Yesterday was my first foray into Children's Liturgy of the Word on solo duty, and I was quite nervous. Especially when I arrived and then remembered that our regular priest is away visiting his mother, so we had a visiting priest that I had to fill in on calling the children up prior to the first reading. As well, the table that we usually would employ was in use elsewhere holding some relics for All Saints Day, and I had to scramble during set-up. But it all worked out.
When it was time to go back, Hank and I walked forward, and I was a bit worried for a minute that Hank would be the only child that I'd have to bring back :) Luckily, a few other kids came up, followed by several stragglers, so I ended up with about 7 in total. We started with our opening prayer, and the first reading, and quickly headed into the pslam and then the gospel. The kids were very good and quiet, but it was difficult to hold the attention of the younger ones. Miraculously, l managed to get us into a good working conversation about Zacchaeus up in the tree watching Jesus, Jesus asking to go to his house to eat, and then Zacchaeus changing his life and finding salvation in Jesus. It was difficult, being as it was peppered by lots of tiny hands going up into the air:
"Um, um, um. Do you want to know what I had for breakfast this morning?"
"Well, I'm sure it was very good. Oh. Yes, Honey?"
"I got lost at school on Friday. And then do you want to know what happened?"
"Oh! This is a great point. Jesus tells us that he comes for the lost. He will find us when we are lost, as long as we seek him out, like Zaccheus did. Yes, Honey?"
"The teacher found me before the parade, so I still got to march in that."
It was challenging, to say the least :) But overall, I thought it went well. I was worried about knowing what was going on out in the main sanctuary, and making sure that I picked up the proper cues as to where the rest of the congregation was in the liturgy, so that I would know when to finish up with the kids. That was actually very easy, given that this particular Mass uses the contemporary choir, so it's nice and loud when they start up the collection hymn, my cue to finish up.
There were a few things that I wanted to do and forgot, but that's to be expected. I had written down the reflection questions I wanted to ask the kids in a little cheat sheet, and that worked out really well. The kids were very sweet, and they seemed to like me :) My next time up on deck is November 21st, feast of Christ the King and the last Sunday prior to Advent. I'm very excited.
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