Children’s Liturgy

We use the Catholic Children’s Bible from St Mary’s Press in Children’s Liturgy, as the language is far simpler for the children to understand. The focus during children’s liturgy is how we can live our lives following the example of Jesus – we learn this through the Gospel reading. Some guidelines written by the Diocese of Westminster define what happens during Children’s liturgy as follows:

The term ‘Liturgy of the Word with Children’ refers to the practice of children leaving the Sunday assembly during the Liturgy of the Word and gathering with adult leaders elsewhere to celebrate a separate Liturgy of the Word that is more appropriate to their level of understanding.

Two key principles need always to be kept in mind when preparing and celebrating Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Firstly, Children’s Liturgy of the Word is liturgy, ritual prayer, and not catechesis (religious instruction) or child minding. Because it is a liturgical celebration, all the principles of good liturgy (active participation, clear symbols, etc) apply. Secondly, it is liturgy of the word, so it is ritual centred on the proclamation and breaking open of the scriptures. The children do what the rest of the community is doing at this point of the Mass. They listen to the scriptures proclaimed and applied to contemporary life and respond in various ways. It is an experience of prayer, of dialogue with God.