Read the daily quote from Pope Francis

 

FAMILY PRAYER

An Outline for Praying with Small Children

created by Rosemary and Tom O’Brien-Wilson

PART ONE:  GATHERING RITE

A small table around which the family can gather is set with a candle, a (Children's) Bible, and other decorations which fit the particular theme for the prayer session.

LIGHTING THE CANDLE

As the prayer candle is lighted, the leader says one of the following phrases (or one of his/her own creation). The phrase is then repeated by the other members of the family.

"Come! Let us walk in the light of the Lord!"
"The Lord is our light and our salvation."
"Behold! The light of Christ shines upon us!"

SINGING A SONG

Sing together a verse or two of a familiar hymn: e.g. “Jesus Loves Me This I Know” or repeat the chorus of a song remembered from Mass. You can also play a recording (but try to sing along).

GIVING THANKS

Each member of the family mentions something for which s/he is particularly grateful today. After each “story” the whole family says: “THANKS BE TO GOD”.

During Lent the “Giving Thanks” could be replaced with a penitential “I am sorry for…” to which family members respond: “LORD, HAVE MERCY”.

PART TWO:  LISTENING TO GOD’S WORD

SHARING A SCRIPTURE STORY

Select a story from the Bible which can be read (or age appropriately paraphrased for young children). The US Bishops’ website (usccb.org) publishes the scripture readings of the day (also available from our parish website). Depending on the age of your children, it is sometimes helpful (and fun) to act out the story as it is being told. 

DISCUSSION

Like the homily at Mass, this brief sharing of thoughts and ideas about the scripture story can help family members think of ways to apply the scripture to their lives.

PART THREE:  RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD       

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION AND PRAYER ACTIVITY

As each family member mentions the name of the person or intention for which s/he is praying, s/he connects the prayer intention to an action. Some suggestions for the activity include: hanging a paper heart on a tree, putting a marble in a bowl, any small activity which will help the smaller children focus on the prayer intention – both their own and those of the others.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Hold hands as your family prays the “Our Father”. 

PART FOUR:  CLOSING RITE

BLESSING

Each family member individually traces a cross on the foreheads of the others while saying
GOD BLESS YOU”.

SONG

Sing another verse of the hymn used at the beginning, or select another favorite.

 
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