My name is Ann-Marie and I lead the liturgy for children in our parish. I have lots of experience of working with children, having worked in various roles at primary schools for the past 15 years. We have a fantastic group of volunteers who support me each week on a rota basis. We also have Matilda, one of our enthusiastic youth, who regularly helps. We currently have anywhere between 6 and 15 children who attend each week, aged between 3 and 9. Some of the older children have taken their Holy Communion but are still choosing to come out with us during the first year. I believe the liturgy should be a fun experience that engages the children while following the pattern of what is happening in church in a child-friendly manner. We follow the churches year and use The Complete Children’s Liturgy book by Katie Thompson as a guide. We are in Mass for the Introductory Rites and then Father Mark invites us up to the altar for a blessing before we leave for our own celebration. A typical Sunday follows the same order each week and is adapted at certain times of the year such as Lent and Advent. The order is as follows:
The children come and sit on our special rug in the hall.
We have our opening prayer with the sign of the cross and introduce the topic for the week.
We have some reflection time to consider anything that we might need to say sorry for (sometimes the children will need a prompt for this). We then ask for God’s forgiveness by singing one of our Sorry songs or sometimes listening to a prayer.
We have our own special Gloria that is sung each week apart from Lent and Advent.
Again this is sung and we have five different acclamations to choose from.
This will be the same as the one being said in mass but written in a child-friendly manner.
Discussion This is a bit like the homily but it is interactive so the children get involved in discussing the message for that day. This changes from week to week - depending on the ages/how many children are attending - and the discussions can become quite animated as the children become more engaged in what we are discussing.
This is linked to the gospel and the message. It aims to help the children understand that message. We try, where possible, to have a group activity so that the children are all part of creating a picture or collage that conveys the story and message for the week. By working together it often helps to continue our discussion while working on our creation.
Again the children have their own ‘mini’ Creed, which helps the children confirm their faith.
This is linked to the theme of the day and we encourage the children to sit quietly to reflect on what they have learnt before rejoining the congregation in church.
We then go back in to mass during the offertory. The children will take up whatever they have created that week as part of the offertory procession.
Each week our work is then put on a display board in our hall for everyone to celebrate and enjoy. If you would like to find out more about our Children’s Liturgy; or you have a child between the ages of 3 and 8 that would like to join us; or you would like to volunteer to help, then please contact me on
T 07812 406534.
Sunday Mass Times
Saturday Confessions 4pm
Saturday Vigil Mass 5pm
Sunday Mass 9am
For weekday Mass times see Newsletter
Sunday Confessions 11am
Sunday Mass 11.30am
Weekday Masses See Newsletter
St Cuthberts Church Children’s Liturgy
Catholic Parishes of Burnham-on-Crouch and Maldon