Liturgy for Children

Apologies if this question has been asked before, but does anyone here have recommendations for liturgical resources for home use with children - ideally in a form that lends itself to scaling up and down.

Looking for personal recommendations - I've found a number of suggestions via Google already.

Comments

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited June 10
    Are you C of E? If so, there are a couple of newish Eucharistic prayers, one of which we use at Our Place at our quarterly Family Mass with Scout Parade.

    It's called 'Prayer One':
    https://churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship/holy-communion/additional-eucharistic-prayers/prayer-one

    We miss out the optional interpolations, but otherwise use it as printed. It sort of does what it says on the tin, IYSWIM.

    Of course, if you're not C of E, I'm sure we won't mind if you borrow it!

    FWIW, the aforesaid Family Mass usually has just two short readings (Epistle or OT plus Gospel), metrical Gloria, and three hymns. 50 minutes max, and with perhaps 40 adults and 40 under-16s (mostly 7-12).

    IJ

    (I must have had a Senior, aka Homer Simpson Moment, having just now spotted your mention of home use....sorry about that, but maybe parts of that Eucharistic Prayer could be incorporated in home prayers?)

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Thanks - yes, I'm anglican enough to be able to use that - though as you say, it will be hard work as it's Eucharist focused, and this is for home use.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    We used The Blessing Cup with our kids when they were younger, and we really liked it. It has the advantage of being brief but meaningful and memorable with just the right amount of ritual for children, and of relating to the Eucharist without being too Eucharistic. We tended to use it mainly on “occasions” (birthdays, first day of school, special accomplishments, etc.) but it can be used more regularly. It’s flexible and adaptable, and the kids can take leading roles.

    We’ve given it as a “new/first baby” gift many times, sometimes with a handmade pottery cup. But there can be value in letting the family find their own cup.

    I highly recommend it.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I've not encountered that one, but I'll be very interested in this thread as, although I'm a grandparent now, I've never found anything terribly suitable.

    The CofE's provision is Daily Prayer, but even using the very shortest form, I suspect it's really a bit too wordy even for most adolescents, yet alone younger children.

    I suspect in the CofE some might feel uncomfortable that using a cup as a symbol might be a bit too Eucharistic for general domestic use, encroaching in the direction of offering false fire, and that a candle might be less of a problem.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    I suspect in the CofE some might feel uncomfortable that using a cup as a symbol might be a bit too Eucharistic for general domestic use, encroaching in the direction of offering false fire, and that a candle might be less of a problem.
    I can see that.

    FWIW, the author is a Franciscan priest, so he comes at it with an RC Eucharistic understanding. He spends some time in the introduction giving some background on the blessing cup. Our experience (we’re Presbyterians) was that it complemented the kids’ developing understanding of what the church is doing in the Eucharist. But mileages may vary.

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    FWIW, the author is a Franciscan priest, so he comes at it with an RC Eucharistic understanding. He spends some time in the introduction giving some background on the blessing cup. Our experience (we’re Presbyterians) was that it complemented the kids’ developing understanding of what the church is doing in the Eucharist. But mileages may vary.

    Thank you - that certainly sounds useful - together with Enoch's comment about substituting in a candle instead - though will see how the cup functions within that context first.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    What would be really good would be to write liturgy which worked for everyone. Then we wouldn't need to write liturgy for children.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited June 13
    Yeah but that is hard, I have been involved in a genuine attempts to do this and it is really hard work. What people tend to do in these circumstances is write the liturgy for children* and hope it does for adults. As I know from family experience this does not WORK.

    *or what they think is liturgy for children as it is often patronising and I have yet to find a child who likes being patronised.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Back when Common Worship first appeared it contained special eucharistic prayers for children/ the young: it was envisaged that these would not only be used in schools but also form the basis of "family" services.

    Whenever we're visited by Senior Clergy they express amazement that we have different service books for the different seasons, changing prayers and other things to better reflect the season. Apparently many churches use the same thing, week-in-week-out: and no doubt they wonder why people get bored and fall by the wayside.
  • I'll be honest and say that IMO those special eucharistic prayers don't seem very child-friendly.

    But isn't this post supposed to be about liturgies for use at home, rather than church?
  • Yes, that was the original point of the thread - it was I who messed it up by misreading the OP!
    :expressionless:

    Which begs the question, perhaps, as to how many families actually have a home liturgy or ritual? The days of Family Prayers, i.e. BCP Mattins read by Paterfamilias, with the servants gathered respectfully at the back, behind the Family, are now only to be found in novels, I suspect...

    Re the 'Eucharistic Prayers for use with children', I agree that they aren't particularly child-friendly, though the recently-added 'Prayer One' is about as minimalist as it's possible to get.

    IJ

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Yeah but that is hard, I have been involved in a genuine attempts to do this and it is really hard work. What people tend to do in these circumstances is write the liturgy for children* and hope it does for adults. As I know from family experience this does not WORK.

    *or what they think is liturgy for children as it is often patronising and I have yet to find a child who likes being patronised.

    Perhaps the adults have a problem not because the liturgy has children in mind, but because it's patronising to everyone?

    Which gives us hope it can be achieved.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    I'll be honest and say that IMO those special eucharistic prayers don't seem very child-friendly.
    It wasn't just about eucharistic prayers: the whole thing could be made more child-friendly, including a changed creed, metrical gloria, simplified penitential rite, etc, etc, etc.
    But isn't this post supposed to be about liturgies for use at home, rather than church?
    As has been said by others, do we really need "liturgies" at home? Surely when one is teaching or encouraging one's children to pray it is far better to be spontaneous? Sure, a pattern may emerge but that doesn't require "professional" input surely? When we pray with small children at night all we need to do is give thanks for the day and the good things that have happened during it, give thanks for the many blessings we have (starting with a roof over one's head), remember to God those we love and say sorry for any childish naughtiness that may have happened: anything more with very young children is, IMO, rather OTT.
  • I'll be honest and say that IMO those special eucharistic prayers don't seem very child-friendly.
    It wasn't just about eucharistic prayers: the whole thing could be made more child-friendly, including a changed creed, metrical gloria, simplified penitential rite, etc, etc, etc.
    Very good.


  • Jewish families have 'home liturgies', don't they?

    Presumably children join in with these, so I wonder if that was the sort of thing chrisstiles was thinking of...

    But yes, home prayers with young children may best be kept simple and spontaneous.

    IJ
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Anything is better than the prayer I was taught by my parents:

    Gentle Jesus, meek and mild
    Look upon this little child.
    Pity my simplicity,
    Suffer me to come to thee.

    I have no idea where this came from or why my ( otherwise sensible) parents thought it suitable. They did not use written prayers in any other context, and did not consider me a simpleton.
  • Well, I can't speak for your parents, of course, but its pedigree is impeccable - Charles Wesley, no less!

    https://hymnary.org/text/gentle_jesus_meek_and_mild_look_upon

    OK for the 18th C, perhaps, but today? I think not...

    IJ
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Presumably children join in with these, so I wonder if that was the sort of thing chrisstiles was thinking of...

    Yes, that was more along the lines of what I was thinking of, rather than a version of 'Daily Office for Kids'.
    But yes, home prayers with young children may best be kept simple and spontaneous.

    For the most part I'd agree - though small children also tend to repeat themselves, and my 7 year old daughter seems to like/respond to short set prayers - so I was looking to introduce a little more variety
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited June 14
    Jewish families have 'home liturgies', don't they?

    Presumably children join in with these, so I wonder if that was the sort of thing chrisstiles was thinking of...

    Perhaps. Except in the most observant families, most people will say a Shachrit (morning prayer) at home rather than going to the synagogue; and while formal wording may be used (always using the Shema, for example) it may be combined with a simple grace (Brachot) before eating or with a prayer after breakfast. There will also be simple invocations when entering the home using the Mezuzah, and night-time prayers also have a structure. But the basic rules/ format/ occasions are the same as they should be in a Christian household: thanksgiving for food, thanksgiving for other blessings or advantages, commending to God loved ones living and departed, and asking for help and guidance.

    Where Judaism scores is with the ritual that has grown around some of the prayers - things like the HaMotzi (prayer over the bread on the sabbath) and lighting candles at the start of sabbath on a Friday night.
    But yes, home prayers with young children may best be kept simple and spontaneous.

    IJ

    Of course, there is nothing to stop anyone "borrowing" some of the rituals - why not light a candle just before the children go to bed on a Saturday night? It would not only remind everyone of the importance of Sunday (and its shared worship) but also be an occasion where the whole family could come together in a relaxed, informal environment for prayer.

    As for the little bit of Wesley (Gentle Jesus ...), there are other little verses and sung Graces - anyone else remember Two little eyes ... ?

  • Yes!

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=Itr3aIn8N70

    IIRC, I was a bit older than this little laddie when I learnt it....
    :grin:

    Thanks to TheOrganist, BTW, for the info re Jewish home prayers.

    IJ
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    You're welcome. Sometimes its quite handy having such a mixture of faiths in the family :grin:

    Thanks for the link to the little chap trying to do Two little eyes, it made me quite misty-eyed, sad old bu**er that I am.
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