Preparing Worship Space for Children
If you're going to offer a separate Liturgy of the Word for children apart from the adults in the main sanctuary, shouldn't it have all the elements of "big church"? Be sure your space is just as respected and is filled with beautiful objects also.
- A Gospel book: use one of the recognized translations of the complete Bible rather than a “children’s Bible". The latter may not have the complete Gospel and much of it will be paraphrased. I recommend the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (the NRSV).
- The use of a lectionary—that’s the list of readings for the church year.
- A cross or crucifix.
- Pieces of cloth to hang over the table in the liturgical colors—green, red, purple, pink, white (and gold if you come across some lam.). Synthetic material doesn’t crease as badly as the good stuff.
- Candles in portable candlesticks. (Matches—but use tapers to actually light the candles; they look nicer and are easier to handle)
- Candle snuffers.
- Small handbells.
- A stout candle that can stand securely on its own.
- And, if your church uses them: A holy water stoup and sprinkler (“ aspergillum”) and a spare thurible, charcoal and incense (though check the latter won’t set the fire alarm off).
- Icons, posters or postcards of holy pictures, small statues of the saints (plastic is fine!) Try to have at least one image of the patron saint of your church. The National Gallery has an excellent range of posters and postcards on holy subjects by some of the greatest painters in the world. Alternatively you can use images from Wikimedia Commons, the Web Gallery of Art for slide presentation, or simply displayed on your laptop screen.
- CDs with kids’ hymns, Taize chants and quiet mood music are very useful.
What would you add to this list?