For parents, catechists, leaders of Children's Liturgy of the Word
Hi, my name is Paula Rush. I'm a mum to 5 children and a catechist with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (an approach to faith formation for children) in the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario.
There are a lot of resources for adults sharing the Word of God with children out there, and so in some way, I guess I'm just adding to the lot. Personally, though, I have found that many resources "dumb it down" for children. In my experience, this makes sharing the Word of God feel artificial and it does nothing to deepen my own faith (not that sharing the Word should be all about me!)
The Word of God has a power of its own. When we share it together that power is tangible. It speaks to each of us, regardless of age.
In this blog, I try not to dumb anything down. Instead, I try to lift up aspects of the Word that I think would speak most to children at different developmental stages.
Parents: I hope that you would proclaim the Word of God to your child(ren), and then share the reflection. Mull it over together. Let them ask questions, but don't feel like you have to have the answers. We are all wondering together. My hope would be that you would allow your children to leave a comment on the reflection. When we discuss the Word together, we all gain insight into the mystery of God and the mystery of life. I think that active engagement in discussion of the Word draws us into these mysteries.
Those involved with Children's Liturgy of the Word: I hope that these reflections help you to prepare to break open the Word with the children at Mass. It is good to be mindful of the developmental stage of the children in your group.
Ages 3-6 are at an age to enjoy their relationship with God, but are not asking moral questions yet.
Ages 6-9 are starting to ask these questions. Explore the questions with them but avoid pushing them towards what they must do. They'll get there!
Ages 9-12 are in the thick of responding to the Word of God in action. Help them engage in discussion about the larger picture of building the Kingdom of God.
I created this blog so that children could have a safe place to read and think about the Word of God and what it means. We all want to figure out what our place is in God's great plan. I called it "The Better Part" because here we can all sit at Jesus's feet and listen to the Word of God.