Things turned out very nicely with the use of video at our Lenten Reconciliation Prayer Service last evening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post (Tonight, I’m the Tech Guy!), I coordinated the use of video for 5 different moments of our Lenten Reconciliation Prayer Service last evening, including images of “Stories of Hope” from Operation Rice Bowl, opening and closing songs, a video examination of conscience and a Powerpoint reflection of images of Jesus while children went to confession.
The video screen was to the right of the sanctuary, where the piano is located. As we welcomed everyone to sing the opening song, Hosea – Come Back to Me, all heads turned to lock onto the video screen and the assembly sang very nicely (the sound from the video was amplified through the church sound system). The same was true for the closing song, Amazing Grace, and the video examination of conscience (which I also “narrated”). These moments most certainly enhanced the prayer.
Showing the images of the “Stories of Hope” from Operation Rice Bowl (as the stories were read aloud) was moderately successful only because the narrator was on the far left side of the sanctuary so there was a great distance between the narrator and the images being shown on the screen off to the right. Even so, it helped for the young people to visualize the people they will be helping through Operation Rice Bowl.
Showing the Images of Jesus Powerpoint (accompanied by instrumental music) as the children went to confession was more successful with the 4th graders during the 1st session than it was with the 6th graders during the 2nd session. It gave the children something they could focus on as they waited either to go to confession or for the others to finish. However, few seemed to avail themselves of this opportunity and they ignored it, still tending to see this stretch of time (usually about 20-25 mins) as a time to chat with their friends. We space them out so there are only 3 per row and the catechists as well as the DRE walk about trying to keep them quiet however they still see this time simply as a lull and an opportunity to chat (albeit quietly, but still chatting). It almost seems to me that, during the time when confessions are being heard, children need to focus on a task – perhaps looking up a few Scripture passages and prayerfully answering some reflection questions. And perhaps, as they do so, they need to be seated one per row so they have less opportunity to mingle. Suggestions? Thoughts? Stories from your own experience?