Nazareth Catholic Parish

Grovedale, Torquay and Anglesea

How do we live our Lent?

Encouraging kids to live the weeks of Lent is always difficult, mainly because of their limited attention span.
Katie suggests that giving children specific things for each day, might make keepingeach Lent a lot easier , as they focus on specific actions each day. This year she wants to encourage actions that portray praying, fasting and giving.
Click on the picture to go to Katie's blog and find her instructions on making this fridge hanging. [click outside the invitation to subscribe and you will access all her instructions]
Where she suggests that each child take one activity from each pocket , you could adapt tis to allow the younger children to take just one, while older or upper primary students might take one from each pocket. 
Perhaps after they scoff their pancakes, the family could brainstorm the prayers and actions they would feel were appropriate.
Give it a go anyway - and if you do try it, we would love to know the kids' reactions and how thje family fared.

Enjoy Life with our Kids

A growing feature of the Sunday Eucharist is the withdrawal of children to celebrate their own liturgy of the Word. The usual Sunday process of three readings, interspersed with psalm, silence and acclamation, and enfleshed by homily and prayer of the Faithful, requires a level of concentration of which most children are not capable. Simplifying this part of the celebration, while maintaining its liturgical character, satisfies the needs of the young so that they, too, can celebrate the Eucharist with ‘full, conscious and active participation’ which is ‘their right and duty by virtue of their baptism’. (CSL #14)   
Fr Linh invites children, from preps through to Year 6, to come up to the altar before the Liturgy of the Word begins. He sends them out with a blessing, to spend time with the readings at their own level.  Each Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word is enriched and modified to make it important and relevant to the lives and experiences of young people and children.  
Thay are brought back into the church before the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, and are then invited up to stand around the altar as we pray the Lord's Prayer.  

A good explanation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Parents often have difficulty in explaining to their children what Reconciliation is all about, so the video below is a fun way to revise the sacrament for yourself, and for you to begin to talk about it with your child. The following points might help as your child is learning about the Sacrament at school.
1.   Explain to your child that going to Confession is not about getting into trouble; it’s about asking God for forgiveness and receiving God’s Grace to do better. Listen to your child’s questions and encourage them to learn more by asking more questions.

2.    Examination of Conscience
Teach your child how to pray an Examination of Conscience each night before bed, or as often as time allows. Some families do this together as a family before bed, silently reflecting on their days while mom or dad read the Examination out loud.

There are many great examinations around. Try and find one that your child will understand. This Examination of Conscience for Children Using the Lord’s Prayer is very simple yet prods children to think more about their actions. 

3.    Practice
Practice, practice, practice! Like with any sport, musical instrument, or other skill – continuous practice is essential. The same is true for preparation for all the Sacraments. 

As your child’s first reconciliation approaches, take time to role play with them what they will do in their real confessions. Except, you can tell them they don’t have to really tell you their sins – unless of course they really want to. Maybe you’ll finally find out who really took that item you’ve been searching everywhere for.

4. Go to Confession as a Family
Aside from practicing how to go to confession with your child, practice actually going to confession as a family. As parents, we are the first educators for our children when it comes to our Faith. However, the best way to really teach our children about the Faith is to practice it by living it out in our every day life. Showing your child that you can take the time to go to confession makes a deeper and longer-lasting impression than all the hours you might spend talking or reading about it with them.