Children in Worship

Worship is the time when all of us–in all stages of our lives–come together as God’s beloved family to give thanks.  Children are most especially welcome in worship, and we both strive to engage them in age-appropriate worship and to incorporate their many gifts into the parish’s worship together.

Blessing the Palms, Palm Sunday 2012

Opportunities for Children

Word Made Young, a liturgy designed for children ages 4 to 8 meets each Sunday beginning at 10:00 am, during the Liturgy of the Word in the parish’s celebration of Holy Eucharist.  This worship service for children is focused on the telling of a Bible story from the day’s lectionary.  The children draw the characters, lead a procession to our child-sized altar, sing songs, experience the day’s Bible story told with the aid of the artwork they just created, relate it to their lives and close with prayer.  The children return to the Church at the passing of the Peace, and they celebrate Holy Communion with their parents and the rest of the parish.

Word Made Young meets in the sunlit, cheerful, PreK-K classroom on the second floor of the Parish House.  It is easily accessed through the stairs at the back of the Chapel of the Angels.  Please speak with an usher if you need help finding it.

The Nursery is available for the young children (under age four) of parents who are worshiping at St. Michael’s. The nursery is from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm on Sundays. It is located on the first floor of the Parish House.   An usher can help you find it.

St. Michael’s Sunday School meets after the 10:00 am service for children and youth in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, and during the 10:00 am service for 3-year-olds.  Children from Pre-K through grade 4 meet their teachers in the aisle by the Chapel of the Angels during the final hymn of the parish Eucharist; parents must accompany their children to their classrooms if they are late.  The clergy and the ushers can help youth from 5th through 12th grades find their classrooms in the Parish House.  Please speak with Andrea Dedmon to register your child for Sunday school.

St. Michael’s Children’s Choirs are for children in Kindergarten through grade 12. The three choirs rehearse weekly and perform regularly on Sundays.

Youth Acolytes serve as torch-bearers and crucifers at our 10:00 am service and at the Christmas Eve family service.  Youth can begin serving as acolytes in fifth grade.  They acolyte on a rotating basis alongside other youth as well as adults.  We offer an hour-long training for new acolytes each semester.  This is a great opportunity for young people to grow spiritually and emotionally by serving as leaders in the liturgical drama, witnessing the actions of the Eucharist from up close, and by learning to be fully attentive to the service in front of the congregation.  Acolyting is also a great opportunity to wear a costume, carry a big stick and play with fire–all with great reverence and decorum!  Please contact Andrea Dedmon for more information.

Children observe baptisms from the pulpit so that they can get a good view!

Suggestions for Parents with Young Children in Worship

  • Allow time to get settled. Take children to the bathroom before the service begins. Teach your child to say prayers as a way of preparing themselves.
  • Pick up some paper and crayons at the door, as well as a service leaflet for your child. Books are also available at the back of the church.
  • Go over the order of worship before the service begins to identify what will be happening: to find hymns or anticipate the responses. Children like to be ready!
  • Remember that it is hard for children to sit for long. Allow children to sit or kneel on the floor and use the pew as a desk if desired. When your child needs a break, go to the Parish House (to your right).
  • Talk at home about what people/events might need our prayers and encourage the children to pray for them in church or in church school.
  • Visit the church when it is empty, walking around, pointing out symbols, colors – anything visual that helps people think about God. The clergy are available and happy to help you do this.

Come to Communion!

All children are welcome at the altar – if they desire communion, that is sign enough of their readiness.  Just help children stretch out their hands – traditionally both hands, with the right over the left.  They can receive just the bread if they prefer, or they can go on to the wine and either drink from the chalice or ‘intinct’ (dip) the wafer.

Children can also come forward for a blessing if they don’t desire communion – the signal for this is to cross their arms across their chest.

If you would like your child to receive more formal instruction in receiving communion, speak to one of the clergy. We will be happy to set up an appointment with you and your child.