Esker is planning a family Mass, once a month. We need some parents and teenagers who are willing to help out. You will be given training in Chidl Safeguarding, leadership and liturgy. We will meet once a month to plan each Mass. If you are interested in helping out or even sharing ideas, please come to our first meeting in Esker, on Tuesday 27th January, 2015, at 8.30pm.
Contact: Lizzie Harrison, Youth Ministry Co-ordinator, Esker 087 2462034/ 091 850298.
Esker Children’s Mass: A message from Lizzie Harrison:
My name is Lizzie Harrison and I was recently appointed as Youth Ministry Co-ordinator in Esker Monastery. I am passionate about good Liturgy and its power to support us through life’s journey. I am also passionate about giving children positive experiences of a Church community where they feel welcome and valued and their faith is nourished at an age appropriate level so that they receive a gift that will support them through their whole lives.
I am a mother of two lively sons aged 5 and 8. I bring my children to mass and I want it to be a positive experience for them. However, I often leave the Church, frustrated by their behaviour and wondering what they got out of it? Then I ask myself. Does the Sunday mass welcome children? Do they feel a part of it? Does it nourish their faith or just pass over their heads?
I am interested in piloting a family mass in Esker at the 11am Sunday Eucharist on the first Sunday of every Month. There are two models of Children’s Liturgy.
- Sunday school:
After the welcome and opening prayer, young children who have not made their communion will be invited to go to a separate space where we will explore the Liturgy of the Word, using story, song and art. They will be invited to leave with the invitation “Go and help us to understand God’s words for us today”.
The Children and Leaders will then return to the wider congregation in time for the procession of gifts and they will come up to the altar as part of that procession. They will briefly display their work, perhaps sing a song and then return to their parents.
- 2. Family Mass:
In this model children are involved in all the elements of the Mass. Children could be involved in welcoming people, giving out leaflets, the entrance procession, a choir, in reading readings, prayers or reflections, singing the Psalm, the offertory, the Our Father or in some gesture after communion. Teenagers could be trained to be leaders and help with the younger children. At the homily children come up to the altar for their own homily. All children who are not receiving communion will be offered the possibility to come up for a blessing from the priest or Eucharistic minister during communion.
I would like to form a group of interested parents and teenagers. Once we decide a model of Children’s Liturgy that we are happy with I will give some training in leadership, child safeguarding, Liturgy and provide resources. We could look at or visit some other places doing similar programmes to get ideas and encouragement. It would involve attending some training initially and after that meeting once a month to prepare the next mass.
I am really excited about the possibility of developing a Children’s Liturgy that will be something my children and yours look forward to. I want them to be engaged, I want them to feel welcome and loved in their church community and I want them to learn how to pray and develop a faith that sustains them. I hope you can help me.
v Imagine a fun, faith filled mass for children?
v Imagine them feeling welcome, involved and cherished?
v Imagine if it could strengthen their faith to face life’s challenges?