Children’s Liturgy of the Word

On non-Children's Mass Sundays, there will be Children’s Liturgy of the Word. The children’s liturgies are also marked on the calendar (CL). Before the readings, Fr. William invites all children to the altar and they go to St. Dorothy’s chapel with an adult for their own liturgy of the word including gospel reading, a discussion, and crafts or music, related to the theme of the gospel, before returning to the main congregation for the offertory. This class not only makes the liturgy of the word more understandable and enjoyable for the children but it also allows you, their parents, to fully concentrate on and enjoy the readings and the homily. However, I would like to stress that children under the age of 4 must be accompanied by an adult as otherwise, being unable to quite follow and participate in the class, they often disrupt the other children and the leader. As we have seen a decline in the numbers of older children (above the first communion level), we would like to encourage their participation this year. While their contribution to the lesson is very important and enriching for the younger children, we also believe that the benefit of the class for them is still greater than listening to homilies directed to adults.

Volunteer to Lead Children's Liturgy
Please consider leading a children’s liturgy of the word 1-2 Sundays this year! Leading the children’s liturgy requires neither previous experience nor much time for preparation. All materials are provided and as parents of the children you are best suited for this type of service. Your experiences allow you to know best how to present and explain the different topics to children using examples from your every-day life. Having a number of volunteers ensures that no one has to lead more than once or twice during the whole year. Volunteers, please contact William Revellese wjrevelle@hotmail.com

Instructions on Leading Children's Liturgy

Duration: 20 – 25 minutes (during the readings, gospel, homily and creed)

Place: St. Dorothy’s Chapel

Leader & Helper’s Tasks:
Leader: (1) Lead the liturgy, (2) Read the gospel, and (3) Provide the sermon or lead the discussion, and (4) Lead the subsequent activity

Helper: (1) Process in and also out with the Children’s Lectionary (light red Bible kept in the Sacristy), (2) Ask someone at Mass (an usher, a family member or a friend) to give you a “5-minute warning” when the Creed starts. Alternatively, there is a speaker inside the chapel enabling listening to the Mass and thus checking how far it is.
(3) Help with a song, a game, crafts or other activities (distributing of supplies, helping small children, cleaning up etc.), (4) accompany children needing to use the restroom to their parents in the main church, (5) help control the children throughout the class.

Materials:
The relevant pages from the ”Complete Children’s Liturgy Book” is provided by the coordinator in advance. The pages include an introduction of the theme, an opening prayer, a gospel reading, questions for discussion and a suggestion for a related activity.

However, the Children’s Lectionary may be used instead to read the Gospel. The Leader may prepare his/her own sermon as well as questions for discussion and even a different additional activity other than that suggested in the above Liturgy Book (such as a song; a CD player and some CDs/list of songs are available).

The coordinator or an appointed helper makes sure that a basket with general supplies (crayons, papers, scissors, glues, stapler etc.) is brought to the Chapel before Mass.

Liturgy:
1. Father calls children out before the First Reading (Sometimes father forgets!! the Leader should step forward as soon as the congregation is asked to sit down for the first reading and remind Father) and the Leader takes the children over to St. Dorothy’s Chapel
2. Opening prayer (e.g. Sign of the Cross or a prayer from the material provided or another)
3. Gospel Reading from the Complete Children’s Liturgy Book, the Children’s Lectionary or another material as agreed with the coordinator
4. A short sermon and/or discussion.
5. An activity: a game, a song, coloring or other crafts etc.
6. A closing prayer (there is always one provided in the Children’s Liturgy Book, or Our Father, Hail Mary etc.) (Note: switching the order of 5. and 6. sometimes works better as one can never be sure how much time there is left before the children have to be sent back. Homilies are given by visiting priests are usually shorter than father Wiliam’s.)
7. Return children to the main church during the Offertory Song.