Mass participation

Liturgy of the Word…through the experience of children

God enters deeply into our human experience with such profound simplicity in ways that catch us by surprise.  Often, I marvel at the insights children share of their understanding of God’s Word.  Our conversations of “breaking open” the Scriptures have provided many teachable moments of God’s presence in our lives. Whether it’s in the SCORE classroom, in the car driving home, at home around the dining room table, or at Mass, children at this age are very receptive to listening to God’s Word.  How does this receptivity translate into active participation during the  Liturgy of the Word?

The 9:00 am Sunday Mass offers  children and parents the option of participating in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word.  After the Opening Prayer, the presider invites the children to come forward and follow the the adult leader to the sacristy where they listen to the Sunday Readings followed with age appropriate activities. They conclude with their special prayer intentions.

  • If you and your family attend the 9:00 am Mass, encourage your children to participate in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word. If your child is hesitant to participate, accompany your child.  When your child returns after participating, ask him/her to retell the Gospel story.  Need a prompt: What did you hear Jesus say?
  • The Liturgy of the Word is instructive for all of us. During the Scripture Readings, it helps to listen to a phrase or a sentence that speaks about God. As you listen, what are the images or words that resonate with you?
  • Prior to the proclamation of the Gospel, the priest intones, “A Reading from the Gospel according to (N).” We sign ourselves with the cross on our forehead, lips and heart.  Practice with your child, blessing his/her forehead, lips and heart.  I try to become even more mindful of God’s presence at this time and so I pray, “O God, open my mind to hear your Word, my lips to speak your Word, and my heart to love your Word.”

The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Profession of Faith, and the Prayers of the Faithful. The worship aids in the pews can guide your child through the Profession of Faith.  Lastly, our prayer intentions call us together to remind us of our dependence on God’s Mercy. Close to the baptismal pool is the Parish Book of Prayer Intentions.  Stop at the table to show your child, the communal book of prayer representing our prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and of heart-felt needs of God’s holy people, our St. Nick’s Church.

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