Children’s liturgy of the word

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am new to Children’s liturgy of the word (CLOW).

I am asked to give a blessing when I dismiss them to the gym.  Below is the blessing we have been using.

10 a.m. Mass- Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW)

(At the conclusion of the Gathering Rite, the presider invites the children up to the front of the steps.)

Presider:  I invite all children ages 4 through 4th grade to come forward for Children’s Liturgy of the Word and I ask the community to please raise your hands in blessing over these children.

God of Creation,

Please bless our children and draw them close to You.

Open our minds and our hearts, so that we all may hear your Word and keep it.  May we give you glory now and forever; we ask this through Christ our Lord.

All:  Amen.

(Members of the Music Ministry lead a song as the children process out of church.)


A: The Directory for Masses with Children doesn’t say too much. Number 17 acknowledges that the children may have their own Liturgy of the Word “in a separate, but not too distant room.” It also encourages acknowledging the children in introductory comments at the Mass. But it supplies no words to say.

I’ve covered this in number 270 of my book, Let Us Pray. In my view this is more of a dismissal than a blessing, though it could also be considered an invitation. I think a catechist, deacon or priest could dismiss the children from the assembly or invite them into a separate room, encouraging them to reflect on the Word of God. It is less in keeping with the structure of the liturgy to have a blessing of children at this point. But in the absence of further direction from DMC 17, it’s hard to say a blessing cannot be given. I just think an invitation or dismissal makes more sense.