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Author Topic: Children at Divine Liturgy  (Read 904 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hennepin
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« on: August 13, 2013, 10:29:02 PM »

Good evening-

I did do a search and didn't see this topic discussed, at least not in the first two dozen or so results.

I will be attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the first time soon and will have my two young children with me, one 3, the other 1. Normally at Mass, our oldest will have a bag with some snack in it and a book or two to look through, as most young children at Mass do. I'm just curious if this is also normal at Orthodox parishes. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something completely disrespectful or outside the norm.

Thank you and God bless.
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:38:15 PM »

Since you aren't communing, I don't see why it would be a problem so long as you are respectful.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that if you are going to an Old Calendarist or Russian church there will not be any pews, just something to consider.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 10:46:32 PM »

Totally normal to me. I bring snacks for my 3yr old as well as a pencil and paper pad or else he would risk a melt-down after 20-30min.

Check to see if your Church has a nursery inside for little ones, some bigger ones do.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 10:50:33 PM »

Totally normal to me. I bring snacks for my 3yr old as well as a pencil and paper pad or else he would risk a melt-down after 20-30min.

Check to see if your Church has a nursery inside for little ones, some bigger ones do.
I'm curious as to if the fasting rules are the same for little ones.  I remember some things I wish I didn't remember from when I was a kid, my parents didn't feed me before Liturgy and I was always hungriest in the mornings.
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 10:53:36 PM »

Thank you for the replies!
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 11:25:58 PM »

Good evening-

I did do a search and didn't see this topic discussed, at least not in the first two dozen or so results.

I will be attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the first time soon and will have my two young children with me, one 3, the other 1. Normally at Mass, our oldest will have a bag with some snack in it and a book or two to look through, as most young children at Mass do. I'm just curious if this is also normal at Orthodox parishes. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something completely disrespectful or outside the norm.

Thank you and God bless.

You'll find that Orthodox parents do very much the same.  My son is one and we always bring some snacks and toys (non-squeaky, non noise making toys) for him.  However, he's at that age where he wants to move all the time and walk (he just learned) so I spend a good deal of time chasing after him so he doesn't disturb anyone else.

This may not even apply to your situation, but you may want to ask when you arrive if the church has a "cry room" where you can take your kids if they start becoming really fussy. My church's cry room is off to the side with a window and microphone so you can still be part of the goings-on of the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 11:31:48 PM »

Regarding fasting: while I would imagine there could be some variance between jurisdictions, I know there are in some cases official exceptions for young children. Even if there's not an official exception we're not generally legalistic about these things if the child can handle the fasting good, if not feed them. Not certain, talk to your priest. Cautionary note if your making an exception don't flaunt it.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 11:33:14 PM »

Good evening-

I did do a search and didn't see this topic discussed, at least not in the first two dozen or so results.

I will be attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the first time soon and will have my two young children with me, one 3, the other 1. Normally at Mass, our oldest will have a bag with some snack in it and a book or two to look through, as most young children at Mass do. I'm just curious if this is also normal at Orthodox parishes. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something completely disrespectful or outside the norm.

Thank you and God bless.

You'll find that Orthodox parents do very much the same.  My son is one and we always bring some snacks and toys (non-squeaky, non noise making toys) for him.  However, he's at that age where he wants to move all the time and walk (he just learned) so I spend a good deal of time chasing after him so he doesn't disturb anyone else.

This may not even apply to your situation, but you may want to ask when you arrive if the church has a "cry room" where you can take your kids if they start becoming really fussy. My church's cry room is off to the side with a window and microphone so you can still be part of the goings-on of the Divine Liturgy.
I've honestly never noticed anyone ever doing this, yet it sounds like people do this all of the time.

Still a little concerned about snacks*, otherwise consider this as a "good to go" from a guy with no wife/kids.

*EDIT: Thanks Maximum Bob
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 11:37:36 PM »

Good evening-

I did do a search and didn't see this topic discussed, at least not in the first two dozen or so results.

I will be attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the first time soon and will have my two young children with me, one 3, the other 1. Normally at Mass, our oldest will have a bag with some snack in it and a book or two to look through, as most young children at Mass do. I'm just curious if this is also normal at Orthodox parishes. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something completely disrespectful or outside the norm.

Thank you and God bless.

You'll find that Orthodox parents do very much the same.  My son is one and we always bring some snacks and toys (non-squeaky, non noise making toys) for him.  However, he's at that age where he wants to move all the time and walk (he just learned) so I spend a good deal of time chasing after him so he doesn't disturb anyone else.

This may not even apply to your situation, but you may want to ask when you arrive if the church has a "cry room" where you can take your kids if they start becoming really fussy. My church's cry room is off to the side with a window and microphone so you can still be part of the goings-on of the Divine Liturgy.
I've honestly never noticed anyone ever doing this, yet it sounds like people do this all of the time.

Still a little concerned about snacks, otherwise consider this as a "good to go" from a guy with no wife/kids.
We don't do snacks at chuch, but we do give the little ones breakfast a few hours ahead of time. A two-year-old has a hard enough time at liturgy, and one who hasn't eaten by 10 a.m. is an emotional wreck.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 11:46:19 PM »



Still a little concerned about snacks*, otherwise consider this as a "good to go" from a guy with no wife/kids.

*EDIT: Thanks Maximum Bob

Yeah, how dare a one year old not observe the Eucharistic fast.
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 11:48:33 PM »

I agree, young  children do ha e a hard time sitting still for church.

And I don't think this church has a crying room, but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 11:51:09 PM »



Still a little concerned about snacks*, otherwise consider this as a "good to go" from a guy with no wife/kids.

*EDIT: Thanks Maximum Bob

Yeah, how dare a one year old not observe the Eucharistic fast.
That's the attitude my parents took, at least as far as I can remember (three-flourish), I haven't been and will not be bothered to ask them if they fed me at one years.

Perhaps that is why I would be an awful parent.

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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 12:16:15 AM »

My youngest was 5 when we started going, haven't really had any problems. Plenty of younger kids, seems like a new baby popping out every few weeks.  Grin  I know the mothers with the babies step out to feed them periodically, even though they're receiving the Eucharist. I'm pretty sure I've seen some snacks for the toddlers. But again, if you want to be sure ask.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 12:39:28 AM »

Hennepin,
Greetings.  I've seen plenty of parents brings small snacks for their young children.  I haven't seen a nursery in any of the Orthodox churches in the Twin Cities and thanks be to God for that.  Not only is it good for the children to join the rest of us for worship, it is good for the rest of us that the children are with us.  Whichever parish you are planning on attending, please stay for coffee hour.

Kevin
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 01:32:10 AM »

Totally normal to me. I bring snacks for my 3yr old as well as a pencil and paper pad or else he would risk a melt-down after 20-30min.

Check to see if your Church has a nursery inside for little ones, some bigger ones do.
I'm curious as to if the fasting rules are the same for little ones.  I remember some things I wish I didn't remember from when I was a kid, my parents didn't feed me before Liturgy and I was always hungriest in the mornings.

No clue. Both mine are young, and my youngest kiddo takes meds 2x daily that require food or milk so I never bothered to inform myself.  Undecided

My 5yr old usually doesn't eat before by choice. But he is a strange little man.
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2013, 03:12:56 AM »

I know the mothers with the babies step out to feed them periodically, even though they're receiving the Eucharist.

Anathema!

And seriously, what is the problem here?
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2013, 05:00:11 AM »

Many of the parents give their children snacks before the Eucharist. They take the kids outside the Nave to give it to them.

*But* it is a big no-no in our parish to bring food into the Nave. I even asked before I brought crackers for my celiac son to have instead of the antidoran, because it is that kind of deal to bring food into the Nave. So if you want to bring snacks into the Nave, it is a good idea to ask someone that is familiar with the practice there. Or you can bring the snacks and sort of monkey see monkey do when another family has snacks.

As to books etc, all the kids at our parish normally have something that they play with during service. At this point our kids don't, but we have been there almost 6 years now. This is more because I have 6 kids to wrangle, and no desire to manage 6 children worth of stuff.
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2013, 05:07:51 AM »

Snacks before the service:

We give our children 1 glass of this special chocolate milk before services. They *only* get it Sunday mornings before church. It is a special sort of treat that they now associate with going to church. We often arrive around 8 am, and they don't eat until around noon at coffee hour. The one glass of milk is enough to satisfy them. Our second daughter would quite literally faint from hunger and low blood sugar if we didn't allow her at least a glass of milk. And our second son has to eat basically every 2 hours at this point due to his myriad of health issues. Our eldest will start observing the fast and have her milk later in the day after her next birthday. But we don't make her abstain from water at this point (and especially this time of year). She has gone pale and nearly fainted whenever she abstains from water thru the liturgy. Most of the parents in our parish don't have the kids adhere to the fast until at least the age of 8-12 depending upon the child.
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2013, 08:57:11 PM »

I know the mothers with the babies step out to feed them periodically, even though they're receiving the Eucharist.

Anathema!

And seriously, what is the problem here?
Michal, sometimes I'm really not sure how to take you.  Undecided  Only sometimes, but this is one of them.
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2013, 10:07:00 PM »



Still a little concerned about snacks*, otherwise consider this as a "good to go" from a guy with no wife/kids.

*EDIT: Thanks Maximum Bob

Yeah, how dare a one year old not observe the Eucharistic fast.

Of course infants don't fast for communion... but maybe what he meant was snacks in the church... We always brought snacks for our son, but he would never have them in the Nave, we would step out and let him run and eat for a few minutes, then back in. Now that he is 2.5 he usually has no problem fasting the Liturgy, though we still feed him before. Our priest would never ask children to fast longer than they are able... but he is very clear that there is no food in the Nave except for korban.
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 12:05:03 PM »

My two-year-old has so much energy! I just take his shoes and socks off and he spends an hour running in a circle around me during the Liturgy. He's dubbed my "satellite child".

Small children do not fast. When they're a little older, sure. But not when they're small. My boy has his sippy cup of milk with him during the Liturgy. He'll have a small snack in the kitchen sometimes. My wife and I won't bring solid food into the nave during Liturgy.
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 01:38:26 PM »

My parents had been gaving me the breakfast until I started to confess. I don't remember eating in a church though.
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2013, 02:50:35 PM »

I can remember being very small - three or four maybe - and Mom would give me and my brother a tiny bag of cereal. We weren't old enough to take Communion. We did bounce around in our seats a lot.
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2013, 03:10:22 PM »

Good evening-

I did do a search and didn't see this topic discussed, at least not in the first two dozen or so results.

I will be attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy for the first time soon and will have my two young children with me, one 3, the other 1. Normally at Mass, our oldest will have a bag with some snack in it and a book or two to look through, as most young children at Mass do. I'm just curious if this is also normal at Orthodox parishes. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something completely disrespectful or outside the norm.

Thank you and God bless.

Welcome, and you have a very delicious beer.
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2013, 04:27:55 PM »

Snacks would be better not be included or at least to go outside to eat.
As for toys, yes but not noisy ones.
The best would be the kids to learn to hear from now. Yet is seems impossible.
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2013, 04:32:03 PM »

As a kid myself, I was given breakfast before church (unless I was going to receive, of course), but that was it. No snacks, toys, books or other distractions. I did learn to listen. I do the same with my son now. He's less inclined to sit still, but we're working on it.
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2013, 05:20:04 PM »

Welcome, and you have a very delicious beer.

Thank you! I'm drinking a beer right now, as a matter of fact.

Thank you for all the different opinions on this. We'll see how Sunday goes.
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2013, 06:57:48 PM »

We did bounce around in our seats a lot.

When I visited the COC, the kids there were pretty much walking all around the back rows versus sitting down. Nobody said anything. Then again they have a looooong DL.
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2013, 07:52:04 PM »

I can remember being very small - three or four maybe - and Mom would give me and my brother a tiny bag of cereal. We weren't old enough to take Communion. We did bounce around in our seats a lot.

Not old enough to take Communion? In an Orthodox Church? Isn't Communion received from baptism, shortly after birth?
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 08:52:16 PM »

I can remember being very small - three or four maybe - and Mom would give me and my brother a tiny bag of cereal. We weren't old enough to take Communion. We did bounce around in our seats a lot.

Not old enough to take Communion? In an Orthodox Church? Isn't Communion received from baptism, shortly after birth?

I was Roman Catholic when I was a kid. Sorry I forgot to add that.
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2013, 12:31:42 AM »

As a kid myself, I was given breakfast before church (unless I was going to receive, of course), but that was it. No snacks, toys, books or other distractions. I did learn to listen. I do the same with my son now. He's less inclined to sit still, but we're working on it.

I was beginning to think I had a weird childhood.  Smiley 

Honestly, I can't remember whether or not I was given breakfast before the drive to church, but certainly the rest was my experience as well.
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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2013, 08:44:15 PM »

At our church the childen can have their toys as long as they are quite and cereal although not to make a mess.When my girls were youg I gave them breakfast befor going to church.They could bring a toy or a coloring book.I liked the Orthordox coloring books.As my girls got bigger I had them fast in differnt ways,like no milk on the cereal.Slowly I got them to fast all togather! Thank God!
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