It was a very nice weekend, and I lived to tell about my latest Children's Liturgy of the Word experience. Come Sunday morning, things went thusly:
I was tired, because Anne slept like garbage, not a huge break from the norm there. But I was in good spirits. I even tried to pray a rosary before I left, which had the predictable result of me getting about two Hail Mary's in before being interrupted, but no matter. I was feeling cautiously optimistic and spiritually boosted.
I snuck out of the house when Anne was distracted playing with Mike so that she wouldn't cry when she spotted Henry and I going to Mass. Henry was all excited for his first week staying by himself back in the pew while I taught Children's Liturgy. He's been asking for a long time now, and recently he's really behaved at church in such a way that I could tell he could do it, and that he had earned it. He helped me set up, but then settled in with his Magnifikid. I was armed with the readings, a Divine Mercy booklet to show the kids, and some extra free rosary beads from the church entrance.
I got a large crowd, including my two regular troublemakers. However, they were totally fine, all of them. I told them right away that we were going to do something different today, which seemed to pique everyone's interest. We said the opening prayer, and dove into the readings.
I tied everything back to a theme of God's mercy *gold star* and then pulled out my Divine Mercy booklet. As soon as I showed them the cover image they were intrigued. When I started reading the story of St. Faustina's life, I got a litany of questions:
"What's a vision?"
"How did she die?"
"What did Jesus say to her?"
I was just getting to the chaplet when I heard the congregation starting to recite the Nicene Creed. I could hardly believe it, but our time was almost up and I still had a ton of good material. Not only that, but I didn't have anybody acting up or not paying attention. Everybody was very interested and well-behaved.
I summed up the chaplet as best as I could, saying that we wouldn't have time today, but maybe in May we could say a decade of the rosary and a decade of the chaplet (very ambitious, but I usually do that to myself).
I had a couple of the free rosaries on hand and asked them all if they had a rosary at home. About half raised their hand. I told them that there were a ton of free blessed rosaries near the exits to the church and they could take one if they wanted their own, and we would be talking about the rosary again in May. This also drew a lot of interest. As we were processing out, I was asked multiple times "where the free necklaces were."
I thought that was interesting. Obviously, it was the first impression of more than one child that a rosary looks like a necklace. I definitely want to spend some time with them next month talking about using a rosary as an aid in prayer.
When I got back out to the pew, I found Henry, halo perched firmly on his head, absorbed in his missal. He did really well. We've come a long way from "the Incident."
As Henry and I were leaving, I spied a few kids picking out rosaries. It made me smile. :) All in all, it was a successful Divine Mercy Sunday.