One of the things I enjoy doing most about Children's Liturgy is bringing our rich symbolism to the children's understanding. If you follow this program, you already know that we explain a lot of Catholic symbolism to the children... and you may, as I have, had parents come to you to tell you about what they are learning about their own traditions!
Lent is a time of quiet preparation for the greatest feast in our tradition... and it is part of our task to help children understand the importance.
Things that sit in our (adults) background and comfort us... are new and exciting to children. Tangible signs carry great meaning. When, for example, a child learns what the traditional COLORS mean... they can predict the tone of the Mass.... so it is important that they learn WHY the priest is wearing PURPLE during Lent instead of GREEN.... and that they know that WHITE is where we are headed next... these are little things that help them understand their world.
I am in the northern hemisphere so I don't know how well this next thought will work elsewhere in the world... but we can use the seasons to help us. The dreary bleak of winter is our prelude to the profuse glory of spring...
an idea I use is this: during Cycle B Lent, I have replaced the small poster symbols with light green cut-outs of leaves.
(We still have a different symbol each week - but the poster symbol - for attendance remains a leaf)
We put a large bare branch up in our children's worship space.... and each week we attach leaves with the children's names on them. (You could make a large poster if a branch won't work) With this symbol, THEIR participation brings the hope and joy and culmination of the mystery to pass by Easter Sunday. (For Easter Sunday, I filled the tree with tissue paper flowers... and sent one home with each child - When they arrived on Easter Sunday morning, "their" tree was covered in blossoms).
Put your imagination and creativity to work :-) Thank you for sharing our faith with the children!
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