One of the main issues that came up was our concern over the kids’ behavior in church when we go over for prayer services or Mass. Each year, we go to the church probably five or six times: opening prayer for the year, Advent Reconciliation, Lent Reconciliation, Living Stations of the Cross, end of the year Mass. To save time, we generally have the kids report directly to church on those occasions. While this has been efficient time-wise, we’re concerned that the kids simply enter the church as if they were entering a movie theater – extremely casual with little sense of reverence. Then, they tend to bunch up way too close to one another in the pews, which leads to trouble.
What we hope to do next year on these occasions, is to:
- have the kids meet the catechists outside (each of us or our aides will have a sign) so that we can then process in with the kids after we’ve had a chance to instruct them on the proper behavior.
- have music playing in the church as they enter in order to provide a more prayerful climate.
- have assigned seating for each class that provides ample space for kids to sit three per pew, nicely spaced apart from one another.
- provide more prayer aides that include parts for the assembly so that they participate more fully instead of acting like spectators (especially for the Living Stations).
- play music as we dismiss and head back (process) to the school building following the prayer.
Hopefully, these small measures will add up to a more reverent and prayerful attitude and behavior in the church. Any other suggestions?