- What is Liturgy of the Word with Children?
- What happens in a typical Children’s Liturgy session?
- Where is the Liturgy of the Word with Children celebrated?
- How do the children join?
- What ages are the children who participate?
- What is the purpose of Children’s Liturgy?
- What are some of the benefits of Children’s Liturgy?
- Is registration necessary?
- Is Liturgy of the Word with Children babysitting during Mass?
Liturgy of the Word with Children, also referred to as Children’s Liturgy or as LWC, is a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word in a manner related to the lives and experiences of children. It includes the same elements of the Liturgy of the Word as the main assembly including the Readings, a reflection, the Creed, and prayers.
The leader welcomes the children and begins with a prayer. From the Children’s Lectionary, they read the First Reading and the Gospel. The leader directs the children in an interactive talk based on the Gospel using elements from modern life to help the children understand. Sometimes a skit, song or other activity is used. After the Gospel reflection, everyone joins in a simplified Creed and the Prayers of the Faithful (intercessions). Many parishes provide the children with handouts to take home to help reinforce the message they have heard. The children return to the main assembly during the Offertory. It is important that they be present during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The children go to a separate, but nearby room where they can hear the Word of God, participate in the liturgy and engage in lesson-appropriate movement. Although the children are in a separate room, they are not leaving Mass – just continuing the liturgy elsewhere.
After the Opening Prayer, the priest invites all the children who want to attend Children’s Liturgy to the front of the church. The priest passes the Children’s Lectionary to the leader who escorts the children to their place for the Liturgy of the Word.
The ages recommended by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with Children: Guidelines for Practice is 4 to 8 years of age. However, the age range for a particular parish is at the discretion of the pastor, so please check with the individual parish.
Children’s Liturgy is designed to give children a better understanding of the Mass and the readings. It provides a foundation for learning and participation that will remain with them throughout their lives.
Children welcome the opportunity to go to church every Sunday and attend Children’s Liturgy. They feel welcomed and accepted by the church community. Through LWC, children learn about their faith in a positive, enjoyable way where they actively participate. They learn the rituals and traditions of the Mass.
Children are welcome to attend Children’s Liturgy on any Sunday. No registration or payment is required. Parents are free to ‘come and see’ with their children. Volunteers are also always welcome!
No. Liturgy of the Word with Children is liturgy. It is part of the Mass. It is not babysitting, child-minding or daycare. Its focus is on the Readings, the living Word of God. The children do what the rest of the community is doing during this part of the Mass. They listen to scripture; learn how it applies to their lives and how they may respond; they participate in a simplified Creed; and join together in prayer.