While on a few community Facebook pages, people have asked for “kid friendly” church recommendations. This generally means that they want a parish that the kids either have a service geared towards them or they leave the “adult” service for something else. I have always been puzzled as to why you wouldn’t want your child with you during Mass- or during a service!
My husband is not Catholic, however when he does not work he comes to Mass with us! He encourages the two older children to sit still and pray while I lead the music. Our youngest tends to wander around the Choir Loft, but the Folk Group is more like extended family at this point so they all enjoy a visit from our little man! Even if they did not love seeing our three kids at Mass, I would take them anyway!
An engineer friend of mine has a wonderful comparison. She says if we expect our children to some day be able to learn calculus, we first must teach them addition, division and how to find the area of a circle. Why then should it not follow, that if we want faith filled young adults, that we do not include them in our Liturgy? Pope Francis has made several statements recently about bringing children to Mass and how beautiful it is to God! My own Pastor loves hearing the kids during his homily or Communion!
Shouldn’t our children see how much mommy and daddy need Christ? Shouldn’t they see how we worship? If we will be held accountable for our children’s faith when we die, why are we not putting more emphasis on our children joining us for services?
If you have switched parishes or denominations because you weren’t entertained or because you thought your children wouldn’t be entertained- I would encourage you to go back. Do we really go to church for entertainment? To socialize? Allow your kids to experience your faith with their eyes. To see mommy cover her face in prayer after receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist. To see Daddy open his song book and sing (yes; even if it’s off key!!!)! Allow them to have faith as children!
If we expect Theologians for the next generation, we first need to plant the seeds of faith in our babies.
May you have a blessed week and Enjoy Mass together!