Because that attitude is all to prevalent in some circles, I wrote this short blurb for the publication:
Do Children Belong at Mass?
When I was growing up, Mom made sure Mass was a priority every week. She taught my brother and me to sit and stand just like everyone else, and when I was too little to kneel, she allowed me to stand on the kneeler and directed my attention to the altar. When I was restless or complained about having to go to Mass instead of staying home and playing, Mom reminded me that I had no problem sitting in front of the TV for an hour. Couldn’t I be just as well behaved for God?
Yes, yes I could! I truly did try to pay attention, and was familiar with, most especially, the music. Sometimes it confused me, though. I knew we were there to worship God so who, for example, was that “Hosanna” character we always sang about? Was he just a really good friend of God’s?
Every so often I hear people talking or read in various articles the suggestion that children don’t belong at Mass. That saddens me. Not just because my experience of learning how to worship God was so good, but rather because of the objective nature of the Mass; what it is and Who is made present during the consecration. In the Mass, heaven touches earth and even the very youngest among us and those who cannot receive the Sacraments experience a very real foretaste of Eternity. It’s not about feeling or sentimentality or even about parenting. It is all about God. The Mass, and the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ; this is the source and summit of our Faith.
We live in a time that speaks about inclusion; that inclusion should most especially embrace children, the most innocent among us and who perhaps have even MORE of a right to be present! Jesus Himself speaks through the scriptures and tells us that the angels of children look upon the face of God. He admonished His apostles to allow the children to come to Him, and indeed, they do see and understand some of the deepest mysteries of our faith that puts mere intellectual comprehension to shame.
Please bring your children to Mass, help them learn to worship Our Lord and recall His very words, “He who receives one of these in my name, receives Me.”