What is Children’s Liturgy of the Word?
Children’s Liturgy is about breaking open the Word of God for young people.
The Liturgy of the Word for Children is not “Sunday school” or a catechetics class; it is not primarily a moment for catechesis. Rather, the Liturgy of the Word for Children is a component of the ritual prayer of Mass just as it is for adults.
Learning may take place during the Liturgy of the Word but it is in the context of liturgical prayer. In fact, the Children’s Liturgy of the Word should never be seen as separate from the Mass. It should flow with and in the greater celebration of the Sunday Mass.
Although the children may be in a different space for the liturgy of the Word or at a different level of understanding, we should not think of them as having been “dismissed” from the assembly. When they are elsewhere, it is to enhance their inclusion in the liturgy, not separate them from it.
In 2006 the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issued a booklet CELEBRATING LITURGY OF THE WORD WITH CHILDREN: GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICE. The booklet aims to help parishes enhance and enrich children’s experience of the Liturgy of the Word.
For more information on booklet, see below.
Excerpt taken and adapted from 2010. Fr. Kevin Tumback, Fr. Dan Stevenot & Diocesan Liturgy Commission (DLC).
CELEBRATING CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD – GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICE
What should be done when preparing a liturgy for children? How do we involve them in the celebration? What sort of formation is needed for those who plan and lead these celebrations?
To help answer such questions, the Publications Service of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released Celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with Children. This helpful resource provides practical assistance to all involved in the important ministry of planning and leading liturgies where children are present.
Written by recognized experts under the authority of the CCCB Episcopal
Commission for Liturgy and the direction of the National Liturgy Office, Celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with Children will prove useful for pastors, parish teams, teachers, catechists, parents, lay presiders and lectors. This guide will help organizers in choosing both music and texts, and inspire questions for reflection.
Also included in the resources are specific suggestions for facilitating the participation of children in the liturgy of the Eucharist within larger assemblies, and a useful glossary with clear explanations of liturgical terms. To read more about what this booklet has to offer go to Diocese of Calgary reflection
This resource is available through Universal Church Supplies, a store located in Saskatoon. They can be reached at 306-384-1924.
Liturgy is ritual prayer. Because the proclamation of the word is a ritual event, certain resources are encouraged.
The intent of the Children’s Lectionary is to lead children ‘into one community of faith, formed by the proclamation of the word of God, by using the same readings used in gathering of the full assembly, but with texts selected, adapted and arranged according to the needs and capacities of children’.
Liturgy of the Word is never simply a verbal experience. The use of symbols, movement and singing heightens the children’s experience of the transcendent. A beautifully bound book which is handled with respect; a special place for enthroning the word; gathering the children around to hear the scriptures proclaimed well; these all speak to the children of the sacredness of God’s word and influences how they accept and live by it.
The approved book of reading’s for children’s Liturgy of the Word is the Lectionary for Masses with Children.
SUNDAY WEEKLY LEADERS GUIDE
- Homily notes include Focus of Readings and Ideas for Reflections With Children.
- Scripture readings adapted for children in keeping with Directory for Masses With Children (Same as SUNDAY Lectionary Adapted for Children, used in thousands of parishes across the U.S. and endorsed by Canadian Bishops.)
- Music for Psalm Responses and Gospel Acclamations by Christopher Walker.
- Prayer of the Day for each Sunday.
Each volume includes 52 Sundays plus Feasts of the Lord and Solemnities
All resources listed are available through Universal Church Supplies in Saskatoon. They can be reached at 306-384-1924