Easter vigil mass with 5 year old?


#1

Hi, I've recently returned to the church after a VERY long time away. I've been bringing my 5 year old daughter with me, and she's been doing rather well. My question is this: I'd REALLY like to bring her with me to the easter vigil mass (my husband is a police officer and working that night). it starts at 8pm (her normal bed time). She doesn't typically melt down when tired, and on very rare occasions she can stay up rather late. She's never had a melt down due to being tired.

Do you think she'll do okay at easter vigil mass?

What do you typically think is an appropriate age for a child to start attending the easter vigil mass?

Thanks everyone!


#2

[quote="jellomania, post:1, topic:192916"]
Hi, I've recently returned to the church after a VERY long time away. I've been bringing my 5 year old daughter with me, and she's been doing rather well. My question is this: I'd REALLY like to bring her with me to the easter vigil mass (my husband is a police officer and working that night). it starts at 8pm (her normal bed time). She doesn't typically melt down when tired, and on very rare occasions she can stay up rather late. She's never had a melt down due to being tired.

Do you think she'll do okay at easter vigil mass?

What do you typically think is an appropriate age for a child to start attending the easter vigil mass?

Thanks everyone!

[/quote]

Bring a blanket and a pillow for her to lie on if she feels tired. Is she the only child who is coming with you? If so, you can hold her and give her back-rubs to keep her calm. Also, make sure she's in a place where she can see what's going on - either at the end of a centre pew, or near to the front.


#3

We take all our kids, ranging from 17 yrs old to 1.5 years old. They first go at their first Easter :D They love the candles, they love the music, they love the sacraments throughout. There is a lot going on to keep their interest. A couple may fall asleep at some point, but that's okay with me.

Good luck!! You and your child will love it! :thumbsup:


#4

Be sure to sit where she can see what is happening!


#5

Just don't sit too close to me.

Just kidding :D

By all means take her!

This is a very beautiful service and I'm sure at this age she will enjoy it very much!


#6

Take her and sit up front so she can see. Bring along crayons, paper, books, Cherrios, juice in a sippy or sports bottle. A small pillow might be helpful. You might want to put some “just for church” toys in her bag.

Dd has been going to mass since she was born. I’m of the school that says if they go often from a young age they will learn what to expect and have very few problems. I’ve never understood this phenomena that keeps young Catholic children at home with one parent so the other can go to mass.


#7

[quote="cctabb, post:6, topic:192916"]
Take her and sit up front so she can see. Bring along crayons, paper, books, Cherrios, juice in a sippy or sports bottle. A small pillow might be helpful. You might want to put some "just for church" toys in her bag.

Dd has been going to mass since she was born. I'm of the school that says if they go often from a young age they will learn what to expect and have very few problems. I've never understood this phenomena that keeps young Catholic children at home with one parent so the other can go to mass.

[/quote]

FYI, up front will be reserved for those coming into the Church at the Vigil.


#8

Has your child ever been to a mass or service with incense before? If not PLEASE look for signs of allergies or discomfort. At 5 she should be able to tell you if somethings hurting her. I have allergies myself that prohibit my attendance from these events...and I know others in the same boat. That's my only bit to add.

Otherwise it should be BETTER than a regular Mass because there is much more fanfare.


#9

it depends entirely on the child, an infant might sleep through the whole thing, I would rather do a root canal on a cat than take a 2.5 yr old to Mass. Can she sit through a movie? It begins at 9, or should, after sundown and will likely take at least 2 hours. A 5 yr old who has been going to Mass for a year or so and has some idea what is going on, knows how to sit still, to be quiet in a public place, doesn’t want to run to the bathroom every hour, and is interested might be fine. One who will be full of questions will be hard to shush, and it is kind of unreasonable not to expect questions. Would she nap? be upset if she wakes in a strange place?


#10

[quote="cctabb, post:6, topic:192916"]
Take her and sit up front so she can see. Bring along crayons, paper, books, Cherrios, juice in a sippy or sports bottle. A small pillow might be helpful. You might want to put some "just for church" toys in her bag.

Dd has been going to mass since she was born. I'm of the school that says if they go often from a young age they will learn what to expect and have very few problems. I've never understood this phenomena that keeps young Catholic children at home with one parent so the other can go to mass.

[/quote]

I agree with all these ideas except for the food and drink - it will be difficult to break her of this habit when she turns seven if she acquires it at age five, so it's best not to bring food to Church, even though technically, it doesn't matter at her age. But if she gets used to having food at Mass, then when she is seven and is no longer allowed to eat or drink anything during the hour before Holy Communion, you might have a fight on your hands. Better to start them out early with the idea that "we don't eat or drink during Mass."

Quiet Mass toys, Bible picture books, and pillows, though - definitely! :)


#11

I’ve taken my kids to the vigil mass since they were born. I’m a little nervous this year because they are 1 and 2 years old and have a hard time making it through a normal mass. I’m just bringing a snack and something to keep them occupied and we’ll step out of the sanctuary if necessary.


#12

We have a 6 y/o, and 4 y/o and a 2 y/o. Last year we took them all to the Vigil. They all did alright- the littlest one fell asleep on us after awhile, but the boys (the older two) loved all the sights and sounds.

I don’t know if we’ll go this year or not… we tend to take it one year at a time depending on how our youngest are handling a normal Mass at the time, etc.

However, I would never hesitate to take my 5 year old. By 5 they should be able to sit through that, even if they aren’t paying attention the whole time. We make sure our 5/6 year old has a children’s missal, that we’ve talked about some of the things that will happen ahead of time, that we have a copy of the readings so he can follow along if he wants, and that we have several other books he can look at if he is bored. We tell him ahead of time that it is a very special Mass- the most special Mass we celebrate all year- and that it is longer but there will be lots of special things to see. We make sure to take part in everything we can, and we sit close to the front so that he can see.

If she is doing well in a regular Mass, a little preparation ahead of time, a few backup items in case she gets bored, and you should be set!


#13

Please keep food and drinks OUT of the Church. If your child is a nursing or bottle fed infant, that is one thing. If the child is eating “real” food and must eat during Mass, please take them out to feed them.

The Church is not Golden Corrall All You Can Eat Buffet.


#14

I will be taking our 3 year old little girl. I don't ever take anything with us. No toys,no blankets,no food. I think that gives her the wrong message about what's taking place. She was just placed in our home in Oct. of 09 we are in the process of adoption and at every Mass I stay focused with my eyes forward and I try not to make to much eye contact because she tries to engage with me. I tell her right before we walk in "SShhhh we have to be quiet." and I teach her at home how to cross herself and how to kneel and how to pray, not during Mass.Since I've done this she now knows that during this time I am unavailable to her. With my hands I guide her through the Mass. With my hand on her back she knows to stand. Pointing to the kneeler she knows to kneel. By the shake of my finger she knows to stop what she is doing. The Easter vigil is long and late I know. She can have a later nap that will help her stay awake later. Giving her a snack on the ride to church will keep her going longer. I most likely will have to hold her if she starts to fade. But she will do fine. Oh by the way we're also potty training so we sit close to the restrooms:) Not in the cry rooms. They can't see a thing and the kids in there are running around playing.


#15

Also we have a 7 year old boy we took in and he’s a lot like Dash from the movie Incredibles and I’m constantly tapping his knee,placing my hand on his back and shaking my finger. He keeps me busy but he’s still in training:) In total we will be taking 7 of our 8 children (older one is going on Sunday with her husband) to Mass,plus a friend of the family:) can’t wait I love this time of year.


#16

In addition to this, there is also the maxim that we should train up the child in the way that we want him (or her) to go. If you are going to be expecting your seven year old to observe the fasts of the Church, then you need to train your 2-6 year old that we don’t eat in Church, nor in the car on the way to Church.


#17

One of my friends said that her parents stopped taking their young children to the vigil. When the candles were being lit, her younger sister started singing "Happy Birthday to you."

:D

I say bring her. You have to have those kinds of stories to tell as your child grows up.


#18

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