So that was a long title, but how can you succinctly put the
ordeal hard thing event that is taking any number of children under age 12 into Adoration for a holy HOUR and having it go well?
I’m taking all five of my little people later today. For the whole hour.
But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. -Mark 10:14
Jesus was indignant with the people who wanted to shoo those kids away! I don’t know what those little ones looked like, what they were doing, or how many of them there were, but I do imagine they were probably dirty, loud, and full of energy. They certainly weren’t as clean as my kids after a bath, because you know, it was 2,000 years ago and baths were not so common. They probably had pretty filthy feet, if not faces and hair. If any of them were one year old little boys, like Firecracker, they had dirt covering their faces, because playing outdoors in the dirt and eating it is so.much.fun.
And Jesus wanted those kids not just near him, but with him.
So I’m taking my kids to Jesus today. We’ve done it before. My 6 year old asks every 2.7 minutes when it will be over. My girls sit quietly, but would much rather be on the playground.
The baby, well, would rather be climbing all over everything and under the kneelers and the pews and thinks he does do stunts like the image above. And dirt, he’d rather eat dirt.
I have a plan. It goes a bit like this:
-Sign up for Children’s Holy Hour (instead of a regular Holy Hour) so people know to expect noise from kids. And smile sweetly because smiling at people who frown at your
herd zoo circus brood of children makes the frowns go away. People either turn their head because they were caught giving dirty looks, or smile back because they were caught giving dirty looks.
-Put Holy Hour on the calendar, otherwise I’ll forget it exists.
-Tell kids about it, in combination with all the days’ plans, so they know ahead of time.
-Promise playing on the playgroud, as long as it’s not storming.
-Gather stack of books, Bibles, rosaries, holy coloring pages, crayons, diapers, diaper bag.
-Gather myriad of children. It feels like more children when attempting to take them into a Holy Hour, because you know, noise and boredom are magnified when kids know they are expected to be still.
-Remind self that it is a CHILDREN’S Holy Hour and it’s ok for them to talk quietly and ask questions and pray out loud and Jesus is just glad you’re all visiting him. He doesn’t mind if I have to spend every 39 seconds keeping the baby from eating bugs and dirt, and therefore I’m not actually kneeling and praying myself. I’m wrangling.
-Enter the church, remind them of the proper way to greet Jesus in Adoration (kneel for a moment), and begin Holy Hour. After all, it’s an hour I don’t have to spend keeping the baby out of the salamander tank, and Jesus wants us there, so the graces must be flowing. Right?
-Pray silently for a few minutes.
-Pray a decade (or more) of the Rosary, out loud.
-Allow children to color the religious coloring pages.
-Allow them to read from the Bible, or a saint’s story.
-Encourage reading the Mass readings, especially those for the next Sunday.
-Pray silently more.
-Thank Jesus for loving children.
Want some religious themed coloring pages? Here are some I’ve found. A quick web search will find you dozens of all kinds!