Children at the Family Mass
Browse the list and click to find out more.
Children at the Family Mass
We welcome and encourage parents to bring their children to Mass. By virtue of their Baptism children are members of the Church and should be encouraged to be involved in ways appropriate for their age.
Our church is a sacred space, and all who gather are expected to help maintain an atmosphere of respect and prayerfulness.
Children of all ages are welcome at Mass and it is important for parents and parish alike to enable children to grow in respect and understanding of the Gospel values. The aim should be to create a good experience for our children and young people.
We recognise that it is not easy for small children to be quiet for a whole hour. So, we have included some suggestions here to help parents, along with information about Children’s Liturgy and Parent & Child Liturgy.
Sharing in the sacrament of the Mass and the ritual can be a special time for you as parents to bond with your child. In normal circumstances families coming together have special opportunities for children and parents to share. We even have a wonderful post Mass cuppa/drink/ healthy eating (& often cake) which also creates a time of participation and creates our sense of God’s family.
Even in the live streamed Masses many families have said how much they enjoy sitting down together and following the actions of the priest and sharing in the stories of the day. We are conscious that as well as attending Mass parents and guardians have a special duty to
introduce their children to prayer and by their own model to encourage them to be reflective. Watching you thank your Lord for your food is the best example as is a prayer before bedtime. We consistently post on our website information about mental health awareness from the Catholic Education Services and are mindful of this area of children’s welfare at this time. We are also mindful that whether you attend as a nuclear family or in a different format – all are welcome to the house of the Lord. Music at Mass in the form of special songs that are family based is a powerful and stimulating force and you will soon learn the actions to
many including “ Jesus Hands” spend some time watching out for those who get it wrong…
It is often me!!!
Yours in Christ,
Rev Canon Dr William Hebborn, Parish Priest
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.