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Children’s Liturgy of the Word

The Liturgy of the Word with Children is an ever-growing liturgical activity in our parish. This recommendation to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word with Children is already found in the Directory for Masses with Children, an official Roman document produced in 1973 to supplement and adapt the principles for good celebration found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and in the Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass (revised 1981). It is strongly recommended that these guidelines be read in conjunction with these important documents on which they depend.

[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, it 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. Directory for Masses with Children (DMC), 17.

CELEBRATING LITURGIES 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 the scriptures is presented to a child or leader.
  3. All process to a nearby place. (In some places this happens after the opening prayer.)
  4. When the children have gathered the leader introduces the scripture of the day.
  5. The scriptures are explored through reflection discussion and other appropriate activity.
  6. All return to the main body of the church for the liturgy of the Eucharist.