Those of us who have had children are either living the busy reality or remember chasing children around during a weekend Mass. Some weekends are better than others, but it can be tough to corral little ones for an hour! So we are happy to announce that Children’s Liturgy of the Word has returned in full force after a break during the pandemic for our young Mass goers in kindergarten to third grade.
Hannah Hach, our Steward for Baptismal Preparation and Children’s Ministries, is so glad to see so many children returning to Children’s Liturgy of the Word. An average of 20 to 30 children in kindergarten to third grade attend the program each weekend. Children’s Liturgy is offered during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass.
Some people may have the same misconception that Hannah herself initially had — the children are going to Children’s Liturgy of the Word to get out of Mass for a bit and play. Yet, this is truly not the case. Trained catechists lead the children through readings tailored to them and approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The children leave the rest of the congregation before the readings and return during the collection.
“This allows children the chance to hear God’s Word and be part of the Mass fully at their level,” Hannah says. “The readings and Gospel are easier for younger minds to understand.”
Children have a special place in Jesus’s heart and the Mass. Jesus Himself says, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). They deserve to have time and space catered to them during the Mass. Catechists are trained to do a special homily for the children that often involves open discussion and the chance to learn and explore.
“They are doing all of the things that their parents are doing at the same time — just in a different way,” Hannah says. “They aren’t getting out of Mass to have fun, have a snack, or be entertained.”
The homily might pertain more specifically to their lives — like how to relate the Gospel to their interactions at home or school.
“I want to impress on families that the kids get so much rich fullness out of this,” Hannah says. “The things they say during the homily are really beautiful.”
Hannah would love to see more parishioners give their time to this ministry. It’s a great way to share your faith with our youngest parishioners!
To get involved, contact Hannah Hach at 360-292-7114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.