Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Praying with children


Further to Beyond words and what a child should know
The best behaved children at Mass here are two children who often attend our Traditional Mass, I am not saying that Trad Mass makes for well behaved children but that the dynamic is different between children, parents and the Mass. It is more that parents who bring their children to the Traditional Mass have different expectations of what their children get out of, or can put into the Mass.
First of all well behaved children come from families were family prayer is taken seriously and where the children have an example of prayerful and reverent parents. Prayer for these two children and their parents is not a church only experience.  
In the video clip above, of a friend of one of our parishioners, the family regularly say the Rosary together and night prayer is Compline with at least the final Marian Anthem sung in Latin. If families are not praying at home, it is unlikely children will pray in church.

8 comments:

servusmariaen said...

Father Ray,

I have never seen such well behaved children as I have at the traditional Mass chapel where I used to go. I was in amazement. They were all well behaved, well dressed and recollected. There was one young boy of 2 or 3 who would suck his thumb and the whole time be focused on the altar. I notice now at the local novus ordo where I assist at mass that the home school family with 10 children are the best behaved. The children are better behaved than many adults who fill the church with their endless chatter and most never genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament exposed let alone double genuflect but those children do! I once read these children are taught by word and action that they are not the center of God's universe JESUS is the center.

Lucy said...

My children are always very well behaved at Mass. They are complimented for their good behaviour and attentiveness and reverence at almost every Mass they have ever been too. They adore Jesus and run to church to be with Him. But they have never been to a traditional Mass in their lives. I think a child's behaviour at Mass has something to do with what they live at home and see modelled in the pew around them but also a LOT to do with the capabilities of the individual child. I think most children are capable of more attention to Jesus and good manners towards fellow worshippers than is often imagined but I am always aware that if God blesses us with another child, that child could be the one who screams and can't pay attention or can't appreciate the Mass until much older.

parepidemos said...

I agree with what Lucy said. I recently returned from spending 2 weeks with a former classmate who is now a missionary priest in Malawi. The Masses were neither in Latin nor in the Extraordinary Form. Whlist the parents sat on benches the children mostly squatted on the dirt floor. The level of reverence and attentiveness was very powerful. I was particularly impressed by how quickly everyone - children included - moved quickly from singing (and swaying) during the hymns to silence for the readings, the homily and Eucharistic Prayer.

Malawian children are taught respect from an early age. As Lucy wrote; if it si learned at home is shows in church. BTW, 2 of the teenage altar boys walk 90 minutes - each way - to church. Impressive.

Ma Tucker said...

I remember attending an information meeting for the Euacharistic congress last year. Our appointed congress apparatchik was lamenting the trials of getting to Mass on a Sunday having to drag the kids out of bed .... etc etc oh the drag of it all..etc etc but we do it for Jesus etc etc.

I remember thinking to myself how unlike that was to my own situation and that of families I knew. The children get fed up if we are late for Mass and harass us out the door to be on time. I know of one little chap who wept when there was to be a change of driver, fully convinced that the new driver would never make Mass on time! That's the effect of the traditional rite.

I remembered too the time I spent dragging myself to Mass before I found the traditional rite. It was really difficult to stay faithful.

Katharine said...

My children resist prayer at home, it's as if they are repulsed by anything religious such books etc.
They are decently behaved at the Traditional Mass however. Perhaps because they sit with their stern Father while I am out of the church with my babbling baby.
I have homeschooled for 2 years but due to their uncooperative attitudes, especially at prayer and catechism studies, I will be sending them to a ordinary form school this year. I sent them there for summer CCD class and they loved it. They came home singing about Jesus and excited about having said the petitiins and bringing the gifts to the altar.

I strongly prefer the Traditional Mass and culture, but I will do what it takes to get my children to know, love, and serve their God.
Not every family can do things the trad expected way and succeed.

Michael Petek said...

Latin is difficult?

You should try Slovene.

Six cases fully inflected for pronouns, nouns and adjectives in the singular, plural and dual, two aspects for verbs (perfective and imperfective) and near enough 50 dialects among 2 million speakers.

Pétrus said...

I agree with Lucy that most Children are far more capable than they are given credit for.

This is why I think the whole concept of "Children's Liturgy" is such a disservice to them. Across the country we see "little angels" trotting up to the front of the Church to hold their colouring aloft. Very rarely have I seen any of them take anything in or even know what they have coloured in.

Neither my wife or I ever had any exposure to Children's Liturgy and I think it is just a case of dumbing down.

Omphalomancer said...

As a child I vividly recall my first encounter with the traditional mass. Born as I was after the Second Vatican Council, I was raised in newness but aged 4 years developmentally I was anxious of unfamiliar situations. So it was that on a weekend trip to the capital we visited Brompton Oratory. It must have been between in the introit and the opening prayers that I took it upon myself to stand on the bench and announce in a moment of silence, "This is not English; this is not the mass."
A kindly if somewhat horrified parishioner directed my mortified parents to the sacristy where an English mass was being said.
I recall this vividly because my cheeks still blush. I have since learnt the error of my ways.
I do see children behave well at Church even allowing for the provocation and poor example that they have to endure. At the veneration of the relic of St John Vianney I was very struck by the patience and quiet devotion of the many children present.