Q: Hi Fr. Paul. I am serving with a new and young pastor. Very pastoral. However, we wanted to start Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and he has a concern with the children being removed from the Mass. I explained it, etc., and he is “ok” with that.
Then a parishioner met with him to discuss having the children’s Living Gospel of the Birth of Jesus for the Christmas Eve Mass as this parish has had in the past. He is really against it. What are you thoughts?
A: There is a strong foundation for a children’s liturgy of the word separate from the one in the main church (Directory for Masses with Children, 17).
At Masses with children, if the readings lend themselves to it, more than one child may join in the speaking parts of a single reading. (DMC 47 and Lectionary for Masses with Children 52).
But the DMC distinguishes between Masses with Adults in Which Children also Participate, and Masses with Children in Which Only a Few Adults Participate. In my experience, most Christmas Masses are the former, not the latter.
Therefore I agree with your pastor. Let the children and the adults hear the vivid narrative of the birth of Christ the way Saint Luke wrote it in the medium he intended: proclamation.
God bless you for working with a new and young pastor. The care you give him now will help him be an even better priest in years to come.