OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 25, 2014, 09:36:35 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: How much church for children?  (Read 4323 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« on: March 31, 2006, 01:26:26 PM »

Should I take my 9 year old sister with me to the Akathist service next Friday? For the past couple of weeks, my sister would go to my aunt's house while I went to the Salutations. I don't want to overload my sister with looong (aparently and in her eyes) boring church services which "are not relevant to her". But I gotta start her somewhere. She goes to sunday divine liturgy and sunday school but anything beyond that is really stretching it for her. I don't want to force her to go but I also don't want to deprive her of a strong spiritual experience in our church when she is a young and it is so critical.

I don't even think the language issue is so bad because at this particular church, they use a bit of english back and forth...but I know she'll use that as an excuse.

What do you parents do during feast days, and especially Good Friday and Pascha when the churches are rather full and have long services?

In order to "get good seats" or seats at all, you have to arrive half an hour or an hour before the Holy Week and Pascha services even start.

I guess the problem with orthodox parishes is that we have like 2 major churches for the city rather than 5 smaller ones....but thats a whole other issue...
Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2006, 01:34:20 PM »

I would strongly recommend taking her to the Akathist services, they really are some of the greatest services in the Orthodox Church...and they only last a matter of weeks. As far as presanctifiedes and such, I probably wouldn't bother. As for holy week, it would be good to go from Friday afternoon onwards, but if you want to narrow that down a bit, go Friday afternoon then to the Paschal Liturgy. It's only one extra service and it's only once a year.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,406


« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2006, 03:33:15 PM »

We have plenty of children <=9 yrs old at our Presanctified liturgies.  I recommend bringing her to at least one to experience the different type of liturgy (essentially a vespers w/ Communion).
Logged
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2006, 03:46:08 PM »

hmm, thnx for all the input. The problem with our parish is that we use 95% greek for weekday services and 65% greek on Sundays. I understand it mostly but the rest of my family kind of struggles with it since they've been here for a couple generations and understand bits of broken greek etc.

Although we did have 1 past Presanctified Liturgy where the readings were in english, the gospel was in both gr and eng, and some chants were in english but she missed that 1 since I didn't know english was going to be used.

Unfortunately, she's the type who wants church to be "in and out" sort of thing which is strange since my mom and I both love church...then again my dad never goes.

Also every year on the Western Good Friday, we have a huge youth/kids Lenten retreat where we have an english liturgy in the morning, a talk by the priest, workshops by the presbytera makign icons and lenten calendars with phrases to cut and paste like "I am an Orthodox Christian!" and simplified explanations of the Sundays of Lent. I can post them here for anyone interested once I scan them in my pc.
Logged
Thomas
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,754



« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2006, 07:29:44 AM »

Many  small children can not make it throughthe Pascha Night services (Rush Service, Divine Liturgy etc) and often are curled up on the floor in my parish or in a pewed church under the pew. May I recommend that she go to the AGAPE service on Sunday afternoon, children like it and it is seen as a "short" service by most people.

In Christ,
Thomas
« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 09:28:06 PM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
aurelia
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 588


« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 10:20:42 AM »

I know last year it was hard because Holy Week was during school, this year their vacation falls during it.   Our parish recommends to take the kids to one of every type of service during Lent and then as many as possible during Holy Week.   I did leave the little boys home for the evening Easter service last year, and took the girls, but this year we shall see how it goes. It IS a very long night, and then the Agape service next day is there to go to anyway. Our church also has an early Holy unction for the church school, which is nice.
Logged
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2006, 11:59:39 PM »

I wish churches had an abbreviated service in english for children before the actual service begins or perhaps in the morning. Then again the priest will be REALLY REALLY tired then.
Logged
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 01:04:33 PM »

Your church should really just be using a lot more English, since it seems that a decent sized portion of the population is having a disservice perpetuated. Maybe it will happen in another 20 years when this generation is completely lost from the Church, too, and the churches are empty...but then it may be too late.

I love seeing children sleeping at the services. Children should be brought to as many services as possible--and if you really want to help her with experiencing church and being a religious person, say daily prayers with her. They can be the 3 minute-in-and-out that a 9 year old with today's modern attention span may be able to handle--even just the Trisagion prayers and maybe a prayer for the day. Church shouldn't be just something you do on Sundays, not just something you sit through, but part of your everyday life. Bring her to as many services as possible, no matter how much she whines--nearly all kids whine about going to church. Don't let it be a passive experience, where you just observe what is happening, but learn about the services, and even if the yiayias glare at you, whisper an explanation for each part to her, explain the things in the church, the icons, the imagery, the theology. If she starts to learn the services and what is happening in them, she might find it easier to follow (even in greek) and therefore start to care more.

Find games to play with the Liturgy. I, without ever looking it up in advance (I didnt know how, for one) would always try to guess who the Gospel was going to be according to on any given Sunday. (Luke! oooh, I was right!)

Make this all part of her life and part of who she is and, most importantly, who she is in GOD, because Church is not a spectator sport, and if she doesn't connect personally with God in worship and prayer, she'll never understand that.
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 04:46:35 PM »

Wow, I never thought of "playing those little games" to make it interesting. Glares is not the word to use  Shocked but its a very good idea.

The scary thing is, is that she is already starting to doubt God's existence, thus she has a "what is the point of church, icons, and hymns if its all just fake?" And this is coming out of a 9-year old's mouth!!

We've always had icons in the house, always taken her to church, tried so hard to care for her spiritually- sunday school, prayers- if not daily, at least sometimes throughout the week.

We've blindly allowed her to be sucked into the commercialistic vaccum of self-centred interest and constantly trying to flee boredom rather than say, try to do good things for others, better the self in school, hobbies, spirituality...

The only reason she likes church is because sunday school starts right after the gospel before the Great Entrance, then they come in for communion and leave again. What type of sunday school is that? What happened to sunday school immediately AFTER communion? My mom hates this as she says the kids will grow up not used to church and wont come because for so many years they've been in church up until the Gospel and thats it-until communion.

I don't really know what to do anymore with her.

Logged
aurelia
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 588


« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2006, 05:53:55 PM »

even if the yiayias glare at you,

I have to inset here that you know it is bad when they come to the cry room window (ours is so you can see the service form the back of the church) during the service to shake their finger at the children.  Luckily it wasn't my kid doing it, but she glared at me like I was responsible...and his father was standing right there with him!


My chuch just moved church school to right after communion last year, it's working out nicely I think.  My 8 year old did very well this past Sunday, and I'm sure with time your sister will too.  At least you are trying!  I finally explained it to my kid that it is in the liturgy book in Greek, in transliterated Greek, and English...she's learning her way now, and often uses the choir parts to find her place because she sings in the youth choir! Does your sister sing? Does your church have a youth choir?
Logged
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2006, 08:39:38 PM »

My sister is in the youth choir...well was because it all fell apart when our convert choir director who was taking care of both the senior and children's choir with 4 children (!) couldn't handle it all on top of all the interruptions during the choir practices. I'd be walking past the practise room and some thia of mine would holler me in and talk to me...this would happen with almost everybody, being Greeks and all, so I don't blame the choir director. Plus they only sang publically like twice a year.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many ppl willing to serve the parish yet they all want services in return. Part of the problem is that the youth have almost no say or participation in church functions. The older yiayias and papous think they run the church. Since I serve @ the altar, I'm expected to greet every single one that "knows" me....I can't count the times that I didn't greet one of them and thus brought shame to myself for daring to absent-mindedly walk past them without greeting them...they act like its 1940's Greece. Even the priest must bend to their rules or else they'd get all upset and who knows probably call the Archbishop.

Point is that if it wasn't for the old people taking over our parish, we'd definitely have more english services, we'd definitely have more services such as liturgical stuff: liturgies, akathists, retreats and the youth would learn a lot more...but no. I don't wonder anymore why not too many youth show up other than advent--> Christmas, and Lent-->Pascha.

We have about 5 youth retreats per year but very few of the youth even hear about them except for 2 which are usually very well-attended.

Our 2 english liturgies a year, have mostly young parents with kids rather than any teens. Then again our church is about 10 years new...
Logged
jlerms
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 826


O sweet Jesus, cleanse my soul.


« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2006, 10:34:11 PM »

Timos,   It is such a shame that the children leave for Sunday school right after the Great Entrance!  Ours starts right after Holy Communion so the children are in the church during the bulk of Divine Liturgy, which I think it VERY important.  Is it within the realm of possibility that you attend a different parish which will be better for your sister?
God bless your family,   Juliana
Logged
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2006, 09:09:41 AM »

Julianna, most if not all of the churches in my area of my durisdiction operate this way because thats jsut the way they do it here or maybe the Archbishop likes it that way- I dunno. There is an OCA church about 45 minutes away from my house. They use all english and rent an upstaris flat for services. I might check it out one time. I guess it would still be good to go there sometimes. Still I m trying to make some changes in my parish and it is not easy.

Tim
Logged
BoredMeeting
Loving the Life of a Council Member
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox/OCA
Posts: 721



« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2006, 10:03:43 AM »

Just remember that children have their limits and that some of our services exceed them.

Never refuse a child a short break if they must sit for a little while, even if it means stepping out of the chapel for a few minutes. Don't let the breaks become the focus, of course, but work them in as needed.

The important thing is to avoid making Church a place where they don't want to be.
Logged
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2006, 01:41:12 PM »

Even the arrangment of the children leaving for sunday school after Communion is hardly ideal. They are missing the part where we offer thanksgiving for what we have received, which my priest says is one of the 4 parts of the service (shoudlnt miss any of them, but if you miss the 2nd, you shouldn't commune).

In our parish, Sunday school is held during Matins, and the children come for the entire DL. Of course, we're a mixed ethnicity parish with lots of diverse backgrounds, a priest who centers on evangelism, and a basically-all-English service (one litany with responses in several languages).

How can you answer her concerns about God? That has to be addressed more than how she likes Church--when you love God, you will love Church. Maybe you should read "A Tiny Step Away from Deepest Faith" that ppl have been talking about on here recently. Tell your sister that it's not all fake, and see if she will pray to God to show Himself to her, all the time, especially when she does not believe.
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,406


« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2006, 02:25:38 PM »

In our parish, Sunday school is held during Matins, and the children come for the entire DL. Of course, we're a mixed ethnicity parish with lots of diverse backgrounds, a priest who centers on evangelism, and a basically-all-English service (one litany with responses in several languages).


OCA parish here, similar diverse makeup.  We dismiss the kids for Sunday School during Psalm 33 (right after "Blessed be the name of the Lord..." and Sunday School is during the rest of the benediction/dismissal (or whatever it is called), announcements, post-communion prayers/normal dismissal and any Panikhida/memorial prayers that may happen.
Logged
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2006, 09:49:33 PM »

How can you answer her concerns about God? That has to be addressed more than how she likes Church--when you love God, you will love Church.

Yeah, maybe I've been worrying about the services so much and making  sure she's not turned off by them that I haven't spent enough time talking about the actual faith. She has a lot of conserns about the true existence of God, what is the point of life, what's our mission down here (as she put it), the truth about miracles vs. "fairytales". I've heard of some greek/ other ethnic like russian folk tales which often in a cute way mix God with the folk traditions but that can be dangerous to tell a child a sotry with both of those things together so I always avoid those types of stories even romanticised saint stories.

Hopefully I will take her to an OCA church for bridegroom (Nymfios) service- don't even know if that exists in OCA liturgical trad. And theres another orthodox greek parish which uses 50/50 english,greek so we'll visit there also but some services which will be mostly in greek and she'll just have to sit through them and not want to kill me for taking her there.



Logged
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2006, 12:55:49 AM »

Re: bridegroom matins


Honey, we're not that different. We're the same church, and yes, we have bridegroom matins.

I absolutely think that addressing her concerns about God is WAY more important than trying to get to her enjoy the services. Many children don't like church, especially when they dont have a clue about God and church is just a boring thing they have to sit through. Take her where she can understand the words. Talk to the priest about her concerns, too, because you're only a teen yourself and the priest can hopefully give you guidance.
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Timos
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 856



« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2006, 12:11:21 AM »

Oh cool, I thought the bridegroom service was a greek or byzantine thing. I Know the russians sing Christ is risen as does everybody even Catholics (Christus Ressurexit) but I'm not even sure if the OCA does the whole thing with the myrofori, the darkness, "Come receive the light" all that stuff. I got an OCA liturgical pascha CD from a California parish which is well known for its russian bells and the texts are pretty similar to byzantine texts of holy week and pascha.

As for my sister, I try to explain God n church to her but it can be hard. Its never explaining to a 9 year odl that our mission in life, our point for being here on earth is to worship God, to lover others, and to come to understand God's love for us. I say evening prayers (she hates these) with her and read bible stories/ saitn stories which she really enjoyes. I will talk to the priest. Most of them are sooo busy esp. now but maybe after Pascha. I know many priests don't really care for the kids or youth. Again the church is mostly for the adults and the elderly. My priest always says that if the church does not minister to the youth, our parish will be empty in 50 years. Thats why our parish is really trying to do youth stuff which I really appreciate.
Logged
BoredMeeting
Loving the Life of a Council Member
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox/OCA
Posts: 721



« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2006, 12:10:52 PM »

The scary thing is, is that she is already starting to doubt God's existence, thus she has a "what is the point of church, icons, and hymns if its all just fake?" And this is coming out of a 9-year old's mouth!!

We've always had icons in the house, always taken her to church, tried so hard to care for her spiritually- sunday school, prayers- if not daily, at least sometimes throughout the week.
This is something that we are all going to have to face at some point or another.

I also have a nine-year old daughter so I'm sure I'll be facing the same challenges as you very soon.

We are also looking for the best path to lead our children into a relationship with God. I still don't know the best way, but I think that I can describe the worst path, and that is to make Church a "Sunday-only" affair, particularly if it's optional whenever it conflicts with soccer practice or some such thing.

It's probably a good thing to keep in mind that having questions about God's existence is quite normal. There's a reason why we refer to Him as being "incomprehensible!"

Make sure the children are comfortable coming to you and asking questions about the Faith, then make sure you open the Bible and read to them why we believe in such things instead of just saying "Because that's what we believe" (followed by a Serbian punctuation mark, i.e. a whack to the head). That sort of answer doesn't communicate anything.  And if you don't know, don't be afraid to say so but make sure that both of you go and ask the priest to teach the both of you.

Lord knows that if we don't teach them correctly, modern culture will gladly step in and fill the void with something.
Logged
Tags: liturgy children 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.081 seconds with 47 queries.