Kids’ Liturgy Starter Kit
1. Program Preparation
Work with the full parish staff to identify a space that can consistently be used for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
Equip that space with the necessary materials to create a prayer space each week. Materials might include:
- A table covered with a cloth (color appropriate to the liturgical season)
- A candle to light as Kids’ Liturgy begins
- Other appropriate items for the table, such as a crucifix or Bible to create a prayer space
- A projection space and ability to project Kids’ Liturgy with audio
- Small rugs or chairs for the children
- A white board or paper flip easel and markers
- Music and music stand for live musicians in the children’s space
Prepare volunteers for effective implementation of the program. Preparation might include:
- Identify volunteers in the parish who are liturgically minded and have the right temperament to work with children and invite them to be part of this special ministry.
- Gather all volunteers together for an initial training. Walk through the Kids’ Liturgy website.
- Clarify responsibilities (reporting of music, gathering of needed supplies, preparation of space, technology set-up, distribution of music, and so-forth) so volunteers are clear on their tasks and what will be done by parish staff.
- Walk thought a sample liturgy in the space to be used for the children’s liturgy of the Word.
- Establish a volunteer schedule or rotation.
Prepare for the dismissal of the children (“Sending”):
- Discuss the logistics of the sending of the children from the primary worship space to the children’s space with the Presider and music ministers.
- Prepare the text for the Presider and gather appropriate music for the music ministers and the assembly.
- Devise a plan or arrange a system to indicate when the children should return to the larger assembly.
2. Weekly Preparation
Kids’ Liturgy is designed for a wide range of ages. Both younger and older children will benefit from the materials provided. Leaders can adjust resources to fit the children who are gathered…
The purpose for gathering is to provide an authentic liturgy of the Word. The Gospel and homily must be included. Other parts may be omitted depending on time and suitability.
To prepare for each week:
- Read through the notes for the leaders and the gospel of the day before Sunday.
- Prepare any necessary materials for children to read and use. Prepare the worship space (be sure to check internet connection).
3. Gather with the congregation
Children should gather with their parents and the entire community in the Church for the start of the liturgical celebration.
4. Dismiss the children
The presider dismisses the children and ritually sends them to their gathering space after the Collect (opening prayer).
5. Lead the liturgy of the word with Children
- Read the gospel.
- Provide a short homily.
- Engage in the the Reflecting on the Gospel activity provided as time allows. Lead the Profession of Faith (Renewing Baptismal Promises) and Intercessions (Praying for Others).
- Participate in an additional activity such as singing one of the suggested hymns together as time allows.
- Distribute downloadable take-home activity sheets which are provided each week. While these have been created using the Liturgy of the Word and gospel of the day in mind, it is advised that these are sent home with participants rather than being completed within the Liturgy of the Word.
6. Return to the church
Continue the liturgy with families and the rest of the community. Children return to the larger Eucharistic Congregation during the offertory ritual.
Reflect on what worked and what did not work and identify necessary adjustments for next week.
- What resources were helpful?
- What would you repeat?
- What was an opportunity for improvement?
- Do you need to know more? Who could help?
- Do you need additional resources?
Each liturgy contains two pieces of music by Michael Mangan (WLP):
- A short seasonal focus song to sing once the children gather in their separate space
- A Gospel Acclamation
For each song you will find embedded:
- A full recording
- An “instrumental only” version for those who would like to lead the song themselves
- A sheet music pdf of melody/chords/lyrics for those who would like to play the song live
- PowerPoint presentation of the lyrics for each song.
Also provided is the song “May God’s Word Fill Your Hearts” which should be sung by the Assembly as the children are dismissed and process out. Although Kids’ Liturgy is designed for parishes to use during children’s church on Sundays, schools can use each week’s resources to celebrate the coming Sunday’s gospel at school.
These resources are for the exclusive use of the license-holder in the context of a Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Recordings and sheet music must not be shared with any other person, parish, school or entity. Each week of Kids’ Liturgy has recommended music from Michael Mangan and World Library Publications, the music and liturgy division of J.S. Paluch Company, Inc. Using music and copying or displaying lyrics in liturgy has copyright obligations. All songs used each week must be reported in the parish’s weekly OneLicense music report. Please check with your parish office to confirm that Kids’ Liturgy music is included each week.
YouTube Clips and Your Responsibility to Preview Before Showing to Children:
YouTube clips that are provided as additional resources have been vetted at the time of production. Copyright remains with the owner/s of each film. Please note that at any time an owner may update, edit, change or adapt these works. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that leaders preview every clip prior to presenting to children to ensure each clip is appropriate for your setting at the time of viewing.