Children and the Liturgy

Children and the Liturgy

Children have particular needs when it comes to their experience of the proclamation of God’s Word in the Church’s liturgy. This subject is addressed by an important, if under-utiltised, document that emerged from the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council: Directory for Masses With Children (Congregation for Divine Worship, 1973). Over three chapters, the Directory proposes a number of ways to approach the liturgy in order “to help children readily and joyfully to encounter Christ together in the Eucharistic celebration” (no.55).
 
The Directory for Masses With Children recognises that the Church must show “special concern” for the liturgical experience of children and that the words and signs used at Mass are often not sufficiently adapted to the capacity of children’s understanding. It goes as far to express the concern that “spiritual harm” may occur “if over the years children repeatedly experience in the Church things that are barely comprehensible” (no.2) to them.
 
This is an important document for liturgical planning in parishes, schools, and other communities where Mass is celebrated with a good number of children present. Read, learn, share, discuss, and implement!
 
Helpful resources by St Pauls Publications:
Celebrating with Children: Volume 1 – Resources
Celebrating with Children: Volume 2 – Readings
 
 
See also:
 
For a helpful guide, see:
Gerard Moore, Understanding the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (St Pauls, 2007).