As a "cradle Catholic", I'm pleasantly surprised to find how much I learned from this book! At age 25, I obviously know the "how" of mass, but this book also gives the "why" - something I was (unfortunately) never taught in CCD growing up. It explains the rituals of the mass by telling of their uses in the early church and/or relevant passages in the bible. It also gives "opportunities for spiritual growth" in the sidebars that are especially helpful to the cradle Catholic. I know I will get at least twice as much out of attending mass from now on!
The book is an "easy" (fast) read. I read half in one sitting; I suppose it might take a little longer for a new or non-Catholic not already familiar with the traditional mass. It is not too overbearing or complicated and would therefore be great for teens with a ho-hum attitude toward attending mass.
My mother always used to complain that my generation was not taught the "parts of the mass" in CCD as hers was. I don't know if this is a result of changes made by Vatican II, or simply the archdiocese I grew up in. I hope CCD children today are again taught the parts of the mass; I personally purchased this book to learn more myself so I can teach my own children better. After reading it, I wish I could afford to pass out copies at my church to the other parishioners of my generation who are obviously also not getting as much from the mass as they could be!
I agree with another reviewer that it would have been nice if the text of the prayers explained were included in the book, even if just in the back. But don't let this keep you from purchasing it; if you are a cradle Catholic, you already KNOW the prayers. If you are new, they can be easily found in a missal at any Catholic church.
I bought this book several a couple of months ago but just really delved into it more deeply this week. I used it in preparing a talk about the mass for our RCIA group. I have many books on the mass but this one was the most help. The catechumens and candidates and even some of the sponsors got interested in it after seeing me refer to it a few times in my talk. Several of them asked me to order copies for them.
One of the nice features of this book is the content on "how" to go to mass. The author tells us what happens in the mass and why, but also explains how to get more out of the mass every time.
Great book. You won't be sorry for buying it.