Saturday, June 23, 2012

Church in the Eyes of a 2 year old

Liv loves going to church with me. We go to a progressive Catholic church. It is fairly laid back for a Catholic church, but still has all the wonderful tradition. In our church the kids participate in the Mass. They are expected to sit in the church and listen with everyone else. There is not nursery or Sunday School during Mass. We do a Children's Liturgy of the Word every other week. Children leave the church and get a child's version of what is being discussed, but they still do participate in parts of the Mass. Liv is too young to do this by herself, but I think I might start going with her so she can get a little more out of church on her level. All of a sudden Liv is like a parrot, she repeats everything she hears. Tonight at Mass she had me cracking up at points from some of the things she repeated and commented on. When the priest mentions a Cardinal in his homily Liv started looking for a bird asking "where is the cardinal?" How do you explain that one to a 2 year old when I can't even 100% tell you the hierarchy and what a Cardinal does. On most days Liv describes church as "I get books, read stories, shake hands and get crackers." The shaking hands is when we Catholic's wish each other peace and extend a welcome to people near us in the pews. The crackers, well that is a tradition just at our church and we are joking referred to as the "Cracker Church" because of it. They leave out crackers by where we receive the Eucharist so the younger children who are not participating in communion yet do not feel left out. I do think the children like this part and it does help them participate in church a little more since it is not so geared towards them. Today she also cracked me up asking about the "hospital" which really was the gospel. She asked over and over what the gospel was. I quietly replied the word of God. She also stated very loudly "what's that farting?" when a man moved his chair (we had chairs in church and pews. She repeated this every time he moved his chair. But other then the crackers and shaking hands Liv's other favorite part is the music. She loves to watch people since, play instruments and for the parishioners to get involved. I love when they play more lively music since we both seem to enjoy that better. What a better place to gain a love of music? Kids so rarely hear live music anymore so it is nice that once a week Liv hears live singing, drums, organ, piano and guitar. Told you we are a progressive Catholic church. Sometimes she even gets to hear bells. The music is always beautiful and on certain occasions some busy but very amazing singers join the choir and to hear them is so moving I almost always get tears in my eyes. Tonight a beautiful young woman sang Ave Maria and it got the whole church clapping after her performance and even clapping along to the beats. What a fun little music lesson right in the middle of church? Tempo and beat. The one thing I feel our church is missing is a children choir. I think Liv would love seeing that on occasion. I might google other local churches to see if they have one we could watch one Sunday. I love how excited she gets when you ask her what happened in church and how much she truly enjoys going. I know this may not always be the case, but I can hope for the best and pray that this foundation of Church, Christ and faith grows strong roots in both of my girls.