Children at Liturgy

Here are a few suggestions to help those with little children make the most of worship time:
Sit as close to the front as possible so that the children can see what's happening. Restrict, but don't prohibit movement. Say "Whisper" rather than "Don't talk."
Bring materials for the children such as children's liturgy books, Bible story picture books, paper and crayons, quiet toys.
Prepare your children for the Liturgy by reading the Gospel the day before, reminding them to listen to it in Liturgy, teaching them to recite the Lord's Prayer, encouraging them to sing along (Lord have mercies, etc.), lighting candles, watching for the entrances, receiving Holy Communion. If you don't know enough about the Liturgy to teach your children, now's the time to find out.
Ignore comments that belittle your effort to make your children part of church life. Christ accepted and welcomed children. How can we do any less.
Don't be too hard on your children. You probably expect better behavior from them than your parish family does.
Make the Church an important part of your life. Strive to learn more, pray more, do good works. The real religious education class is in church. It's "hands on."
Attend extra services with your children. During the summer various parishes offer the "Supplication Service to the Theotokos" or "Paraclesis" during the August lenten period. Summer feast days include: SS. Peter & Paul (June 29/July 12), Transfiguration (August 6/19), Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15/28), the Beheading of John the Baptist (August 29/September 11).

© 1997 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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