Worshipping with Children
Children of all ages are welcome to participate in worship services at St. Margaret's. As they are a vital part of our congregation, we have a responsibility to help children learn to worship. They may not always understand what is going on, but we can help them to know that this is a sacred place where they are loved, needed and accepted.
Bringing children to worship may not always be easy, but it is an essential part of their growth toward Christ.We hope that the suggestions offered here will help us all appreciate the children who are present, for our children do belong in the worshiping community of St. Margaret's.
- Review the order of service with your child to help him or her understand better what is happening in the service. Help your children find the hymns and follow along in the prayer book. Keep the hymnal, prayer book and service sheets at the child's eye level.
- Encourage your child to participate in the offering by sharing his or her own financial resources.
- Feel free to speak softly to your child as you help him or her to learn. It is hard for children to sit still for a long time; allow for some movement. This does not mean, however, that they should be allowed to roam freely in the church or make numerous trips in and out. Establish ground rules ahead of time. For example, no fighting with siblings, or making paper airplanes; soft toys, paper and crayons are fine to bring along, but noisy toys should be left at home.
The time we gather for Communion is a very important time in our worship and children can also sense that it is a special time. We encourage all baptized persons to receive Communion, no matter what their age, and for those not yet baptized to come forward to receive a blessing.
Suggestions for the Congregation:
- Remember the commitment we make to the children at baptism: "Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?" (BCP p. 303) Take time to greet the children before and after the service, as well as during the Peace.
- Express your gladness at having the children near you.
- Include them in your conversations; let them know they belong.
- Hand offering plates to children, not just over their heads.