helplessness of these poor creatures would have moved the hearts of the disciples of our Lord in their favour.

They must often have seen how the heart of their great Master was ever ready to compassionate the weak, and the lowly, and the helpless. But it was not so. On the contrary, "they rebuked those who brought the children"" comminabantur offerentibus." The expression is remarkable. If the disciples had rebuked the poor chil dren for screaming, or any other childish indiscre tion, one could have understood it. But by rebuking not the children, but those who brought them, they condemned the principle of bringing children to Jesus. Here was a great fact to be recorded and read by future generations in the New Testament, a fact which would direct us how to treat children, a fact which would favour the heartless spirit of the world, ever ready to make no account of poor children. The Supreme decision was needed to overrule an authority so respectable lest indifference about children should be not only the practice but the authorized principle of the world. The supreme decision came. The decision of the disciples, was it right or wrong? Jesus Christ settled the question. "Indigne tulit," says the Evangelist. The literal translation would be He was indignant at such a decision; our version says, "he was much displeased." Then came the final sentence. "Suffer little children to come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the king

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