Saint Mark’s offers a Children’s Chapel during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. We use a very sweet and simplified Liturgy of the Word based on the Holy Eucharist: Rite Two from The Book of Common Prayer. It has most of the components of this service: a blessing, a song of praise, prayers of petition, the lesson, a simplified Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the sharing of the peace, the offering (money, canned goods, etc.), and ends with prayers of Thanksgiving.
The children learn to worship their God in an ordered way. They will gain a real sense of the importance of stewardship through serving in the different roles that contribute to our worship service. For example, they learn to light and extinguish the candles in the proper order so as not to let the Gospel candle stand alone. All this familiarity with our service creates a level of comfort enabling our children to begin serving as acolytes when it is their time. Another role that is modeled is choir member. We raise a joyous noise to the Lord at the appropriate times with rhythm instruments and our voices.
Please bring your children to the parish hall when you arrive for the 10:30 church service. Starting at 10:15 a.m., we will be gathering there to share in community some refreshments. This creates a strategic opening for the children to part from their families. When we hear the big church service begin, we will also rise and process downstairs to the Children’s Chapel. Our service will end in time for the children to join the congregation during the offertory and complete the service with their families. The children will also participate in bringing their offering forward with the ushers at the appropriate time.
Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Children’s chapel is one of those small things we can do for the children of St. Mark’s. My hope is, if done with great love, which to me means always putting the children’s needs first, we will begin laying the foundation to “help our young people start believing the things that are true about themselves as children of God. When they know these truths, fantastic things can happen to them and their world.” (Peggy J. Jenkins, PH.D.)