What is Children's Liturgy and its purpose?
Liturgy of the Word with Children (LWC) is a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word in a manner related to the lives and experiences of children. It includes the same elements of the Liturgy of the Word as the main assembly including the Gospel reading, a reflection and prayers. LWC is designed to give children a better understanding of the Mass and the readings. It provides a foundation for learning and participation that will remain with them throughout their life.
What happens in a typical LWC session?
The leader welcomes the children, lights a candle on the prayer table and begins with invites the children to join in the "Children's Opening Prayer" ~ a simple blessing with hand gestures and actions which is repeated at the opening of every session and is easily learned.
The First Reading is read, followed by the Responsorial Psalm and then, the Gospel is read. The
leader directs the children in an interactive talk based on the Gospel using elements from modern life to help the children understand. Sometimes a skit or song is used. The session ends with a closing prayer and the children are provided with a handout to take home to help einforce the message they have heard.
What are some of the benefits of LWC?
Secondary only to sharing the message of the Gospel with the Children, the purpose of LWC is to make children feel welcomed and accepted by the church community in a special way. Through LWC, children learn the rituals and traditions of Mass, develop a love for the Church and the Catholic faith and build friendships in their church community.
What age level is intended for LWC?
The target audience for LWC is children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old. Older children may attend if invited by the leader as helpers. Children younger than 3 years of age are also welcome if accompanied by a parent/caregiver. Parents/caregivers are always welcome. This can help the younger children feel comfortable and it allows parents to see what the children are doing so as to promote further discussions at home.
Where is LWC celebrated?
The children go to a separate but nearby room just outside the main assembly where they can
hear the Word of God, participate in the Liturgy and engage in lesson-appropriate movement.
How do the children join and is registration necessary?
LWC is offered at Good Shepherd Church on Sundays at 9:00am and 11:00am Mass. After the Opening Prayer, the priest invites the children who want to attend LWC to the front of the church for a special blessing. The leader then escorts the children to the room for their Liturgy of the Word. No registration or payment is required.
When do they return to the main assembly?
The children return during the Offeratory. At this point, LWC is finished and because the main assembly is usually engaged in song, the noise and activity of returning children is not disruptive. It is important that they be present during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
What is the difference between LWC and catechesis?
LWC is liturgy - it is a continuation of the Mass. Catechism is formal religious education, usually in a classroom. LWC lasts about 20 minutes, while classroom catechesis takes about 1 hour.
What are the qualifications for the leaders?
The leaders must be practising Catholics who know and understand the faith. Potential leaders are to have a love for children and be excited about sharing their faith. Twice a year, training courses for LWC are offered by the Office of Religious Education www.rcav.org/oc These courses are not mandatory but encouraged for all LWC leaders and potential leaders. All leaders and assistants must pass a screening process.
Our parish is always looking for those interested in being LWC leaders! Please contact Janice at the Parish Office 604.531.5739