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Helping Children Be Ready to Worship and Pray at Mass
Robert Williams runs through some helpful elements for parents to consider as catechetical preparation for liturgy and worship. Amongst the most important catechetical tasks are the ‘celebration of,’ ‘formation in,’ and ‘education into’ liturgy and worship. The catechetical tasks of liturgy and worship are essential elements of a comprehensive catechesis as ‘... the very act of participating in liturgical celebrations is of catechetical value.’ Initial preparation of children to be ready to worship and pray at Mass begins in the ‘domestic Church’ of the home right after children are baptized. Parents who establish times and a place for daily devotional practices create a context for their infants’ spiritual and religious development. In his ‘Letter to Families,’ John Paul II reminds us that, ‘prayer makes the Son of God present among us.’ Father van Kamm has observed that, ‘Already as infants, before participating knowingly in the life of Christ, we participated in the life of our parents.’ Children are assured of knowing and experiencing God and Christ through the prayers and devotions of their parents. These children are guaranteed an early—at ages 2 to 3 years—involvement and experience of religious devotion.