Children’s Liturgy offers more than coloring books

By Dawn Cusimano, NOLA Catholic Parenting

Years ago, I was invited to serve as a (very part-time) teacher in our parish “Children’s Liturgy” ministry. This was the given name for the mini exodus of kids ranging from age 4 to about 7 1/2 that takes place at the beginning of Mass.

   Little did I know that in joining this ministry, I would receive so much more than was asked of me. Before I experienced Children’s Liturgy from the inside, I had assumed it was merely a time for younger kids to go color a picture so that the parents could pay attention to the Mass readings. There is more to it.

Children’s Liturgy is an open invitation for kids to listen to the same Gospel message that the bigger kids and adults in church hear, but it’s broken down into terms they can understand.

And, unlike the “adult” experience, the children have an opportunity to ask questions.

I always began by thanking the kids for coming to church and being a part of our parish family. Then, we said a prayer, read the Gospel aloud from a Children’s Bible and discussed the reading together.

Sometimes we brainstormed ways that we could apply what we had learned at home during the week or we did a quick activity to emphasize what they had heard.

The kids always impressed me with their eagerness to participate and share ideas.

And, while it’s true that coloring sheets do get passed out, even those reinforced the Bible readings, and, as a bonus, the kids were introduced to different Catholic saints on the sheets.

Today, while I have a baby who keeps me in the main church, I love watching my little ones go off to Children’s Liturgy, and I look forward to watching them grow up and eventually return to the “Big Church” after they make their First Communion.

Dawn Cusimano loves sharing her faith with her growing family. She is happily married for 12 years to David and has five children. This is her second year homeschooling her children. Dawn enjoys swimming, reading, traveling, baking and playing games with her kids.

Please send comments to nolacatholicparenting@clarionherald.org. Visit the blog featuring three new posts a week at www.nolacatholicparenting.org.

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