On various Sundays through the year during 9.30am Mass, Liturgy of the Word with Children is celebrated. This is aimed towards our primary school aged children.
Children gather with their families in church as usual. After the opening hymn and Fr's greeting, one of the children is called forward to receive a special Children's Book of the Scriptures. The children and the parents leading the session then process behind their book of scriptures to the Parish Centre.
In the Parish Centre the book is placed on a special table, a candle is lit and often there are pictures, colours or images to look at which reflect the season or the theme of the day.
As in Church the highlight of the Liturgy is the reading of the Gospel, with the readings often simplified to enable children to follow them more easily. The theme of the day is explored through reflection, discussion, music, drama or other activity.
There is time for prayer before the children re-join the rest of the congregation for the Offertory procession.
+ 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.
"Liturgy of the Word with Children" Guidelines; 1996 Bishops' Conference of England and Wales