Here at Good Shepherd, we are blessed to have great catechists who share their talents and gifts with the community. At the beginning of Mass, the family gathers together to begin the worship service by entering with a dialogue between the priest and the congregation. The priest, who is the main celebrant, invites the people into the worship by first saying the greeting, “The Lord be with you,” then, the people respond by saying, “and with your Spirit.” Once the people respond attentively, they enter into the Confiteor (act of contrition) by recognizing first their need to ask for forgiveness for times one has sinned against charity. Next, the entire congregation sings aloud the Gloria acknowledging the sovereign power of God in the entire service. As soon as the people stop singing, the priest opens heaven by saying, “Let us pray,” which is called the Collect.
The priest, then, invites the children to come forward as a catechist stands in front of the altar waiting for all the children. The priest with the catechist usually say a prayer over the children recalling the scripture verse when Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:14). The children, then, follow the catechist towards the chapel where they will be introduced to the Liturgy of the Word. Lastly, they will return back to their families during the offertory.
The Mechanics of the Ministry:
The Children’s Liturgy of the Lord is a wonderful ministry for those who love to teach the faith and help children understand the meaning of what we celebrate in the Mass. First, the children will begin with a hymn, opening prayer, responsorial psalm, and the Gospel. Second, the catechist will use some of the material, like visual aids, in order to explain to children the message of the Gospel. Sample link
Usually, the method ends up changing depending on the catechists in what fits best for them in order to engage the children with the Word of God. Finally, the highlight is helping children in learning how to pray and what to pray for; they participate by offering their prayers openly in order to nurture the personal relationship with the Lord.
The After Math:
The goal for children’s liturgy is to help the children have a dialogue with their parents about the service. This ministry will enable them to engage the parents about the readings, the homily, and what they’ve learned during the service.
Children’s Liturgy is offered throughout the school year calendar. We have wonderful volunteers who are catechists willing to share their time and talents. The services are as follows:
- Sunday at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm ( in Spanish), and 5:30 pm
- Our volunteers are:
If you wish to be part of this Ministry and think that God is calling you to serve the community, please contact Pat Wood at J9maple@bellsouth.net or call the parish office for more information at (770) 887-2241.