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Children in Worship October 16, 2011

Children in Worship

At Sunday worship, children sing in choirs and serve as ushers, acolytes and readers.  

At the 9 am service, during the Gospel hymn, children in grades Kindergarten and above are invited to follow the acolyte carrying the cross to the chapel (to the right of the altar) for a Gospel story and prayers. They return to the main service at The Peace.

Christian Education and Formation programs for children and youth meet in the Parish House, adjacent to the parking lot.

For infants and toddlers child care is available in the Nursery on the second floor of the Parish House from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Children age 3 through Kindergarten are invited to attend the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Level 1 from 9:00 to 11:00 am.

Children and youth in Grade 1 and above attend Church School from 10:15 to 11 am. A description of offerings is provided on the Church School page.


 

Children’s Liturgy
Every Sunday a youth bulletin is printed. This bulletin is geared towards children fifth grade and over. It explains how the liturgy is put together, what the liturgy means, and how we can participate in the liturgy more fully. During this school year, the younger children who attend children’s chapel during sermon time, will receive intentional instruction by the clergy as we walk more deeply through the Eucharistic liturgy. They will have the chance to ask questions about things like the Confession, the Nicene Creed, and the Eucharist at their level. 

Worship Bags
Worship bags are available in the narthex for families with young children. These prepared tote bags are filled with materials meant to enhance a child’s sense of worship and help them process new prayers, scriptures and hymns.

Children's Chapel
During the 9am service, Children's Chapel is offered for elementary age children. After the Gospel is read, children follow the crucifer to the Chapel next to the main worship space, where they gather for a children's homily and prayers. They return to the main service during the Peace.

Younger Children during Worship
Children age 3 (and potty trained) through Grade K attend Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Level I (see Catechesis I section) from 9 to 11 am. On three Sundays of the year, they participate in the Children’s Liturgy during the 9 am service and then attend Catechesis at 10:15.

For the youngest ones (infant through two or three years old), child care is available each Sunday in the Nursery (see Nursery section) from 8:30 to 11:30 am The hours of Nursery care may be extended to begin at 7:30 am or end at 12:30 pm with advance notice to the caregivers or Tory Kline.


 

Formed by Worship

Worship is one of the basic ways people learn what it means to be Christian; and children learn worship by worshipping with the congregation, Sunday after Sunday.

They learn they belong to Christ and are welcome in his church.

They learn to know the Lord’s Prayer and other parts of the liturgy from memory.

They build a fund of memorable, shared experiences of Christian community upon which they may draw when they are older.

They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as expressions of praise and as human responses to God.

They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted and begin to see Christian worship as one place where God may speak to them and where they may come close to God.

They witness the drama of Baptism and Eucharist as signs of God’s welcome and love.

They discover that they are valued as persons by God and by the people of God in their faith community.


 

For Parents

It’s hard for children to sit still for long, but here are some ideas that other parents have found helpful.

When you arrive, introduce your children to the greeters and make sure each is given a copy of the service leaflet.

Feel free to borrow books and/or art supplies at the Children’s Cart in the entryway, returning them after the service. Some children hear better if their hands are busy.

Try sitting close to the front where small children can get a better view of what is happening.

Children learn how to participate in worship by imitating you. Sing the hymns, pray, and give voice to the responses.

Feel free to whisper as you help your child follow the service. Encourage children to find the hymns, and share the hymnal with children at their eye level. For younger readers, line the words with your finger.

Show children how to participate in The Peace.

Guide them as they take Communion. Show them how to cup their hands to receive the bread, sip from the cup or dip the wafer into the cup. If they are receiving a blessing, show them how to cross their arms.

After the service, introduce yourself and your children to the people who are sitting nearby.

Share your experiences of worship at home or when driving in the car. 

Remember the promise we make whenever a child is baptized: 

“Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?”

 “We will!”

Greet children, as well as adults, and be as intentional about knowing children’s names as you are about knowing adults’ names.

Include children in the passing of the offering plate and at The Peace.

When children give visible leadership, respond to them as worship leaders – not as performers.

Be understanding when parents need to take younger ones out and then return during worship.

Ask parents you know if occasionally they would like you to invite their child to sit with you during worship.


 

Church of the Redeemer - 230 Pennswood Road - Bryn Mawr, PA 19010