|The Book of Common Prayer|
NOTES ON CHILDREN AT THE HOLY EUCHARIST
I. As has been stated in the Introduction, this book is dealing only with the requirements of children over eight years of age.
2. It is desirable that any celebration of Holy Communion which children attend should be one at which there are communicants. The purpose of the training should be to familiarize children with the fullness of the service and to lead them to associate every Sunday with attendance at a communicating service. The service that is contemplated is one in which the Kyries, Creed, Sanctus and Gloria are sung to a very simple setting (which will not be varied) with four or five hymns. If this order be followed and a homily of not more than five minutes be given after the Creed, the service, with fifty communicants, will not take more than 50 to 55 minutes.
3. THE CHILDREN. The children assemble freely. As each enters the church he is given service book, prayer Book, hymn book and (if used) the Gospel stamp. The children are given the front seats in the centre of the church where they can see the altar plainly. No choir is necessary or desirable; the congregation will easily sustain the service if an invariable setting is used and the hymns are learned in Sunday School. The children are taught to sit for the Epistle and to stand for the hymn during the Communion of the people. If this is done, and if the celebrant proceeds straight ahead with the service, the children can kneel in all the other customary places without discomfort, although it is possible for them to stand for the Sursum Corda to the end of the Sanctus. It is essential that each child should have a service book containing only the service as it will be used, with very few private devotions suggested for use before and after the service and after the Consecration.
4. THE CONDUCTOR. There should be a conductor of the service whose place during the service will be standing or kneeling in the passage between the children in the seats on either side. His position will be level with the back rows of the children’s seats. If a second priest (or a deacon) is not available besides the celebrant, this conductor may of course be a lay person.
(1) At the entry of the celebrant: “Stand; hymn .”
(2) At the end of the hymn: “Kneel; page .”
(3) Before the Collect: “The Collect for the Sunday .”
(4) “Sit for the Epistle.”
(5) “Stand for the Gospel.”
(6) “Creed, page .”
(7) “This is the Offertory. While the priest puts the bread and wine on the altar and presents our gifts we sing hymn .”
(8) “The Prayer for the Church, page .”
(9) “The Confession, page .”
(10) [“Stand.”] “Page .”
(11) “This is the Prayer of Consecration, page .” We keep very still and say Amen together at the end.”
(12) “You will now like to say the prayers on page .” [The playing of the first line of the Communion hymn comes to be the accepted sign to the children to stand and the communicants to go to the altar.] “Hymn .”
(13) “Lord’s Prayer, page .”
(14) “Stand for Gloria, page .”
(15) “Kneel for the Blessing.”
(16) “Stand; hymn .”
(17) “Before we leave the church let us thank God for letting us be here, page .”
(18) Before the children leave the church the conductor will direct them to tidy their places: to leave the church quietly and to give in their books at the door.
5. THE CELEBRANT. It is essential that the celebrant should know exactly when the conductor is going to speak and allow time for the children to change position and find places, e.g. he will give time for the Collect to be found. It is most desirable that he should have before him on the altar a copy of the children’s book and introduce no prayers that are not in it, and follow its order exactly. The homily will usually be given by the celebrant from the chancel steps or from the pulpit: it will never exceed five minutes. The homily will often deal with special points in the service connecting them with the Gospel, and whenever possible making use of the stamps which (if they are used) the children will have in their hands.
6. On festivals, if there is a procession, all the children, or a section of them, may join in it.
A FORM OF SERVICE FOR GENERAL USE
1. It is suggested that children should be taught to sing such Responses as are ordinarily sung in church services, but not the Responses to the Prayers.
2. The Address or Instruction is put early in the service in order that a special note governing the whole service may be struck near the outset: especially will the lesson and psalms, canticle or hymn which immediately follow the instruction be chosen to carry on the line of thought therein suggested.
3. It is intended that this service should always provide for a training in some particular part of prayer. The Bidding is intended to be an invitation to the praying part of the service: it will consist of some words of invitation to join in a particular kind of praying, with explanation and instruction. Often the children will supply suggestions which may be incorporated; especially will they be reminded of the opportunity of thinking of their own special desires and needs where slight pauses will be made. A, B, C, and D are intended to be alternatives, and the choice of prayers at the end of the service will supply what is needed to complete the prayer part of the service.
FIRST FORM OF SERVICE
Section I. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
(Leader and children together.) O God our Father, we have come to thy house to sing, to thee, to pray to thee, to hear thee speaking to us. Help us to remember thy presence with us and to worship thee for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
V. O Lord, open thou our lips,
GLORIA (sung to a chant or said as V. and R.).
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
V. Praise ye the Lord.
Section 2. The Address or Instruction.
Psalm, Canticle or Hymn
Section 3. The Bidding.
Let us pray.
Let us praise God for making the world, for the beauty of earth, and sea, and sky.
Let us praise him for giving to us and to all his creatures life and health.
Let us praise him for all the beautiful and useful flings that grow in woods, and fields, and gardens.
Let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God most High.
Let us praise him for his life of love, for his precious Death and Burial, and for his glorious Resurrection and Ascension.
Let us praise him for his presence with us at all times and in every place.
Let us praise him for sending the Holy Ghost to teach us and to make us strong in spirit, mind, and body.
Let us praise him for his Holy Church throughout the world, and for making us members of it.
Let us praise him for all his faithful soldiers and servants who have been strengthened by his might and have served him well.
Let us praise him for giving skill and understanding to all who have ministered and taught and healed in His name.
Let us praise him for those who have gone into all lands to preach the Gospel according to his word.
Let us praise him for all his faithful servants who have departed from this world, praying that they may rest in peace and grow in blessedness.
Let us praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with all the company of the Church.
The TE DEUM to “Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter,” or a section of the BENEDICITE.
Or some other Hymn of praise.
Let us pray for all in any kind of trouble.
Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for all who especially need thy care and help:
For all who are tempted to do wrong.
For all who are ill or in pain—especially . . .
For all who are sad or lonely—especially . . .
For all who are far away from us—especially . . .
For all whose work is difficult or dangerous—especially . . .
For all who are without work or homes or food—especially ...
Let us pray for all who serve God in their work.
Lord Jesus, we pray thee to bless:
Our King and all who rule in our land and town (village).
Those who serve thee as bishops, priests or deacons in thy Church.
Those who teach in thy name in schools.
Those who as doctors and nurses tend the sick.
All who work in factories, workshops, and mines, and those who labor on the land.
All who go down to the sea in ships, and those who fly.
Let us say our Lord’s Prayer for all those for whom we have been praying.
Our Father . . .
Let us ask God to forgive us for the times when we have not pleased him.
Together. Heavenly Father, we have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things that we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. We are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Leader. May our Heavenly Father who has promised forgiveness of sins to all who are truly sorry, forgive us our sins, and strengthen us to do what is right, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Together (said or sung). O Blessed Lord Jesus, Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we:
See thee more clearly.
Let us praise God for all his servants who have carried the word of the Gospel throughout the world.
Let us praise him for St. Augustine, for St. Paulinus, for St. Aidan, for St. Chad, and for St. Cuthbert, and for all others who were the chosen missionaries of this our own land.
Let us praise him for all the holy men and women who have taught our nation the way of God in past ages.
Let us praise him for all his faithful servants who have gone forth from our land to bear the good news of Christ.
Let us praise him for calling us too to join in the great work of spreading his Kingdom.
Let us praise him for the bishops, priests, and deacons; for the evangelists, both men and women; for the teachers, doctors, nurses of our Church who serve him to-day in other lands.
Let us pray our Lord Jesus Christ:
That he will make his Church a glorious Church, faithful in its witness to him among all the nations of the earth.
That he will make his Church to be generous in gifts of prayer and money that his work may increase more and more.
That he will bless all missionaries (especially . . . who have gone from this parish), giving them strength for their souls and for their bodies that they may be able to do his will.
That the people who do not know him may come to have him for their Lord and Saviour.
That he will bless all mission schools, and grant that those who learn in them may grow up to love him with all their might.
That he will heal all who are in missionary hospitals and grant that they may see his face.
Here follow the notices whilst all listen attentively and during the next hymn the collection is made.
Prayer when the alms are offered at the altar.
ACCEPT, O Lord, these gifts which we have brought to thee, and grant that they may be used to carry out thy will, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
Let us ask God to bless our homes.
O LORD Jesus Christ, who didst live in an earthly home at Nazareth, bless our homes and all who live in them. . . . Help us so to live together now in love and care for each other, that we may be near thee now and for ever. Amen.
Let us ask God to bless our school.
HOLY Spirit, who dost dwell in all thy people, may thy presence in our school this week make all that we do to be holy and full of light. Help us with our work and gladden our play. Give thy blessing also to all who teach us, that both they and we may learn whatever thou wiliest us to know, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
After any other prayer that is added all may sing:
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christy and the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
[Before leaving Church say privately:
Holy Spirit, go with us in our hearts wherever we go, and let us everywhere please our Heavenly Father, for Jesus’ sake.] (This should be taught in Sunday School. Occasionally, however, the Leader may like to remind the children of it.)
FORM OF SERVICE WHICH
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