09 May 2012

Ooh, now this...

...is one of my (many) hobby horses :

Children's Liturgy, or Children's Belittle-gy, as I prefer to call it.

It came into my mind today because I experience the mass exodus of smallish people fairly regularly when I assist at the Ordinary Form, and  today read His Hermaneuticalness and Creative Minority Report.

It narks me mightily when the kiddies are syphoned off at the beginning of Mass to colour in piccies of 'Jesus and me' when they could actually be meeting Jesus for real throughout the whole of the Mass. It narks me that they sing worthless ditties about wiggly worms and butterflies, or are sung out of Church to the hall with a cringey 'circle' song. It really narks me that the lowest common denominator is the default setting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of the wee brains of kids, but kids mostly aren't stupid.

Here's an example. I've just returned with a bunch of children from the annual nail biting week that is the French Trip.

It was a freezing cold late afternoon, and I was standing with some girls on the one of the D Day landing beaches in a biting wind, when one of the girls (Catholic) suddenly asks if she could ask me a question. Course, I said, blithely.

She looked very serious. "Miss," she said. "What do you think about infinity and heaven?" It took a while.
Then she asked about hell, and we had a very spirited discussion. She's ten.

So it really bothers me that kids who are naturally very intellectually curious can be fobbed off with paraphrased Bible stories, a spot of colouring, and a really awful song (because it isn't always just the pre First Holy Communion children that go out at the beginning).

This has nothing to do with age-appropriateness, it has everything to do with not being apologetic about the Faith.


KimHatton said...

I completely agree with you. The Children should be present during Mass. But we are a child-unfriendly country and too many at Mass will not 'suffer the children.
I love the story of the ten-year old.

Annie said...

Hi Kim :)

It's such a mistake to underestimate children. And yes, I think we're a very child unfriendly country too.