What is LWC?
Liturgy of the Word with Children (LWC) during Sunday Mass is a liturgical adaptation that provides an environment for “…active, conscious, authentic” participation of young children in the Liturgy of the Word proclaimed at Mass (Directory of Masses for Children, 1973, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, The Vatican). In LWC, children hear the words of Scripture in an easier to understand form and have the opportunity to respond to the Word of God in ways appropriate to their experience and capacity.
At Christ the King, LWC is open to children ages 3 to those who have not made their First Communion and is split into two age groups: ages 3 to 5 and Kindergarten through the Second Grade. LWC cost $10 per child.
FAQs About LWC
What official support is there for having LWC at Mass? Drawing from the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and the first Synod of Bishops in Rome, the Directory for Masses with Children (DMC) notes “how profoundly children are formed by the religious experience of infancy and early childhood, because of the special religious receptivity proper to those years” (#2). When speaking of Masses with adults in which children also participate, the Directory states, “…if the place itself and the nature of the community permit, it will be appropriate to celebrate the liturgy of the word, including a homily, with the children in a separate, but not too distant room. Then, before the eucharistic liturgy begins, the children are led to the place where the adults have meanwhile celebrated their own liturgy of the word” (#17). The Directory also provides that, “…with the consent of the pastor or rector of the church, one of the adults participating in these celebrations may speak to the children after the gospel” (#24).
What are the principles of children’s spiritual development addressed by LWC? “In the upbringing of children in the Church” reads the DMC, “a special difficulty arises from the fact that liturgical celebrations, especially the Eucharist, cannot fully exercise their inherent pedagogical force upon children. … [W]e may fear spiritual harm if over the years children repeatedly experience in the Church things that are barely comprehensible…” (#2). “The Church follows its Master, who ‘put his arms around the children… and blessed them’ (Mk 10:16). It cannot leave children in the condition described” (#3).
LWC provides a way for children to encounter God through His Word proclaimed in speech, song, music, gesture, movement and visual elements. It seeks to occasion a joyful return of love to God by children who first experience the love He gives them. This joyful exchange of love is the foundational element of the child’s religious and moral formation. It permits the child to encounter God with complete trust and to offer perfect praise.
When is LWC offered at Christ the King Catholic Church? Liturgy of the Word with Children is offered during the “school year” at the 9:00 and 11:00 AM Sunday Masses.
Who leads LWC? Volunteers! Liturgy of the Word with Children during Sunday Mass is only possible because of the efforts of dozens of volunteer parishioners whose aim is to provide the best possible liturgical participation for our children. Most serve once per month, while others are “on-call” substitutes. All are devoted to the ministry of the Word in our midst.
How can I help? You can pray for the team members and our children they serve. If you are inclined to participate with one of the monthly LWC teams, please apply to do so with Mark Zielman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734-929-0973 or with Susan Perrier at email@example.com or at 734-929-0981.
how profoundly children are formed by the religious experience of infancy and early childhood, because of the special religious receptivity proper to those years.” (Directory for Masses with Children, 2)
LWC Contact Information
You can pray for the team members and the children they serve. You can also offer the gift of your personal presence as a member of one of the Mass teams. If you are wondering whether the Lord is calling you to assist once a month in this ministry of the Word, please call
Debby Hendricks, LWC Coordinator 734-429-8549 firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Perrier, Assistant Director of Youth Discipleship 734-929-0981 email@example.com