Our children’s liturgy takes place during the Saturday evening and Sunday morning Masses. The children gather together in the presbytery and are led in worship by the catechists. We pray and sing together, then listen to the Gospel; this is followed by a related activity. We then rejoin the Mass in church. Any child aged between 4 – 11 is welcome to join us.
Bringing children to church
Children are never too young to bring to church. Unfortunately many parents worry that their child may be disruptive in church; babies cry whilst toddlers ask questions and want to wander round, but this is all perfectly normal.
Here at St Mary's we want you and your child to feel welcome and part of our community. We hope the following information and hints are useful and will make coming to church easier and more enjoyable for you and your child.
Baby changing and feeding; there are facilities for nappy changing and bottle warming in the house through the sacristy. Someone will direct you.
If you bring your child in a pram or pushchair, the side entrance provides easy access to the church. Please try not to obstruct the aisles or doorways. There is space at the back and side of church to leave pram or pushchair.
Helping your child to enjoy Mass
Bring your child to Mass from an early age; it will soon become part of their normal routine.
Take time, either before or after Mass, to show your child around church; this will help them to become familiar with their surroundings and feel more comfortable.
Bring your child with you at Communion time so that they can receive a blessing from the priest. This enables them to share in the Eucharistic celebration and will make them feel part of the Church community.
Children will soon recognize that there are different 'parts' to the Mass. Encourage your child to participate during the service, let them hold the hymn book, encourage them to join in with the responses or be quiet when needed, encourage them to sit, stand and kneel with the rest of the congregation.
Choose a seat that allows your child to see the altar, this will help keep their attention and gain a better understanding of what is happening. Bring something to occupy your child, perhaps a quite toy or book, preferably not something that can be banged or rattled. Do not worry if you cannot stand or kneel when you are holding a baby, it is acceptable to remain seated in these circumstances.
Our children are a valuable part of the congregation and are here to worship with us. We hope this information will help our young families feel they belong to our community and that we are there to support them in their child's faith journey.