Liturgy of the Word Adapted for Children

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Thomas-Day, Mary Jo
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
Liturgical celebrations at church, in order to be meaningful, must be adapted to the participants. One of the main liturgical celebrations people participate in is the Eucharistic Liturgy. The need for children’s liturgy is obvious to those who live and work with children. Children are not capable of thinking and acting like adults. Therefore, their religious profession, their expression in prayer and worship, should be those of children. The Sunday liturgies at St. Monica Parish, as in many Catholic parishes, are adult presentations. The readings and homily are for the adults, to deepen their understanding of scripture, enrich their faith life and make this applicable to their everyday life experiences. The children who participate in this celebration are unable to comprehend the beauty of the scripture or the message of the homily. This celebration becomes a time of sitting still and being quiet and is meaningless to them. What could be an enriching time for them is instead a very negative experience. Because of this concern, the parish would like to offer to our younger members of the parish family, ages 4 through 8 years old, a liturgy that would be meaningful to them and their faith life experience. This liturgy would be a celebration for them as active Christians rather than a passive non—meaningful time.