Many secretly believe that children really don’t belong in worship, especially if they are “disruptive”. We’ve worked hard to nurture the participation of children in worship, including simple things like a simple laminated order of service in every pew rack, children’s Bibles in every pew, and ways for children to participate in worship leadership. Disruptions occur, but they are not usually very long. The pastors do a good job ignoring them and parents do a pretty good job at making proper adjustments.
We invite parents to help determine when their children are ready to begin to participate in the sacrament of Holy Communion and offer age-appropriate education prior to first communion. We offer a simple blessing accompanied by a hand on the head for those who do not receive communion. (I say, “May God bless, protect, and keep you all the days of your life.”)
Yesterday in worship, a young girl of about 4 came forward to the altar, and was prepared for the blessing. For at least 30 seconds, she pulled her bangs up to expose her forehead, and waited patiently for the blessing. I think only her mother and I noticed, and we were both moved.