Liturgy of the Word For Children
For children ages 4 to 9
During the 4:30 PM Saturday Vigil Mass
The Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLOW for short) is a Liturgical Celebration for children ages 4-9. It provides the children with a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word during Mass that is geared especially for them. It consists of hearing the three Sunday readings proclaimed using a special Children's Lectionary, music, discussion, and sharing. Everything in the liturgy is adapted to their level of understanding so that the Living Word of God may be made real and present for them. The Children's Liturgy is held weekly the Sunday following Labor Day through the end of June.
How Does It Work?
Children gather for Sunday Mass with their families as usual. After the opening prayer, the celebrant calls the children forward into the sanctuary along with an adult leader and several adult helpers. The leader is presented with the Children's Lectionary and the children receive a little blessing before processing to classrooms in the school building for their own Liturgy of the Word. The children then rejoin their families in Church prior to the Presentation of the Gifts during the Offertory. There they remain with their families for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the remainder of Mass.
Why a Separate Celebration for Children?
CLOW takes into account the developmental needs of young children. If we as adults struggle to understand what we hear during the Sunday Scriptures from time to time, we can only imagine the difficulties a young child must experience. Taking the developmental needs of the children into account allows us to create a presentation and discussion of the Sunday Scriptures that will meet the children where they are. It allows them to become more involved in the Liturgy, and to more fully understand what it is that takes place during this special time of the Mass.
How Can I or My Children Become Involved?
Any child, ages 4-9, can participate just by being present when CLOW is celebrated. There is no registration, no fee, and no sign-ups.
CLOW's success depends on adults who are willing to give of their time and talent to serve the needs of our parish children. There are several ways adults can become involved in CLOW.
- All parents can be become involved by encouraging their children ages 4-9 to participate, and by asking them about their experience and what they "learned" after Mass.
- Adult Leaders are needed to proclaim the Sunday readings to the children and lead them in prayer and reflection. Adult leaders are provided with all of the materials necessary to assist them in the preparation of the reflection and prayer. Adult Leaders are scheduled to serve once every four to six weeks.
- Adult Helpers are needed to assist with the supervision of the children who participate in CLOW. Adult helpers serve to help maintain a prayerful attitude among the children during the celebration of the Liturgy. Adult Helpers are scheduled to serve once every four to six weeks.
Adult Leaders and Helpers go through an orientation and training to enable them for this special and exciting ministry and receive ongoing support from the program director. If you have any questions or if you want to become involved, contact Maryellen Carroll at 215-468-4777 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.