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  #1  
Old Sep 28, '09, 11:49 am
jimwood jimwood is offline
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Default Children's participation at Mass

Are there any guidelines for children serving as lectors and/or cantors during Mass?
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  #2  
Old Sep 28, '09, 12:02 pm
stbruno stbruno is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

Try contacting your diocesan office of divine worship, perhaps they can tell you if there is a local resource for you to you. When we do Children's liturgies, it is usually when predominantly children are present, usually a kids' school mass. The kids should be fully able to read and practice with a responsible adult, organist, teacher etc, their role in the mass.
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Old Sep 28, '09, 12:32 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by jimwood View Post
Are there any guidelines for children serving as lectors and/or cantors during Mass?
I would recommend that children learn to participate fully, consciously, and actually in the liturgy before they participate by taking on liturgical roles like lector or cantor. Make sure they know what the Mass is before offering them roles they don't understand.
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  #4  
Old Sep 28, '09, 12:41 pm
xhrist xhrist is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

I have attended Mass at my Parish with my 3yr old since she was a baby. She has constantly shown greater interest in our faith as she's grown.

I have wanted to get further involved in my parishes youth ministry. I have volenteered for the Childrens' Liturgy of the Word program, where children 4yrs to 2nd graders exit the church at start of Sunday Mass, and spend most of the mass (until the Offerings) in the rectory, going over a reading plus Q&A and then coloring. We all return for the blessing of the gifts and remaining Mass.

I went along with my daughter this week, since shes a bit young, to 'monitor' her and learn about the program. She did wonderful and made me very proud of her enthusiasm and participation.

my question is: Would I be truly fullfilling my weekly obligation of Mass, if I continued to 'miss' the beginning of Mass including readings and Homily, every week?

I do actually read the readings the day before Sunday Mass. It just feels kinda strange not being in the church for the Holy Mass...though I love being with the children...
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  #5  
Old May 1, '10, 6:31 pm
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JerrySeibert JerrySeibert is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

Get the involved. Did not Jesus say, "let the children come to me". Yes he did.
I have my son help me Usher with me. He is eight. And I think it is awsome how much he enjoys helping in Mass. Every Sunday he helps me was the Chalices and Patens and he is proud of helping.
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Old May 1, '10, 7:57 pm
Phemie Phemie is online now
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by japhy View Post
I would recommend that children learn to participate fully, consciously, and actually in the liturgy before they participate by taking on liturgical roles like lector or cantor. Make sure they know what the Mass is before offering them roles they don't understand.
AMEN!

I've seen the really bad results of getting children to do these things simply to get them involved. I saw it at Mass this afternoon when they split the first reading between two children so that two of the first communicants could be involved. The second child couldn't even be heard -- how did that benefit the community gathered for Sunday Mass?

My experience has been that many of those who promote this see the Liturgy at the service of the kids rather than seeing those ministries at the service of the Liturgy.

I guess I've now officially entered my crotchety old lady phase.
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Old May 1, '10, 11:29 pm
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CatholicZ09 CatholicZ09 is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

At my church, you are not allowed to become a lector until you've received your Confirmation. I don't know if that is an official rule or what?

I know at most parishes they accept high school aged children to become cantors.
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Old May 2, '10, 4:23 am
Phemie Phemie is online now
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by CatholicZ09 View Post
At my church, you are not allowed to become a lector until you've received your Confirmation. I don't know if that is an official rule or what?

I know at most parishes they accept high school aged children to become cantors.
It may be a diocesan rule or it may be simply your parish's rule. Considering some parishes have Confirmation and First Communion together that would still leave children of 7 as readers.

Don't get me wrong, I've heard some who were only 8 or 9 proclaim beautifully, but they were the exception.

In my experience, and I'll admit that may not be most people's, if children volunteered they got to do whatever they volunteered for, whether or not they were qualified to do it. And they never had to follow the rules, rule like 'you read from the Lectionary, not a piece of paper.' If an adult had volunteered, he/she would have been trained but because they were kids, no such training was required. Mom & Dad were expected to prepare them.

The final straw was the Sunday when a boy went up to read and he couldn't read. Someone had to go up and stand with him and whisper each word as he stumbled to sound it out. After that disaster the pastor put an end to children reading unless it was specifically a children's Mass -- and we rarely, if ever, had those.

In the last couple of years children have begun reading again, usually at Masses like the Christmas 'Family Mass' on Christmas Eve. They are usually a bit older, screened first, and then trained within an inch of their lives by the new liturgy coordinator. They are not simply thrown into that ministry because they happened to volunteer.

If the purpose of the ministry is kept firmly in mind and a child can adequately serve in that capacity, great! I do not agree with bringing children into a ministry simply to get them involved, something I hear too frequently. They are already 'involved', they are part of the congregation participating in the Mass.
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Old May 2, '10, 10:34 am
kristie_m kristie_m is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

I don't know what kind of preparation they had, but at my parish, during a regular mass, but with the children's choir, they had two young girls 8-10 I would guess, cantoring. Although it was obvious to anyone listening, that they were hearing the voices of children, it was absolutely beautiful! The kids did a great job, and it was warmed my heart that they had the opportunity to take on a role that had always been handled by an adult. If they're ready, regardless of age, let them do it!
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Old May 2, '10, 10:43 am
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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I would recommend that children learn to participate fully, consciously, and actually in the liturgy before they participate by taking on liturgical roles like lector or cantor. Make sure they know what the Mass is before offering them roles they don't understand.
Yes and No. Children come to Christ with a childlike faith. I don't see any problem with them being involved in the liturgy before they fully understand the liturgy. How many adults who receive the Eucharist fully understand?
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Old May 2, '10, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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I Although it was obvious to anyone listening, that they were hearing the voices of children, it was absolutely beautiful! The kids did a great job, and it was warmed my heart that they had the opportunity to take on a role that had always been handled by an adult. If they're ready, regardless of age, let them do it!
Ever hear the Vienna Boys Choir?
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Old May 2, '10, 11:02 am
kristie_m kristie_m is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Ever hear the Vienna Boys Choir?
Now there's beauty! These kids weren't trained to that degree, by any stretch, but had nice voices, nonetheless.
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Old May 2, '10, 6:55 pm
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by japhy
I would recommend that children learn to participate fully, consciously, and actually in the liturgy before they participate by taking on liturgical roles like lector or cantor. Make sure they know what the Mass is before offering them roles they don't understand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
Yes and No. Children come to Christ with a childlike faith. I don't see any problem with them being involved in the liturgy before they fully understand the liturgy. How many adults who receive the Eucharist fully understand?
I didn't say that have to "fully understand". But they do not need to understand, and they need to have an idea of what participation in the Mass truly is. If they're not paying attention, simply giving them "something to do" isn't the right approach, in my opinion.
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Old May 2, '10, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by graceandglory View Post
Ever hear the Vienna Boys Choir?
I have met their Director, Girard Wirth - believe me, he trains those boys to within an inch of their lives - and they don't get in, to begin with, unless they pass the audition. That's why they sound so good.
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Old May 2, '10, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Children's participation at Mass

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Originally Posted by jimwood View Post
Are there any guidelines for children serving as lectors and/or cantors during Mass?
In my Diocese, they must be 16 years old, Confirmed, and regular attenders at Mass, unless it's a children's Mass, in which case it appears as though anything goes - we've had the same scenarios with children who were just barely literate trying to sound out the readings, and kids whose voices were so soft that they couldn't be heard.
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