Thursday, January 30, 2014

Concerns of the Children

At one evening atrium, early in January, I just wasn't prepared for our intended Epiphany celebration. We have many materials and presentations I could do with the children - so I thought we'd start at the prayer table and discern which materials we should work with based on a light conversation.


Our light conversation covered the following topics: 
  • Let's celebrate Christmas until February 2nd - for the traditional 40 days of Christmas - the original date for the Presentation in the Temple - and because we prepared for approximately 28 days so the celebration can be longer than the preparation time - and so we could actually celebrate True Christmas in the atrium. 
  • Because what is True Christmas? The coming of the Light into the world - 2000 years ago, at our baptisms, and at the Parousia. We are ALWAYS to be preparing for the Coming of the Light. 
  • We got to looking at our liturgical calendar (sitting on the prayer table) - Easter is longer than Lent - and we end with a Sunday in red: Pentecost. 
  • But what about the other red days? 
  • And why doesn't our calendar show the rose Sundays for Advent (Gaudete) and Lent (Laetare)
  • (we reviewed why we use rose and how to know which Sunday is rose and why that Sunday in each season)
  • We began reading our Liturgical Colors booklet, going through each color, explaining the significance and definitions of any new words - quizzing on what they already know. 
  • New terms up for discussion: Requiem Mass, age of reason, children dying before the age of reason, children dying in the womb
  • Discussing All Saints Day, followed by All Souls' Day - purgatory came into the conversation. Do you know we have NOTHING in the atrium (officially) on purgatory? On the Church Militant, Church Suffering and Church Triumphant? This is CORE to our faith and we have missed it as an official work in the atrium. Hm. 
  • So we talked about the 3 portions of the Church; the reality of Purgatory - not as an alternate to Hell, but a place all its own - for purging the remnants of stains from our white garments (tying in to the Baptism studies we've done, the parables we've done that mention white garments such as the Wedding Feast, Holy Communion, Reconciliation, etc.) - as a place that we CHOOSE to go when God pronounces our particular judgment at the moment of death (Heaven or Hell) and we ourselves realize our uncleanliness to be in Heaven - thus we choose Purgatory to finish purging, cleansing - so that we enter the gates of Heaven whiter than freshly fallen snow. 
  • This led back to the babies who die before being baptized; who die in their mother's wombs. What does the Church teach us about them? 

These were 9-12 year olds, entirely guiding the conversation where they wanted it to go. 

These were real conversations, real concerns, real questions - real spiritual needs be addressed. 

Thank you Lord for these precious souls before me, revealing to me the core of our Faith, the purest questions we have, and most essential responses. 

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