“Do I have to go?”
“All they do is talk about stuff I don’t understand.”
And, the classic:
“Church is boring.”
If you’re a parent, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard your little one complain about going to Mass and/or religious education. And that’s OK, too. It takes time for children to really understand the importance and significance behind attending church regularly and what it truly means to serve Christ.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up and equip your kids with a bucket of toys and books for every Mass. Here are five ways to get your kids more excited about attending church at Old St. Mary’s.
1. Make Post-Church Brunch a Family Tradition
Fix a big brunch for your entire family after Mass, including grandma and grandpa. Have all the cousins and relatives over, invite their friends, etc. It doesn’t matter if those invited attended Mass with you; the important part is the fellowship and family time. Besides, you can use that time to talk about what it means to live your life in Christ.
2. Talk About the Readings, Gospel and Sermon Afterward
Let’s be honest here. There are probably times when even you didn’t understand all the readings and the Gospel. Therefore, it should come as no surprise if your kids tune out during Mass. That’s why, as a family, you should discuss everything from Mass afterward. Put things in terms and use examples that your kids can relate to and understand.
3. Post-Church Game – With Candy!
This tip goes well with tip No. 2. Come up with a little trivia game afterward for your kids covers the important discussion points from Mass. Throw in some candy as a reward, and you’ll soon have a very engaged audience.
4. Make Sure Your Kids Understand What’s Happening During Church
Mass may only last an hour, but to your kids, that might as well be 10 hours. It would help, then, if they knew exactly what was going on, from the readings and Gospel to the sermon to the Liturgy of the Eucharist to the Concluding Rites. Make sure, too, that your kids understand the church “vocabulary,” meaning, the Responsorial Psalm, the Presentation of Gifts, etc. Asking your children to be more respectful during church service is a lot easier when they understand what’s going on.
5. Allow Your Kids to Invite their Friends
Your child will feel more at ease if he or she can attend church with one of their friends. After all, everything is more fun when you’ve got a buddy with you! It’s OK, too, if your child’s friend(s) aren’t the same faith – this is the perfect opportunity to show others what it means to be Catholic.
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