Worship with Children

Welcome to our Friends Meeting. We are glad that your family is with us this morning.

We realize that Meeting can be a difficult place to bring children. The quietness of the rooms seems to magnify their noise and movement. Know that it was that way when we brought our children for the first time, too. We find that usually it is the parents who are bothered the most by these sounds.

We want to reassure you that we value the presence of children in Meeting Worship. We believe that the spirit of God is present in everyone, regardless of age. Our community and our faith are broadened when children join us.

All ages of Friends worship together for part of the Meeting hour. Children have First Day (Sunday) School or childcare when they are not in Meeting for Worship. Someone sitting near you will explain how this is organized.

For now, put your mind at rest. We are pleased to have your family with us as we search to know God,  ourselves, and each other “in that which is eternal.”

SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

As a family, talk about why you are coming to Meeting.

Practice having quiet time before meals or at bedtime.

Before you enter the Meeting room, remind your children that people inside are sitting quietly.  Prepare for physical comfort and quietness by blowing noses, unzipping coat zippers taking off hot boots, etc. before going in.

Talk with your children about ways to center down so they can enter into the spirit of worship. Sitting on your lap of closing their eyes may help.

Here are some centering suggestions that you may want to try. Listen to the words or music which repeat themselves in your mind. Listen to sounds outside of the Meeting room; inside of it; inside of yourself. Feel yourself breathe and try to give it a gentle rhythm.

“We are Going to Meeting for Worship” by Abby Hadley is a simple story for children ages 4-6. You may want to look for it in the Meeting library.

Remember that for all of us the experience of worship grows with patience and practice.

Prepared by Elizabeth Ferry in conjunction with the  Christian Education Committee of New England Yearly Meeting

ReadyMeeting

 

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