Approaching Liturgy Like A Child

Distinctively, the understanding of what it means to be a child is essential for the practice of liturgy. Furthermore, an understanding of what it means to be childlike is essential for an understanding of adulthood. The true meaning of adulthood discovered through the metaphor of the child essentially points us toward the mystery of what it means to be human. Significantly, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry writes in The Little Prince, “all grown-ups were once children – although few of them remember it.” Each of us, therefore, must come to liturgy with the disposition of a child. This point of view is crucial; for in and through the liturgy we enter a world of paradox, mystery, poetry, and symbol; in and through liturgy we are not independent; we are bound to one another through the common ritual of baptism. In baptism, and recaptured through Eucharist, we enter into relationship with Christ and the church. Children understand this better than anyone. Have you ever observed children on a playground? They welcome the “stranger,” playing with all the inhabitants of that place without a care of their status in life; their only concern is that they are “little” people. The genuine worshipping community welcomes the stranger, and it exists to support its members in a gospel way of life.

Donna M. Eschenauer, First Communion Liturgies: Preparing First-Class First Celebrations (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), p. 9. ISBN: 978-0-8146-4967-1.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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