Your family is important here.
We have a commitment to help children worship. While they may not always understand what is going on, they probably understand more than we realize. By our attitude, they can understand church is a special and sacred place where they are loved and accepted. The worship service can provide an excellent opportunity for parents to be involved in the spiritual nurturing of their children. Talk with them about the service. Explain what is happening. Share your enthusiasm and excitement about being part of Saint Paul’s.
If your child needs something active to do during the service we have coloring sheets, related to the Gospel message of the day, and crayons located at the back of the church (Narthex). Also, in the Fall of 2015 look for worship booklets just for kids!
Suggestions for theParents Before the Service:
- Prepare your children for what will happen in church.
- Make a point of knowing the Gospel story beforehand and telling it to them so they have something to anticipate. For the lessons of the day you can use the Lectionary Page. We use "Track 2."
- On your way to Saint Paul’s: in the car try to calm down as a family and get into a peaceful mode.
- Talk about what people or events need our prayers and might be included during the Prayers of the People.
- Arrive at church in plenty of time to take the children to the bathroom and get settled before the service begins.
- Infant and toddler care is provided at the Sunday 9:00 & 11:00 am services. Ask the usher to direct you if you need to bring your child to the nursery during the service.
- Just inside the front doors, is a box of clipboards , crayons and a child’s version of the Gospel story in pictures. Make sure you give each child one not only to occupy them during the service but also to familiarize them with the story.
- Sit where you feel comfortable.
- Introduce your children to people who are sitting nearby.
- Share the bulletin with your child at eye level and encourage them to sing along.
- Teach and encourage each child to participate in praying the Lord’s Prayer, making the sign of the cross, saying the responses, such as “And also with you,” passing the peace and saying “Amen.”
- Allow your children to participate in giving an offering in the alms basin as it comes around.
- Children learn how to worship by participating. Teach your children what to watch for, what is taking place and when to respond in unison.
- Baptized children are invited to receive the Sacrament of Eucharist if parents feel comfortable about the child’s readiness. Feel free to discuss this with one of the clergy.
- No child is too loud or too active for church! If needed, we welcome you to let your children sit on the floor rather than the pew. The Chapter Room is set up with a direct TV feed if you feel you need to step out during the service. You may enter the Chapter Room by walking directly through the Courtyard or by exiting the Cathedral building through the door in front of the baptismal font.
After the Service:
- On your way home and during the rest of the week talk about the worship experience. “That’s like what we heard at St. Paul’s last Sunday.” “Do you remember the Gospel story you heard?” Also encourage your children to discuss what they learned in Sunday School.
- Pray a prayer of grace at mealtime. Pray morning and night prayers with your children. Include some of the hymns we sing at church or parts of the prayers used in worship in your family prayer life at home.