Let the Little Children Come is designed to help volunteers at Sunday liturgies, parents at home, and teachers in the classrooms guide the children to experience God’s love as it is shown in the life and person of Jesus.
The Sunday gospels are simplified and made more relevant for children ages 4 to 7.
Every Sunday the story of God’s love is proclaimed to a gathered community. The readings and homily often cannot be grasped by the little ones. A separate celebration of the Word may be provided for the children in another place. This procedure has been recommended by the Church since 1973 in the Directory for Masses with Children.
Just before the first reading the priest invites the leader and the children to gather in front of the altar. He blesses them and sends them forth to experience their own Liturgy of the Word. It is not playschool, not lots of arts and crafts, not a time for teaching formal religion classes. The purpose of the Liturgy of the Word with children is to give them an experience of liturgy: of coming together to listen to God’s message presented in simple terms at their level of comprehension but always faithful to the original scripture texts. Then together they find some way to express their response in prayers, songs, gestures, drawings or dramatization. Its purpose is to prepare the children for adult participation.