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Children's Liturgy

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Children's Liturgy

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“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19: 14)

Under 5s Group ‘The Little Fishes’ & Over 5s Group ‘The Followers’

St Anselm’s Church welcomes families, including babies and young children, especially at the Family Mass at 10am on Sundays. Sometimes babies and young children can get restless, and if they become noisy or start running about, this can disturb other worshippers. Parents are asked, if their children are becoming restless, to take them out of the church and into the foyer of the lower new hall or courtyard and once settled to return to the Mass. We offer liturgy sessions for ‘The Little Fishes’ Under 5s and ‘The Followers’ Over 5s during the readings, gospel, and sermon. For details, please see the parish newsletter and notice boards. Parents are asked to encourage their children to be quiet and reverent during the Mass. We ask parents to refrain from bringing hard or noisy toys into the church and liturgy groups. We also ask parents to encourage their children to be quiet and reverent during the Mass.

It is a great pleasure to welcome families and their children into our parish liturgy, however there are a few points we would like you to observe:


· Introducing reverence

· Introducing and conveying the message of the day’s gospel

· An introduction to prayer

· General introduction to the Mass

· We ask parents/carers to remember that our liturgy sessions are an extension of the Mass and their behaviour will be copied by the children. There should be silence.

· We ask that parents/carers absorb and continue with the message throughout the week, by completing the activity sheet and repeating relevant prayer.

· We ask parents/carers to support their child and the adults leading the class, this will then have a profound effect on the spiritual growth of your child.

· It is through the good humour, care, and friendliness of those our children meet they will realise how God loves them.

· We ask you to refrain from bringing food or liquids into the church and into the liturgy groups and to refrain from bringing hard or noisy toys into the church and the liturgy groups.

The Children’s Liturgy is held term-time only and takes place during the 10am Mass. It is an exciting and spiritual experience for all ages of our community. The liturgy groups are usually held on the 2nd & 4thSunday’s of the Month (and 5th Sunday when this occurs) when the children leave the church and attend their own liturgical experience in the new halls, an extension of the Mass. The Under 5s (Little Fishes) to be accompanied by a parent/adult go to the upper new hall via the doorway from the side of the Lady Chapel up the staircase to the upper hall and Over 5s (The Followers) go to the lower new hall, not necessarily accompanied by an adult via the rear door of the church to the courtyard and through the foyer of the new hall. From aged 7-8 years of age when children are part of the First Holy Communion programme, it is expected these children remain with their parents and follow the Mass in church. During the liturgy, the Gospel is read or acted out and the children interact through stories and songs. All the children return to the church at the end of the prayer of the faithful and some of the older children partake in the offertory procession of the gifts.

We believe by providing this exciting and invigorating liturgical experience, the children under the age of 7 years and parents/carers are able to engage more fully with the Word of the Lord. Full details are available in the ‘Children at St Anselm’s’ leaflet found on the welcome table at the rear of the church.

Liturgists are expected to have a knowledge and passion for the Word for the Lord and will have gone through the Parish Safeguarding procedure. Should you be interested in volunteering to be involved with this important ministry, please do get in touch with the parish office.


For babies and very small children it may help to bring a book, we discourage toys of any

sort, colouring books and crayons. Inevitability there will be times when the only thing to do

is take the child out for a while and once settled return to Mass.

By all means bring a bottle for a baby but please do not bring drinks or food. It is important

for children to learn that the church is a place of worship and eating takes place elsewhere.

Young children usually delight in stories and picture books and there are many such books

available based on the Old and New Testament as well as simple Mass books. Sitting where a

child can see what is going on and providing some suitable books can be a particularly good

introduction even if at first the child can only manage half an hour or so. Better a good

experience for a short time than an hour of fretting or fidgeting, which can be stressful for

everyone. It’s usually best not to sit too near ‘best friends’ to avoid the temptation to chatter.


Who is it for?

For parents with children who are too young to attend Children’s Liturgy on their own

(1-5 years approx.) including Reception aged children. (The Little Fishes)

Where will it take place?

In the Upper New Hall, via the staircase by the sacristy following an invitation by the Priest

after the opening prayer (Collect)

What will happen at parent & Child Liturgy?

Gospel reading, songs, actions, prayers for young children to learn with their parents.


At the 10.00am Mass on the 2nd , 4 th & 5 th Sunday of the Month, Family Mass following the

opening prayer of the Mass and return to the Church at the end of the Bidding Prayers just

before the Offertory procession.

PLEASE NOTE: One parent must accompany their child to this Liturgy Group.


Children aged 5-7 are invited to join the Over 5’s Children’s Liturgy Group, The Followers

after the Collect and which takes place in the lower new hall off the courtyard via the doors at

the rear of the church to the Tooting Bec road entrance. Children enrolled to the First Holy

Communion programme will be expected to remain in church at Mass.

Here the children will follow the Sunday Liturgy at a level suitable for their age.

The Gospel of the day will be presented and explained in an easy to understand format. There

will be simple prayers and songs. Often there is also a colouring or craft activity.

Attending Children’s Liturgy regularly is a good preparation for the children who will start

First Holy Communion classes when older. Children and Leaders return to take part in the

Offertory Procession and then the children return to sit with their family.

Children’s Over 5 Liturgy takes place on the 2 nd , 4 th & 5 th Sunday of the month at the 10.00am

Family Mass.

Note: These sessions are for children who are old enough to attend on their own and are able

to participate in the discussion and activities.


Boys and girls who have received their First Holy Communion and are currently

in Year 5 are invited to be involved in supporting their parish by serving at Mass.

Introductory and training sessions are arranged periodically. Servers are usually part of one of

the Sunday Liturgy Teams and serve on a rota basis. Contact the Parish Office for further

details: 020 8672 2179. E:


In keeping with current legislation, St Anselm’s has a protection panel to oversee the

implementation of the Diocesan policy for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

All people who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults are required to

undergo a vetting procedure through the Safeguarding Office.

If you have any enquiries or concerns, the appointed parish representatives are Peggy Jhugroo

& Debbie Barretto can be contacted through the parish office on 020 8672 2179. E:

A list of useful websites advised by the diocese for school and catholic life.
  , prayer site (also available as app) from the Jesuit Community. , a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc. , an online Christian living magazine, is brought to you by a group of writers, editors, and content producers seeking to provide applicable, educational, and entertaining content to followers of Jesus Christ regardless of where they are in their respective spiritual journeys. an visual introduction to Lectio Divina  a verbal introduction to Lectio Divina
 provides weekly Acts of Worship based on the Sunday Gospel The Wednesday Word has paused subscriptions for the current time and are offering free of charge 'online' editions

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