Vatican II50 years agoKey principle – full, conscious, active participation (SC 14)Called for revision of all liturgical rites
SC gave broad principles such as the previous one, but further work then took place to define this more specificallyDMCSpecific application for children liturgyRBC, then DMC - FIRST EVER DOCUMENTS FOCUSED ON LITURGY WITH CHILDREN
Liturgy cannot be COMPLETELY beyond level of understandingDMC 2: It is important that the children understand the liturgy. While not everything in liturgy must always be intelligible to children, ‘we may fear spiritual harm if over the years children repeatedly experience in the Church things that are barely comprehensible’.
Liturgy of the Word with Children is A GENUINE LITURGICAL ACT. This is a celebration of ritual prayer, a service of worship. Because it is a liturgical celebration, all the principles of good liturgy, especially active participation, apply.
It is important to remember from our earlier sessions that Christ is present when the Word is proclaimed.► ‘Christ is present in his word, since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church’. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 7The church states► ‘The word constantly proclaimed in the liturgy is always then a living, active word through the power of the Holy Spirit’. Lectionary for Mass: Introduction 4
DMC 21 Thus, apart from adaptations that are necessary because of the children's age, the result should not be entirely special rites, markedly different from the Order of Mass celebrated with a congregation. The purpose of the various elements should always correspond with what is said in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal on individual points, even if at times for pastoral reasons an absolute identity cannot be insisted upon.► Who are the Participants?► The participants are usually children of primary school age. Children younger than this are generally unable to participate consciously and actively in liturgical celebrations. The Directory for Masses with Children names ‘children who have not yet entered the period of preadolescence’. 6 ► Children with a disability are to be welcomed to participate in Children's Liturgy of the Word. This may require prior contact with the parents to ensure that the child knows that he or she is welcome and to identify any particular support required. When children with disability are participating a broader adaptation is sometimes be necessary.
As the title suggests, Liturgy of the Word with Children is ritual which is centred on ► the proclamation and breaking open of the scriptures. ► The children do what the rest of the community is doing at this point of the Mass: listening to the scriptures proclaimed and responding in various ways. It is an experience of prayer and dialogue with God.► The focus of these liturgies is celebration and prayer, not education. Gatherings of children in which the primary focus is religious education, sacramental preparation or completing activity sheets should be called ‘Sunday School’, or ‘Bible Class’ but not Sunday Liturgy of the word with Children.► The celebration of Liturgy of the Word with Children is not designed to keep children busy so the adults can listen to the homily in peace!
Formation workshop 1
Ministers of theLiturgy of the Word for Children Welcome Please help yourself to a cup of tea or coffee, and take some time to chat and catch up with people before we begin.
Prayer for A Year of GraceGracious God,You have blessed this ancient landwith many gifts, especially its people.We thank you for the Year of Grace,a time to start afresh from Christ.
You invite us to contemplate the face ofJesus your Son,that we may experience a new wave ofgrace,and that the light of Christ may burn morebrightly in our lives.Attune our hearts and mindsto the presence of your Holy Spirit,
that our Church may be transformed,our relationships be healed,and our nation grow in compassion andjustice.With the intercession of St Mary MacKillop,who showed us new ways of living theGospel,
we make our prayerthrough Christ our Lord. Amen.Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Liturgy Committee Our Lady of Mount Carmel Wentworthville Ministers of theLiturgy of the Word for Children Formation Workshop
For Discussion• What is your experience of the Liturgy of the Word for Children?
The Second Vatican CouncilProvisions shall also be made, when revising theliturgical books, for legitimate variations andadaptations to different groups, regions, andpeoples, especially in mission lands, providedthat the substantial unity of the Roman rite ispreserved; and this should be borne in mindwhen drawing up the rites and devising rubrics. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 38
The Directory for Masses With Children• Congregation for Divine Worship, 1973• Masses with Adults at Which Children Also Participate• Masses with Children in Which Only a Few Adults Participate
The Directory for Masses With Children• Two general principles o Full, conscious and active participation o Liturgy cannot be completely beyond level of understanding
Masses With AdultsSometimes, moreover, if the place itself and thenature of the community permit, it will beappropriate to celebrate the Liturgy of theWord, including a homily, with the children ina separate, but not too distant, room. Then,before the Eucharistic Liturgy begins, thechildren are led to the place where the adultshave meanwhile celebrated their own Liturgy ofthe Word. Directory for Masses With Children, 17
For Discussion• Has what we have just considered changed your understanding of the Liturgy of the Word for Children?• How is it similar or different to our current practice here in Wentworthville?
Leading the Liturgy of the Wordfor Children at Mass
Preparation• Resources in cupboard and online• Biblical commentary can be downloaded from website• Take time to reflect• Read all three readings• Let God speak to you through the Scripture
Before Mass• Make sure the roster is followed − Organise a swap/replacement if you cannot make it• Arrive in plenty of time to check-in, prepare and familiarise yourself• Make sure the space is neat, tidy and prepared with anything you need on the day• Place the Lectionary and candles in the church
Introductory Rites• All children remain with their families and celebrate the entire Introductory Rites of the Mass with the assembly• Priest calls children forward after Collect prayer
Liturgy of the Word• Gathering of children at the front of the church• Sending forth by the priest• Procession to the room, led by the candle bearers and a child carrying the Lectionary for Masses with Children − An acclamation may be sung by the assembly as the children depart
Liturgy of the Word• Children sit and settle themselves in room − Welcome and introduction may be given
Liturgy of the Word• Readings Optional• Gospel Acclamation Not Alleluia in Lent• Gospel• Homily/Reflection Dialogue/Q&A can be used Physical engagement can be used
Liturgy of the Word• Profession of Faith − Options available, but must be official texts• Prayer of the Faithful − There isn’t a set text, but should end with similar to Lord, hear us… Lord, hear our prayer.• Concluding Remarks• Prepare to return to church
Liturgy of the Eucharist• All children return to the front of the church − Priest addresses them − Invites them to return to their families• Some of the children may participate in offertory procession• All participate in the rest of Mass as part of the liturgical assembly