Thursday, June 11, 2009

Young Children at Mass

They belong there, in their Father's house. Before I became a parent myself I used to feel annoyed when I thought that people were not doing enough to keep their children quiet at Mass. I have since been humbled. Sometimes, no matter how hard a parent may try to keep a child quiet and reverent at Mass, they act up anyway. It can be a challenging time. But if they are never brought to Mass when they are little then they will not learn. And small children can absorb graces just by being in God's presence.

Donna Marie Cooper-O'Boyle continues the discussion, HERE. Share


Margaret said...

I have been humbled too! Most of my childrens' antics at Mass have involved shouting out funny things in their excitement. When my youngest sees a crucifix she yells out "Jeeessss! Jeeesss!" over and over. We try to take her out if it goes on too long but I know it must make Our Lord happy to have her 'recognize' Him. :)

One of my favorites was during the quiet prayer moment after Communion my 18 month old daughter yelled out at the top of her lungs "E - I - E - I - OOOOOOOOO!" Everyone at Mass lost it and burst out laughing. Even Father got the giggles. Oh dear!

mercifuljuliana said...

Amen! I agree wholeheartedly. I have always taken my son to Divine Liturgy. It was especially challenging when he was a toddler since our liturgy is about 1 hour and 40 minutes long. I would stand near the back and take him out periodically. I also brought a little pocket religious coloring book that I found (although, I never wanted to bring toys as I didn't want him to think he was at a playground). He'll be 5 in August, and it's much easier now. He's used to the liturgy and has become a patient little boy! It would have been so much harder to start taking him now. Spiritually, it's definitely made an impact. He will occasionally make comments about a part he remembers from the liturgy.

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, Margaret, I've had the E-I-E-I-O thing after Communion happen to me at least once.

That's great, Juliana. The crayons have done wonders for our situation, too.

Suzanne said...

I agree, if a child grows up in the church they will grow up appreciating its beauty.

Terry Nelson said...

As a single man I love seeing children at Mass.

A parent once told me that he has his family sit up fron in the first pew. He said the children can see and follow what is going on better, and therefore they are less likely to act up - especially since they are in front of everyone in the church. Made sense to me.

elena maria vidal said...

I agree, Suzanne. Welcome!

Yes, Terry, sitting in the front row works most of the time, unless one has a child who is a born entertainer, who thinks everyone else in the church is their audience. Thank the Lord for cry rooms!

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Thanks very much for posting this, Elena Maria. It is an ever timely issue. We need to encourage parents to bring their little ones to Jesus and reap the benefits of holy Mass!

God bless!