Christmas Liturgy for Children

O COME, LET US ADORE

The Office of Liturgy and the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis are pleased to bring you a Christmas Liturgy that can be celebrated - in safety - with family in your home. Below you will find tips, a video with the Gospel Proclamation and Reflection by Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, and an outline of the Liturgy of the Word.

Tips for Celebrating a Christmas Liturgy with your Family

1. CARVE OUT TIME

Together, decide on a time for your Christmas Liturgy in the home. Perhaps right before bed on Christmas Eve, or first thing in the morning before opening presents will work for your family. Just like we prepare to go to Church, take time to make this liturgy a special and a meaningful part of the celebration of Christmas.

2. SET THE SCENE

Create an intentional space for prayer. Gather around a Christmas tree or Nativity, in front of the fireplace or simply in a circle in your living room. Make sure the space you choose is comfortable and inviting for all children present. Think about utilizing signs and symbols from the Church to heighten awareness to the importance of this prayer time; candles, a Crucifix, a white cloth, a Bible. If someone in the family is musical, the inclusion of music always elevates prayer.

3. KEEP A SIMPLE SCRIPT WITH EASY, ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE

Using the simple script provided, prepare to lead your family through a brief Celebration of the Word. If it helps, pray with the Gospel beforehand so you can help your children make connections to the Word and Bishop Crosby's reflection. Before you begin, have your children share whom they would like to remember in prayer this day.

4. INVITE OTHERS IN

The hardest part of Christmas this year will be the separation from loved ones from afar. How can we incorporate distanced family members into this time for prayerful celebration? Consider utilizing a digital media platform to engage as many loved ones as possible in this liturgical experience.

5. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

Take time throughout the day to refocus your family on the true meaning of Christmas through prayerful conversation. At the supper table, or before bed after a hectic Christmas day, take time to ask:

  • Just like the angels, what Good News story do you have to share about your day?
  • Where did you see Jesus present in our home today?
  • Who might you share the joy of Christmas with?
  • How can we continue our celebration of the Christmas Season as a family?

WATCH THE GOSPEL PROCLAMATION AND REFLECTION

AN OUTLINE FOR THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

After the family is gathered, a parent begins:

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS

The parent(s) trace the sign of the cross while offering the following and encouraging the children, if necessary, to join them: "Whenever we gather to pray, we gather in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

OPENING OF THE LITURGY

The parent(s) offer an opening prayer in these or similar words. Parents are encouraged to creatively consider asking questions about or sharing with their children the purpose of Christmas.

Jesus, you are the Son of the living God, who is always present to us. You came into the world born of a human family. You were conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, guarded and protected by St. Joseph. Today, and every day, we pray Lord God, that You will bless our family and make us more like You. Amen.

On this day, we celebrate Christmas. Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus and that He is our greatest gift. Best of all, the Christmas season continues until the Baptism of Jesus in January! That means we can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas every day for a few more weeks.

GOSPEL PROCLAMATION AND REFLECTION

The parent(s) then play the following proclamation and reflection by His Excellency, Bishop Crosby.

DISCUSSION AFTER THE VIDEO

The parent(s) are invited to discuss the video from Bishop Crosby. Parents are encouraged to ask their children questions and/or share about their own understanding of Christmas. Here are some guiding questions:

- What did you hear Bishop Crosby telling us in his message?
- What did you hear in the Gospel story today? What did the angels have to say?
- Where were Mary and Joseph travelling? What happened on their journey? Do you know what a manger is? What is an angel?

CLOSING PRAYER AND BLESSING

The parent(s) may invite the children to pray together the Lord's Prayer or another suitable prayer.
The parent(s) may then bless the children individually or collectively by tracing the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads while offering a prayer in these or similar words:

May God bless you abundantly. May Jesus always give you great joy! May the Holy Spirit bring you peace. Amen.