It was a weekday in late August. I was already back at school, completing some training before classes started. We were in training sessions from 8 AM to 8 PM for two weeks, and it was pretty draining, but we were pushing through.
I was at breakfast one morning, scrolling through Instagram. We weren’t allowed to have our phones out during training sessions, so mealtimes began with conversation but quickly lulled into everyone staring at their screens for what limited time we could.
A sponsored post popped up in my feed. Usually, I completely ignore those kinds of ads, but this one caught my eye. It was a Kickstarter campaign for a Mass journal entitled Every Sacred Sunday. As someone who has been journaling since before she could write, and has continued to do so since then, a Mass journal seemed right up my alley. It was something I had been seeking for a while, actually, but didn’t know exactly what I needed until it crossed my path. A friend of mine who had been struggling in her faith had spent some time visiting other churches in our area, and described that at one Protestant church she visited, everyone took notes during the sermon, and the teens compared and discussed their notes in their youth group meetings after the service. I had been very drawn to that idea, but I didn’t feel right about bring a notebook to Mass and taking notes. I feared being perceived as disrespectful.
Every Sacred Sunday felt like it was giving me permission to take notes in Mass. Moreover, it was encouraging me to do so! I read through their plan for the project and instantly fell in love. I pulled out my credit card right then and there in the cafeteria and pledged for their Kickstarter on my phone.
I followed their journey through production, getting early glimpses of art prints to be included and receiving status updates throughout the process. The journal finally arrived just in time for Advent and the new liturgical year. Its design is utterly gorgeous; it’s just my style and I couldn’t have designed it any more perfectly. Just look at it!
The gold foil on the front is so majestic and beautiful. The watercolor art for each season is so pretty (I photographed Lent as it is our current season). Even down to the type face, the clean lines, and wide open spaces, this whole journal has a seamlessly executed aesthetic. I’m always eager to open up my Mass journal and engage with this beautiful book.
For each week, the readings are written out. Then, there’s a work page broken into segments. I try to get to Mass a few minutes early so I can fill out the pages before Mass begins, but if not, I take time after Mass to complete it. There’s a “Scripture speaks” section where I copy down a verse that really spoke to me from the reading. There’s a “weekly intentions” section which is subdivided into a gratitude and supplication column, which I love. I especially love that the thanksgiving comes before the requests, because it’s so easy to forget to be grateful, but it’s absolutely essential to give thanks. Then there’s a “notes” section, which is probably my favorite section. I love to be organized, and I’m very academically inclined. I’m also a visual learner, so taking notes on the homily (and only during the homily) is one of the best ways for me to pay attention to the information that I’m hearing. Finally, there’s a “go forth” section, which is a space to set an intention for the rest of the week. Personally, I struggle a bit with that section. I’m not very good at remembering my intention once I leave Mass, and when I open my journal the following week, I always smack my forehead when I realize I forgot it again. I’m still looking for a better way to apply the intentions I set at Mass to the rest of my week.
I love my Every Sacred Sunday journal. It’s a great way for me to engage more deeply with the Word of God presented to us each week. I was never one for missals, but this is a dynamic way to dive deeper into the Mass, and I am so grateful that I found it when I did.