Children's Liturgy


THE LITURGY OF THE WORD FOR CHILDREN IS CELEBRATED DURING THE 10.30 MASS ON SUNDAYS IN 'TERM TIME'


The children seem to enjoy it - otherwise, presumably they wouldn't come along! A lot of it is to do with fun (sometime boisterous) and friendship.



Age range - Lower: 4 - 5 years (or at the time the child feels comfortable to join in without having mum or dad along with them!)

Upper: Graduation Day is First Holy Communion! After that, perhaps doing things like becoming Altar Servers?


Like to know more? Then please read on:-


Here is some of the thinking of the Church:-


'In Masses with adults, it is necessary to take great care that the children present do not feel neglected because of their inability to participate or to understand what happens and what is proclaimed in the celebration. Some account should be taken of their presence: for example, by speaking to them directly in the introductory comments (as in the beginning and the end of Mass) and at some point in the Homily.


Sometimes, moreover, if the place itself and the nature of the community permit, is will be appropriate to celebrate the liturgy of the word, including a homily, with the children in a separate but not too distant room. Then, before the Eucharistic Liturgy begins, the children are led to the place where the adults have meanwhile celebrated their own Liturgy of the Word'

(From the official Roman document 'Directory for Masses with Children' published in 1973)


GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LITURGY


Liturgy is the praise and worship of God


Liturgy is the source and summit of the Church's life and our lives


It is the right and duty of all the Baptised, both children and adults


The function of Liturgy is to build up the members of Christ's body, to strengthen us in preaching Christ


Liturgy is action and symbol; it speaks to the whole person, it involves all the senses; sight, touch, sound, taste and smell


Participating in Liturgy forms our habits because we are ritual people and learn through repetition and copying


In Liturgy we discover the riches of prayer, through word and gesture, silence and stillness


The purpose of adapting Liturgy for children is to lead them into full, conscious and active participation in the Liturgy of the Parish


Liturgy with children, as with adults, demands dignity, clarity and simplicity


A MODEL - for celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with Children


  1. Children gather with their families in church for the introductory rites of the Mass. After the Opening Song and the Greeting the children, together with their leaders are called forward

  2. A Book of Gospels is presented to a child or leader

  3. All process to a nearby place

  4. When the children have gathered the leader introduces the Gospel of the Sunday

  5. Before the Gospel is proclaimed an acclamation is sung

  6. The Gospel is explored through reflection, discussion and other appropriate activity

  7. There is a time of Intercession for the Church, the world, those in need and the local community

  8. All return to the main body of the church for the Liturgy of the Eucharist


THE BOOK OF THE GOSPELS CAN BE PRESENTED IN THESE OR SIMILAR WORDS;-


Receive this Book of the Gospels

And proclaim God's Word faithfully

To the children entrusted to your care


OR


My dear children,

You will now go to hear God's word,

to praise God in song, and to reflect on the wonderful things

God has done for us.

We will await your return

So that together we may celebrate the Eucharist


SOME WORDS WRITTEN BY CARDINAL CORMAC MURPHY O'CONNOR, ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER IN AUGUST 1995 WHEN HE WAS BISHOP OF ARUNDEL AND BRIGHTON


'Providing children with a Liturgy of the Word is to be very much encouraged. Many members of the worshipping community are children. They are important members of the Church and as such should be helped to prepare to take a full part in the Sunday Liturgy.


The Church is responsible for the spiritual and liturgical formation of her children, and providing them with their own Liturgy of the Word is one important way of fulfilling this obligation.


It would seem fitting that where children attend adult Liturgy in our churches every Sunday, they should be provided with a Liturgy of the Word which will help them to participate more fully in the Eucharistic celebration'


THE FAITH WE CELEBRATE


During the course of her year, the Church gradually unfolds, in the light of Easter, the whole mystery of Christ. Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the 'Feast of feasts'. Every seventh day is called the Lord's Day or Sunday, on which we celebrate Christ's Resurrection, the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of Creation and the 'eighth day', which begins and never ends - the 'Today!' of God.


Every Sunday, the Lord's Day, the Church celebrates the memory of the Lord's Resurrection, which she also celebrates once every year, together with His blessed Passion, at Easter. By recalling the mysteries of the Redemption, the Church opens up to the faithful the riches of the Lord's power and merits, making them present and available to all in every age.


On Sunday, the faithful gather to listen to the Word of God and to celebrate the Eucharist, calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection and Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and giving thanks to God for our creation, salvation and eternal hope.


Blessed is Sunday, for on it began creation … the world's salvation … the renewal of the human race … the promise of eternal life …


THE LITURGY OF THE WORD


The Word of God, celebrated by the faithful when they gather to celebrate the 'Lord's Day, is the Word of Life


To nourish the faith of believers, the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasised: the book of the Word (a lectionary or book of the Gospels), its veneration (procession, incense, candles), the place of its proclamation (lectern or ambo), its audible and intelligent reading, the Homily(extension of its proclamation), responses of the assembly (acclamations, meditations, psalms, litanies, profession of faith)


The Holy Spirit gives understanding. Like all growth, growth in faith is a lifelong process or journey. Faith is God's gift to us, but faith must be nourished if it is to grow and flourish. We are in part responsible for how this nourishment is provided in the way we, the community, celebrates liturgically, especially with regard to children.


In everyday life there are many things that children do not understand, but they are still interested and ask many questions in their search for understanding …


So: if you are interested in knowing more, or would like to think about becoming a Leader or Helper, just have a word with Fr Michael; or call Margaret Starr on 772440



BACK