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Time to Go to Church… A Time to Fear and Dread?

Author’s note: The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education is blessed to be able to share the wisdom of others. Parents, find out how others are keeping their kids engaged in the service by exploring this compilation of advice shared by Fr. John Peck on his website Journey to Orthodoxy. You can explore the original article and also view our handout on church behavior.

Let the Little Children Come
by Presbytera Marilisse I. Mars

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

It's Sunday morning. The church bulletin says that church starts at 10:00am. It's now 10:30am. You're walking to the car to take yourself and the kids to church. You're arriving at communion. You're embarrassed to come in that late, but you're less embarrassed (after all, half the parish comes to church late) than you would be by your children's behavior if you stayed for the whole service. You walk in during the Lord's Prayer. A few minutes later, thank God, communion. Now you can go. Lunchtime!   Read More...

Helping Children Worship
From St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church

Dear St. Luke Family,
We are on a quest to train our children to love the Lord's Day! We want them to love the Divine Liturgy, to actively engage in it, and to understand it. We want our children to love the Church, and we desire to prepare them for a lifetime of worship and service in the Orthodox Church. We realize that the goal of training children to worship God falls largely on the shoulders of parents. To assist you in helping your children learn to worship, the Church School has put together this booklet packed with practical tips. We hope this booklet will be a great source of encouragement and help for you.   Read More...

Ten Ways to Get Your Children Interested in the Divine Liturgy
From the blog, Fresh and Faithful

If you have children, you will know that they have relatively short attentions spans. No parent wants to be the one with kids that were obviously dragged there or with kids that are goofing off during Divine Liturgy. Hopefully these tips will help you from being parents of bored, uninterested, or misbehaving children.   Read More...

Children and the Divine Liturgy
From St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Rossford, OH
By Fr. Paul Gassios

There are different practices and viewpoints regarding child attendance at the Divine Liturgy. During my childhood I was used to attending half of the service and spending half of it in Sunday School. Young kids spent the first half in church, and then went to Sunday school after the sermon. The older kids began Sunday school when the Liturgy began, and then came to church for the last half of the liturgy. This practice continues today in some Orthodox parishes. In other Orthodox parishes, children attend the entire liturgy and go to Sunday school either before or after the service.   Read More...