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Children's Liturgy of the Word
     
 

A Sample

Liturgy of the Word

for Children


The following is a sample of what a Liturgy of the Word for Children might look like. It is from the Celebration II - We are People of the Cross of the Proclaiming Abundant Love parish mission.




Gathering

The children gather with their parents and the rest of the community at the beginning of the mission celebration in the parish church. After the opening prayer, they are dismissed from the assembly. One of the members of the preaching team accompanies them to a suitable place where they can listen to the Word and do the activity that is part of their celebration.



Song
Click picture to ZOOM

Text: Joseph Nassal, C.PP.S.
Music: Keith R. Branson, C.PP.S.
© 1995 Keith R. Branson, C.PP.S. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

A simple refrain, such as the one above, from Chalice Prayer, by Keith Branson, C.PP.S. is sung several times.





Sharing the Word of God

Different children might be asked to read each of the following with a little discussion of what they think it might mean.

  • Then Jesus said to his disciples: "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)
  • The message about the cross doesnít make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is Godís power at work. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
  • I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned. (Galatians 6:14)
  • Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)




Reflection

Before Jesus died on one, the cross was considered something ugly. The Romans used the cross to kill people who had committed serious crimes, especially crimes that the government did not like. Today, however, the cross is a sign of our salvation Ė a symbol that God loves us so much that God would die on a cross for us.

The children are invited to look at several different artistic renderings of the cross, to talk about their favorite cross and what the cross means to them.





Telling a Story

The leader of the session might also read The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale, retold by Anbgelka Elwell Hunt, Illustrations by Tim Jonke (Lion Children's Books, Colorado Springs, 1989).



Activity

Using various media, the children are invited to make crosses that they will give to the adults as they leave the celebration that evening.

If there is a parish school, the children in school, as well as those in the parish religious education program, might make some crosses prior to the beginning of the mission. Older children might help younger ones.

Some of the crosses might also be taken to the homebound or to the residents of nursing care or assisted living facilities by members of the preaching team who visit those who are unable to attend the mission celebrations in person. If this is going to happen, the children should know that this will happen.





Blessing the Crosses

The crosses might be placed in one or more baskets for their distribution to the entire assembly gathered that evening, as well as to those who are unable to attend the mission celebrations. Then the children would be invited to gather around the basket(s), stretch out their hands in blessing and pray with the member of the preaching team who has been leading this activity as he/she prays:

Lord God, Father all-holy,
you made the cross of your Son Jesus
to be the fountain of all blessings,
the source of all grace.

In your goodness be near us
who have made these crosses
as a sign of our faith.

May we always hold fast
to the mystery of Christís suffering
and enter the joy of his risen life,
who is Lord for ever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer adapted from "Blessing of a New Cross for Public Veneration" number 1251 in The Book of Blessings.





Return to the Assembly

The children return to the assembly after the Liturgy of the Word is over. The presider may welcome them back and ask them to share a little of what they did during their time away.

The ritual follows, this evening it is the Veneration of the Cross, and the children participate in it with the rest of the assembly.




Ministry to the Assembly

Several of the children might take baskets with the crosses they made and give them to people as they return to their seats from venerating the cross. Or some of the children might go to the church doors to pass out their crosses as theassembly departs from the celebration.




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