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Author Topic: Babies Crying during Liturgy  (Read 6965 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 28, 2006, 10:37:07 AM »

Hello everyone, this is my first post.  Love the site.

Okay, now down to brass tacks.  I have a 10 month old son.  And it just happens that about half way during Liturgy every week he gets a little cranky(that's his normal morning nap time).  Now I was told by the Priest's wife not to worry about him crying because it's not as loud as it seems, and that it's more important for him to be at church, but yesterday a fellow parishoner came down from the choir and said that he was crying during an important part of the Liturgy and that I should remove him.  I was shocked, and a little hurt.  I'm just looking for a little insight.

Thanks in advance,
Gene
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2006, 11:07:52 AM »

First off, you should not feel badly. All of us with children have had the exact same experiences, and we've all been there. Plus, in every church of any jurisdiction or denomination, there are always people who feel they have to educate young parents on what to do.

If I were you, I would ask your priest what he thinks about the situation. Different priests have different thresholds of irritation regarding crying children, and it'd be nice to know where he is with that. I know I don't mind hearing a crying child in the congregation---it means the children are coming to church, which is where they should be, after all---but I also respect the parent's decision if they need to leave temporarily.

Plus, you may want to ask your priest what should you do if it is in one of the moments of the Liturgy where you're not 'supposed' to be entering or exiting the church---what would he have you do?

Finally, you also have to use your judgment. If the child is being a little cranky and only needs a little distraction before s/he settles back down, and if it's otherwise OK with your priest, then stay there. If it's obvious the child is worked up about something, then maybe retiring to the narthex to investigate is in order---but you should also come back in or otherwise the child will learn that s/he can get Dad and he to leave whenever he acts badly.

So, just call your priest and ask him. Then, when a busybody butts in to give you 'helpful advice', you can indicate that you have discussed this matter with Father already, and done exactly what he wanted!
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 11:13:46 AM »

Hey Gene,

Nice to have you and welcome to the forum.  I have a 13 month old boy who can be quite the handful in Church and I'm not EXACTLY sure what the PROPER etiquette would be, but I can share what my wife and I do.

However, I'd like to say, that the person who felt it necessary to comment on your baby, wasn't concentrating enough on the Liturgy themselves and their own prayers, but was rather consumed with your baby, something that person should probably think about themselves.

Having said that... my wife and I do try to be considerate of our fellow parishoners.  If our son is full "screaming" or crying, we remove him to the banquet area beneath the Church.  If however, he is just blurting things our like "blah, bloh, blee", then we stay put.  We talk to him in hushed voices and tell him he has to stay quiet.  He's still a baby and yours is even youngers.

Like you, our Parish Priest has NEVER had a problem with his occasional outbursts.  I would say if your child is really crying, remove them temporarily and try to come back in when they settle down.  I do this, not because I was asked to, but because I think it is considerate of others.

I think the fact that you are bringing a 10 month old to Church is absolutely wonderful and you should be commended for your efforts.
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 11:15:03 AM »

+Fr. Chris,

I replied without reading yours... good thing I wasn't out of line!!! Grin
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 11:17:48 AM »

Thanks for the responses.  Normally it's not a big deal, but when that man approached me about it I wasn't sure what to do.  The baby loves it when the censer is being used, he follows the sound of the bells, and when the deacon goes back behind the iconostasis he looks around for a good minute to see where he went.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 11:47:25 AM »

My babies, I have a three month old and a two year old who acts up alot, are little darlings. We stay in the back and I miss alot of the Liturgy. This comes with the territory. When eiuther of them get out of hand I just disappear into the Narthex and settle them down. I expect this to be the norm until my youngest turns five, sadly. So I dont expect to be in the limelight of Church for a bit. Pray for me!!!

Blessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2006, 05:17:32 PM »

We have had both kinds of priests. One of our Priests thought it was very important for the infants to stay in church except when nursing and diaper changing, so our space was limited for taht alone. Another of our priests has a low tolerance of crying children and has esbalished a Nursing for Children under six to go to when they become rowdy and a cry room for babies who cry. I prefer the former versis the latter but the church is a lot quieter with the Latter.

THe Latter Priest father states that Inquiorers are turned off by the noise and he wants us to be more open to newcomers.

Whatever the situation, I think that it needs to come from father and not from a Choir member who is likely just upset that his/her musical performance/worship is being ruined.

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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2006, 06:18:09 AM »

As a single man with no children and having been Orthodox for 10 years, I would NEVER (and I do mean NEVER) ask or tell parents to remove their children from church because a little one is crying. (And, yes, I sing in the choir too). At my parish we've had our little ones scream through the Cherubic Hymn, even "The Noble Joseph" on Holy Friday etc. and we just KEEP GOING. I accepted long ago when I became Orthodox that a church that communes infants is just going to be noisy sometimes. That's just the way it is. My hushed, carpeted, pew-cushioned Protestant past (complete with the miked pastor) is now truly in the past. As my priest likes to say, "In Orthodoxy, the whole village worships together." And crying babies are part of the village. Enough said.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2006, 06:28:51 AM »

We have a four year old and an eight month old (interestingly the four year old is more prone to embarrassing behaviour and noise making than the 8 month old is - they don't get better for a while!) and I have to second SouthSerb. We try to keep both our children in Church and nobody complains when they make some noise, wander around or even (as in the case of my son) wander around after Father 'censing' the congregation with a stuffed giraffe! When they get too bad one of us (usually my wife as I sing in our choir) takes them out temporarily if possible but most of our parish seem to agree (and it has come up in parish council meetings) that it is better for the kids to be present and moderately noisy than not present at all.

James
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2006, 07:05:33 AM »

As a single man with no children and having been Orthodox for 10 years, I would NEVER (and I do mean NEVER) ask or tell parents to remove their children from church because a little one is crying. (And, yes, I sing in the choir too). At my parish we've had our little ones scream through the Cherubic Hymn, even "The Noble Joseph" on Holy Friday etc. and we just KEEP GOING. I accepted long ago when I became Orthodox that a church that communes infants is just going to be noisy sometimes. That's just the way it is. My hushed, carpeted, pew-cushioned Protestant past (complete with the miked pastor) is now truly in the past. As my priest likes to say, "In Orthodoxy, the whole village worships together." And crying babies are part of the village. Enough said.  Wink

Good stuff, Tikhon.  I'm in the choir, too, and wish some busybodies in ours could mind theirs while singing...
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2006, 08:31:35 AM »

Tikhon,

Nice post, especially coming from a single guy.

James,

How's the little one doing?  Keeping you busy?  Sleepless nights?
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2006, 08:53:38 AM »

James,

How's the little one doing?  Keeping you busy?  Sleepless nights?

She's fine. Thanks for asking. She's teething now, which makes her a little less apt to sleep through, though she's still way better than William was even at his best. She's also now crawling at a rate of knots and trying to stand up (quite successfully if she has a table or a chair to pull herself up on) which is causing the odd heart attack. Doubt it'll be long before she starts walking, but William walked at 10 months, too. She's so good it's unbelievable - she's practically angelic. My wife and I joke that she was a reward to us for managing to survive William! Anyway, we are truly blessed.

James
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2006, 08:58:50 AM »

Nice to hear it!  Dejan was like that... so everyone is warning us that baby number 2 will be payback when he or she arrives.
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 09:03:13 AM »

"And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

Just a little insight...

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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2006, 09:32:17 AM »

Nice to hear it!  Dejan was like that... so everyone is warning us that baby number 2 will be payback when he or she arrives.

Then, you won't want to here this, but... STOP NOW!!! Wink

William was such a nightmare that I thought I was going to go mad several times. If your next is as bad as he was, you'll regret it.

And I can't emphasise enough that when your son gets a little older he should under no circumstances be permitted to take a stuffed giraffe (or anything else vaguely censor shaped) to church. Others may find it amusing when toddlers ape the priest but I can, from experience, guarantee that the experience is anything but for the parents of said toddler.

James
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2006, 02:56:47 PM »

And I can't emphasise enough that when your son gets a little older he should under no circumstances be permitted to take a stuffed giraffe (or anything else vaguely censor shaped) to church. Others may find it amusing when toddlers ape the priest but I can, from experience, guarantee that the experience is anything but for the parents of said toddler.

Oh, man...

Hope is getting in some back teeth, which means less sleep...again...she's going in circles with that...but she's also by far the most involved child in our parish...by "involved" I mean walking up to everyone and everything she can and exploring, yelling out "Bah, bah, BAH, BAH, BAH!" in the middle of something or other (we say she's chanting), or 'participating' otherwise in the service.  She gets some looks from some folks, but most other folks love it.

I'll have to watch her, though, to see if she starts swinging her paci and clip back and forth one liturgy...
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2006, 03:30:25 PM »

I have 6 children at service at any time!  My oldest teen doesn't go, she didn't convert with us.
My two older sons are now behind the altar, but I have a wild ape like 5yo son, a 2yo baby, a 16mo baby, and a 4yo forever stuck at about age 1 to deal with.  If one is good, another is wiggly, and still another wants a drink or something. 
Our parish is so tiny that it carries sound, even the smallest sound is amplified.  Fr is very forgiving of noise until his homily, he says he is too old to try to focus on that with all the little distractions of page turning and babbling.  They put in a live feed tv downstairs for people like me that never get to go to Liturgy, and I try to follow along as best I can.  It will probably be never when I get to focus on Liturgy undistracted, since my Heather will never be "normal"  Every 6 mo or so my dh lets me take the two altar servers and go with no one else and experience an entire liturgy. 
Before you know it your William will be driving you to services...which I am sure gives you more of a heart attack, eh?
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2006, 02:44:45 AM »

Before you know it your William will be driving you to services...which I am sure gives you more of a heart attack, eh?

Thankfully I have at least 13 years before that's even a vague possibility, but thanks for making me feel old! Actually, I think I'd rather wait till Sabina can drive. She has by far the less excitable temperament and would likely make me feel rather safer. Whatever happens, I hope William will have stopped aping the priest before he can drive!

James
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2006, 10:38:13 AM »

I have a 10 month old son.  And it just happens that about half way during Liturgy every week he gets a little cranky(that's his normal morning nap time).
We had the exact same problem with our daughter! To solve the problem, we got her up a little earlier than usual on Sunday, got her involved in some active playtime, and then took a liesurely drive toward church, making sure the drive would go at least 45 minutes. She'd sleep the entire time and would wake up at church fully refreshed. Occasionally, she'd still be asleep when we got there but one of us would wait with her in the parking lot until she woke up.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2006, 02:05:44 PM »

We had the exact same problem with our daughter! To solve the problem, we got her up a little earlier than usual on Sunday, got her involved in some active playtime, and then took a liesurely drive toward church, making sure the drive would go at least 45 minutes. She'd sleep the entire time and would wake up at church fully refreshed. Occasionally, she'd still be asleep when we got there but one of us would wait with her in the parking lot until she woke up.
That's a good idea.  I think I'll try that this week.
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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2006, 12:30:44 AM »

I was recently reading in Chadwick's "Church History" something which I found very interesting, and had not ever thought of before (in any real deapth). 

He mentioned (as an aside) that Jesus Christ used children as an instrument of tutilage and in fact be used them as the ULTIMATE example.  So, in a way he preached TO the children, ABOUT the children, THROUGH the children...all to other people. 

Anyway, it was very interesting to me how children were good enough to be in the presence of Christ and behave however it is that they behave, yet they are not good enough for us in church?  Somehow we have to keep order over allowing a member of the church into the church? 

In the Serbian church that I go to there is an Autistic child (he has other disabilities as well) who cries out at random times.  If anyone were to tell the parents of that child to move the child to the Narthex I would probobly ...  well....not act very Christian. 

Where do we draw the line?  I'm not sure.  I'm a big fan of EVERYONE being considerate.  If the parents are considerate of their child and making sure that the child is getting what it needs to from the service, i'm happy.  If everyone else were to be considerate then this problem would be a lot less likely. 
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2006, 12:14:20 PM »

We are very lucky that our cry room is a soundproof (pretty much) glassed in area with pews and a bathroom and so we can still hear (piped in) and see and participarte in church. My record before i have to take the 4 year olds in there is like 10 minutes!! Usually 5, they just cant sit still or talk below a dull roar. Cheesy  But the odd crying kid isnt a problem for the most part, if it gets really loud most parents just take the kid out, as the acoustics in church are excellent.  Grin 
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2006, 10:31:51 AM »

Have you ever had the experience of a child discovering the acoustics and then having fun with them?   Smiley

When our oldest was still "back-pack" sized we went down to the Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery in D.C.  It's in what was once a large classic office building with marble floors and high ceiling corridors.  LOTS of hard surfaces to bounce the sound off of.  He discovered this and started to *!CHIRP!* and then listen to the resonance, having a grand time.  We had to take him out to the courtyard for a bit to get it out of his system.  Cheesy

Fortunately, they don't do that in Church much now that they're older.  But we have great acoustics, too.  Our daughter is working hard at singing loudly (the next Ethel Merman) and she can be heard in the congregation.

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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2006, 05:11:38 PM »

Oh yes, my William discovered that early on, and he loves to say as loud as possible, "HI FATHER NICK!!!"  Shocked  or "LOOK it's a circle!" (meaning the dome)
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2006, 06:23:00 PM »

Do any of you like the idea of the priest having something in Liturgy that the little children could be a part of? 

I was thinking maybe the priest could gather all of the children (and parents) at the end of Liturgy and let them hold religious items such as the blessing cross, etc.

This way they can get accustomed to seeing things, and experiencing the church but in their own way? 

Just wondering...
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« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2006, 02:29:51 AM »

Where do we draw the line?  I'm not sure.  I'm a big fan of EVERYONE being considerate.  If the parents are considerate of their child and making sure that the child is getting what it needs to from the service, i'm happy.  If everyone else were to be considerate then this problem would be a lot less likely. 
Great summary!
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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2006, 10:01:32 PM »

This is a little late since no one has posted on this thread for a couple months, but I remember this time when at my parish in St. Louis on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, we were singing the hymn about Rachel weeping inconsolably for her children and all of a sudden, like EVERY BABY (and believe me, we had a lot of them: babies are coming out of the walls in that place) began crying and screaming at the same time.  It was really strange, but my later reflection on it was-- did God just use the crying of infants to make this Feast more real to us?

Everyone owes parents a TON of discretional leeway over their children's crying.  Children get wild sometimes and they have just as much right to be there as everyone else.
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« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2006, 11:26:19 AM »

Yah here's the thing.  Where do we draw the line? 

I've been in a church with a Mentally disable child in the pews and everyone was able to overlook their randome screaming and yelling every 4-5 minutes, because they knew that the kid was mentally unstable (handicapped). 

But they can't overlook a child screaming?  So they can do one but not the other?  Why, because the child CAN know better but the mentally disabled kid doesn't? 

These are tough questions, all having to do with our own personal growth as Christians. 

Now at the same time, children (in my opinion) should be taught at a young age how to be quiet and respect the services of the church.  Now if there's congregational singing, then there's other things that must be taken into account. 

There's a lot going on with this issue, but the ultimate question is...where do we draw the line?
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2006, 01:35:49 PM »

There's a lot going on with this issue, but the ultimate question is...where do we draw the line?
We can certainly draw the line whenever the children are making enough noise to be disruptive.

If the sound level is enough that some people in the Church can not even hear the priest, the parent should take the child outside for a little time out (and don't give them toys to play with when they do so).
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« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2006, 02:41:49 PM »

That's an interesting point.  If you don't mind me asking how did you come up with that? 

Was it arbitrary?  Did you read it somewhere? 

I've seen some similar reasoning used for other things in church, like bells, etc. 

Just curious.  I actually agree with you, but a lot of priest's don't mind, which I think is doing a diservice to the sacrament, or whatever service it is. 
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« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2006, 07:06:37 PM »

If you don't mind me asking how did you come up with that?
A parish that I used to attend came up with that, with the approval of the priest and the Board of Trustees.

It actually established a comfort zone for the parents so they knew they weren't expected to jump and run if their child made the slightest noise. We had to impress this idea upon a couple of older members who seemed to think that children should be absolutely silent at all times inside the church. Of course, their children and grandchildren no longer attended Liturgy at any Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2007, 05:18:58 PM »

I'm jumping in late on this thread, but as an inquirer I adore seeing children of all ages in the service.  I like the idea of the whole 'village' in worship together and I think people should just learn to be tolerant of childish noises (tantrums, diaper changes, and breastfeeding being the exception).  I don't have any kids yet.
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2007, 05:24:47 PM »

We have a some children that leave the pew, run into the central isle, and lay on the floor while their parents do absolutely nothing. I dislike it greatly, and I'm still waiting for the day when the priest says, "Get up and do some parenting!"
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« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2007, 05:27:36 PM »

We have a some children that leave the pew, run into the central isle, and lay on the floor while their parents do absolutely nothing. I dislike it greatly, and I'm still waiting for the day when the priest says, "Get up and do some parenting!"

No disagreement here.  That's completely out of line.  I meant that if the children stay with their parents and the parents are obviously actively involved in parenting, then we should all extend them grace. 
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2007, 06:44:03 PM »

The dilema comes down to this for me: 

On the one hand we are told that "theologically" kids are a part of the church.  Whenever they scream, etc. it is a movement of the HS and as such should be tolerated.  They are innocent in their thoughts, so we can't really blame them. 

On the other hand, we need to teach children the "proper way" of behaving because eventually they will be adults in the church.  The same theology described above doesn't work for adults.  We have to be conscious of what we are doing so as to not lead others into sin (consciously, etc.).  We are also definitely not as innocent as little children, also. 

So, how do we reconsile these two ideas?  I have no idea...but it definitely is a difficult topic... Cool
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2007, 02:40:45 PM »

I dont think they should be running the aisles(that when i go to the cry room) but I suppose you could boil it down to do the best you can, leave when it is too much, they will grow up eventually and in the meantime some yiayia or other will scold them.  Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2007, 04:38:44 PM »

I personally don't like people who criticise children for acting like children.  If you can't handle it, go find a church where children are separated as if they are not part of the human race.  Parents who bring their children to church, which is an ordeal, are parenting.  Smiley   If you can't see this then lock yourself in a room with a computer and b^%$# on the internet until you recognize your own childishness!

edit by aurelia: language, sorry its generally frowned upon here.
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2007, 07:23:57 PM »

The voices, cries, and other forms of commotion babies and children cause in church is music to my ears.
It is divine music of a healthy, vibrant church. When I stand in church I am surrounded by them. They are at my feet, hanging on to my legs, and hugging me during the service. It is absolute heaven to me to be surrounded by them and to be loved by them. May God fill all of our churches with lots of babies and children who will carry Orthodoxy on into the future.

To all of you young parents struggling with children, God bless you! And don't let anyone discourage you from bringing your babies and children to the services. It is the only way they will grow into their faith.
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2007, 10:57:05 PM »

I agree with Tamara.

I don't like the idea of nurseries; however, if a baby/child gets too loud, the parents should take him/her out briefly.  How else can children learn how to behave properly in church if they are never allowed in church until they are "old enough?"

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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2007, 11:56:08 PM »

Out of the mouths of babes and infants You have fashioned perfect praise.  (Matthew 21:16--Christ's paraphrase of Psalm 8:2)

Some of the things young children say in their churchly babble can really be quite significant.  I can still remember the Sunday morning about eight years ago.  We were in that short period of reverent silence right before the appearance of the Holy Gifts for Communion when a 2-year-old girl yelled out loud enough for the whole parish to hear, "Yum yum time!  Yum yum time!"  Appropriate conduct for church?  Probably not--her parents certainly had reason to be embarrassed!  But the total spontaneity of what very well could have been a word from God was priceless.

O taste and see that the Lord is good!  ( Psalm 34:8 )


(My deacon's two kids, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, have to be two of the cutest kids you'll ever see!  She looks just like her mom, and he looks just like his dad, save that Dad has less hair.)
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« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2007, 09:05:21 AM »

In our Parish, we once had no nursery or other place to take a child but the parish hall. Today we have a Nursery staffed by parish volunteers for children, it is piped with the Divine Liturgy coming in over  the simple sound system of a baby monitoring  system.  The volunteer workers have illustrated books of the liturgy that they  use to help the children identify what is going on.  For those children able to participate  in the prayers they help the child equate the prayers with the action of the liturgy.  This has helped the children as they become more able to stay longer in the service ,to enter the service with proper behavior and knowledge of what is going on.  Parents are encouraged to keep their children with them during the liturgy until behavior requires them to take them to the nursery (parent's call).  Many bring the children in at Sermon time and pick them up for communion, keeping them until the end of the service.  It has worked well and the behavior of the children as they grow older  appears to calm down more rapidly and they appear more attentive to the Liturgy.

We also have a Nursing room for nursing mothers and to soothe crying babies, it too is piped for sound so  everyone can hear the Divine Liturgy even if they can not see it.

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« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2007, 09:25:03 AM »

Out of the mouths of babes and infants You have fashioned perfect praise.  (Matthew 21:16--Christ's paraphrase of Psalm 8:2)

Some of the things young children say in their churchly babble can really be quite significant.  I can still remember the Sunday morning about eight years ago.  We were in that short period of reverent silence right before the appearance of the Holy Gifts for Communion when a 2-year-old girl yelled out loud enough for the whole parish to hear, "Yum yum time!  Yum yum time!"  Appropriate conduct for church?  Probably not--her parents certainly had reason to be embarrassed!  But the total spontaneity of what very well could have been a word from God was priceless.

O taste and see that the Lord is good!  ( Psalm 34:8 )


(My deacon's two kids, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, have to be two of the cutest kids you'll ever see!  She looks just like her mom, and he looks just like his dad, save that Dad has less hair.)

I had a really wonderful experience with Sabina just recently. William was playing up a little and my wife took him out, handing me Sabina. I was chanting at the time but she was quiet so I just stayed in the choir with her. She made a noise that sounded like meshteh (difficult to write) which sounded vaguely like a cry. I was about to try and stop her when she did it again but to a different 'tune'. It suddenly dawned on everyone in the choir at once that she was trying to chant 'Doamne miluieste' (Lord have mercy) along with the rest of us - and she's clearly got an ear for music even if her speech leaves something to be desired. I was really impressed. She'll probably grow up chanting like that, and that's just got to be a good thing (even if it did kind of disrupt the choir as everyone started staring and smiling rather than singing!)

James
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« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2007, 10:16:51 AM »

At the same time the church is not a playground.  If kids are running amuck and just terorizing then I think we have to not pull the wool over our eyes.  They ARE being children, and being disruptive, so we need to teach them the proper way of behaving. 

It seems to me as if we are all disucussing verious ages of children. 

I think for the most part we can all agree that very small children - 3 years old are not to be "blamed" for their mode of being.  However, once a child starts getting older than that, we need to be a little bit wiser.  If a kid believes that they can do whatever they want in church, what kind of foundation is that setting?  How will they ever respect the services? 

At the same time, do we necessarily want blind formality?  Or do we want a vibrant church which teems with the HS.  Or is that too protestant? 

How do we reconsile these questions?  With love.  If I look at a 6 year old brat as what he is, a 6 year old brat, and not as a child of God full of the HS just like I am, then what makes me any better than the Publican? 
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« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2007, 12:23:04 PM »

I've been to several OCA parishes, and 1 Antiochian and 2 Greek for Sunday Liturgy, and I'm still fond of my own parish.  Our priest always says to stay with your own children to keep them from running around so that we're praying with them and thereby teaching them to pray.  They grow from us.  And if a baby cries during the service and people complain (who aren't the parents), Father will say "I didn't hear any baby crying.  Just a bunch of people saying SHHHH!!!"



Also (I hope this hasn't been said yet) some Scriptures about what Jesus said:
"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."  Matthew 10:15, Luke 18:17
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« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2007, 08:50:02 AM »

We have the same sort of piped in feed setup for the nursurey, and also the cry room, which is actually part of the church, with a (mostly) soundproof window so you are still in church...pews, liturgy books, the whole shot (and a nice bathroom).  It was very nice that they planned it that way when they built the church.

I will say I do agree at a certain point we should expect our kids to behave better if not perfectly.  My 9 year old is definetly expected to stand and sit, cross herself and listen; she gets fidgety, but nothing too horrible.  Nothing "the look" doesn't take care of.  Wink  And I don't see anything wrong (and this is something a lot of parents of those "mid range" aged kids do) bringing a book or something to write on(my kids have a nice bible story book for instance) especially for the ones that get very tired during some of the longer parts.  I think if they are exposed to the liturgy, etc, they will get the benefit even if they are not paying rapt attention to a service in a language they may or may not understand anyway. They'll pick it up. 

But, please remember too, and I am not stating that this is the case with every "brat" because some are plain and simple...some kids may have other issues that prevent them from being able to cope...in which case I feel it wise to have them in as long as they can stand it, then remove to a more separate area. Examples may be Autism/Aspergers, ADD, etc.  Right now my son is up to about 5 minutes.  For him, that is good.  Of course he is only 5, but it is a huge thing for him to stay in one place when there is so much to see and smell and hear...it's sensory overload(for him), on the few occasions I take him.  So I say thank God (and the Parish) for the other options, and the pipe feed so I can at least know what is going on in service.
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